Denise Goldberg's blog

Saturday, December 31, 2016

a year of change

2016 was a year of change for me. The first two months were normal, working and experiencing the cold air of winter. The next months signaled change, from being told I was to be laid off, to deciding to jump into retirement, to growing into my new life.

I continue to pursue my passion of photography, enjoying all kinds of outdoor beauty.

The two volunteer opportunities that I started early in my life transition make regular appearances on my calendar; I was lucky to find two places that I enjoy where I could start to give back.

Staying active is a focus, although an occasional day of just sitting and relaxing makes me happy too.

It was a good year.

end of season wildflower remnant

Friday, December 30, 2016

on the edge

Yesterday's storm brought mainly rain to my location. The snow forecast maps usually showed my area to be just to the east of the predicted nor'easter.

There was steady rain for much of the day with snow arriving after dark. Snow totals were low, probably between 1 and 2 inches.

Trees were dressed in white this morning.

snow-coated branches

Thursday, December 29, 2016

a dog leads

I shared my coastal desires on Tuesday with others looking to enjoy the ocean and a bit of unseasonable warmth. I loved watching this trio. The dog pranced ahead, turning back to make sure the man and the boy continued to follow.

a dog leading his people on the beach

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

flipping seasons

The temperature was in the 30s when I went to sleep last night and in the mid-50s when I woke up this morning. It felt like early spring, not early winter. Wanting to take advantage of the warmth, I headed to the New Hampshire coast.

It was still gray when I left home but as I headed to the east the sky started clearing. There were still clouds decorating the sky, sometimes white against blue, sometimes against gray. A strong wind blew the entire time I was out; luckily the warmth in the air counterbalanced the chill created by the wind.

inland view, along the New Hampshire coast

Ponds on the inland side of the road were frozen, wearing just a skim of water on top of the ice. That created a somewhat smooth surface for reflections; if the pond hadn't been frozen I suspect that the wind would have pushed the water into waves.

pieces of a bridge

A quick stop in Portsmouth showed pieces of the new Sarah Mildred Long Bridge emerging from the water. I find it fascinating to watch as the new bridge is constructed.

bridge under construction

Sunday, December 25, 2016

a walk on the beach

The air was chill, the wind was relatively strong, and the sun was shining. It was a good day for a walk on the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

nearing low tide, at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

The sound of the sea is calming. The sight of birds skittering on the beach as the tide rolls in makes me smile, as does the motion of walking next to the sea.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

top photos :: 2016

I always find it an interesting exercise to wander through the photos that I've published during the year to find my favorites. It's hard to select just a few; this year's favorites number 14.

From the beginning of the year, here are my selections for 2016.

winter beach day

winter beach day
waves, rocks, and reflected clouds at low tide, Jenness Beach, Rye, NH

water and sculpted rocks

water and sculpted rocks
waves, rocks, and reflected clouds at low tide, Jenness Beach, Rye, NH

birds only!

birds only!
at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, during the annual beach closure for the piping plover nesting season

happy bee

happy bee
a bee happily feeding on a globe thistle

zinnia delight

zinnia delight
a flower posing

fading echinacea

fading echinacea
late season flowers


an exquisite butterfly on a tithonia rotundifolia

sunflower greeting

sunflower greeting
at Colby Farmstand, Newbury, MA


a butterfly in the garden


from the top of Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park

through the woods

through the woods
along the Jesup Path, in Acadia National Park


a dahlia at the end of the blooming season


a lady's slipper orchid


late in autumn, leaves fade

These photos are collected into the gallery top photos :: 2016. If you'd like to see larger versions of the photos or you would like to view them as a full screen slideshow, click here to jump to the gallery.

Friday, December 23, 2016

winter color

There is color to be found in winter's landscape.

Color jumps out in other seasons but seems to hide in plain sight in the winter. It takes a bit of looking to find it; I think you need to train your eyes to see.

winter color

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Yesterday marked the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

I'm fascinated by some of the solstice facts presented in the Boston Globe article The shortest day of the year has arrived:

In addition to receiving the least amount of sunlight possible, the winter solstice will also see the least amount of solar energy reaching the northern half of the planet. It’s also when the sun is at its lowest point in the sky at noon. If you look at the distance of the sun above the horizon at solar noon, or 11:42 a.m. Wednesday morning, it will only be 24.2 degrees above the horizon — that’s as high as it gets all day. That’s comparable with about 7:30 a.m. on summer’s first day.

That's why my eyes have been telling me that the light has been both angled and harsh.

While I know I won't notice the difference for quite a while, I'm happy to know the days will start to lengthen.

pine needles and snow

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Here is a view of late autumn, a carpet of leaves and pine needles, an old piece of fencing.

fencing and a layer of leaves
in Maudslay State Park

Sunday, December 18, 2016


What a crazy set of weather days! Today the weather wizard presented warmth and rain (to follow the cold and snow). While there is still some snow on the ground, the grass is peeking through again.


The temperature hit the mid-50s today. It is predicted to drop to 13 degrees tonight, and the high tomorrow is targeted at the mid-20s. What a difference!

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Our weather appears to be in a state of quick change. Yesterday was bitterly cold. Today brought a slightly warmer temperature and about four inches of snow.


The forecast for tomorrow calls for warmth and rain.

Friday, December 16, 2016

a flower

On this very cold day looking at an image of a flower conjures up a sense of warmth.

camellia bud

Thursday, December 15, 2016

approaching cold

I was sitting inside early this afternoon when the room became dark. I looked out to find that the bright sunshine had been swallowed up by a wild snow squall. The squall cleared quickly, leaving blue skies with bright fluffy clouds.

Knowing that the high temperature tomorrow is predicted to be 14 very windy degrees I decided to brave today's dropping temperatures and wind, heading out for a potentially short walk. Apparently I've had enough practice with layers this season; my cold-weather layers were sufficient to keep me toasty warm. Today's walk was a good length at 6 miles.

Tomorrow is predicted to be a brr! cold day with both a high wind warning and a wind chill advisory in effect.

clouds and pure blue sky

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

a long walk

Today was the last day of predicted warmish temperatures before we hit the cold freeze on Friday. Given that later in the week will likely bring "exercise inside" weather I headed out for a long brisk walk this afternoon.

How long? My target was 5 miles, but somehow my feet just kept on walking. I finished walking at 7.75 miles. Happy...

succulent in a greenhouse
an "inside" plant
in the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


As the days grow short and the temperature outside drops I am adapting, watching the daylight, layering for warmth, dressing to be seen. It looks like I'll have a chance to test my level of adaptation on Friday when the high temperature is predicted to be 15 degrees. Yikes!

There are a small number of days between now and the winter solstice. While the minutes in each day start to increase at that point I'm trying to remind myself that the lengthening won't be noticeable immediately.

The winter solstice has a daylight length of 9 hours and 4 minutes at my home location. If you're curious about the length of day where you are, I used this Sunrise and Sunset Calculator.

succulent in green, at the Lyman Estate greenhouse

When the air is cold outside it's always good to take some time to visit greenhouses for a touch of warmth and color.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


"Smitten means overwhelmed or struck by something, usually love."

What an amazing name! This is another new-to-me variety of apple, one that is both sweet and crisp. If you see Smitten apples in the store I recommend tasting them. One will not be enough...

smitten apple

Saturday, December 10, 2016

seeking color

As the muted grays and browns of late autumn fill the landscape I feel a need for color. A visit to the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate helped me move into a world filled with bright colors.

bougainvillea in bright pink

an orchid in yellow

Thursday, December 08, 2016

late rose

There are still a few late blooming roses decorating the landscape. The bright color definitely stands out against late autumn rust colors and early winter white.

late season rose

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

autumn, fading

The sky is gray, there's a dusting of white on the ground.

Autumn is fading.

autumn, fading

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

wet beach

It's funny, whenever I look at this photo I see snow. It was taken on a cloudy but precipitation-free day as the tide was receding. Light reflecting on the wet sand shows as streaks of white. That's wet, not cold & white!

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge beach at high tide

Monday, December 05, 2016

first snow

I woke to find snow falling this morning.

About an inch of snow was followed by a light rain as the temperature inched above freezing. Now? I'm starting to see patches of blue sky emerging from the clouds.

first snow

Saturday, December 03, 2016


Most trees are bare of leaves for the upcoming cold season. This leaf is dried, crinkled, caught in tendrils.

dried and caught, an end-of-season leaf

Friday, December 02, 2016

Junami apples

I discovered a new taste treat today, Junami apples. According to the US grower, Rainier Fruit,

"The Junami (joo-nah-mee) brand apple was bred in Switzerland. It is a cross between ldared, Maigold and Elstar, and until recently was only grown in northwestern Europe."

It's a nicely crisp apple with a wonderful taste.

Junami apples

Thursday, December 01, 2016


Blue skies and (relative) warmth greeted the first day of December.

It was a good day for a walk at Maudslay State Park. The recent rain left some soggy spots but for the most part I was able to find dry ground for my feet.

at Maudslay State Park