Denise Goldberg's blog

Thursday, September 21, 2017

late season dahlias

As the calendar moves closer to colder weather there are still many flowers in bloom.

The beauty and variety of dahlias always catch my eye.



Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Overnight fog outlined the petals of this very pink aster with droplets of water.

an aster covered in water droplets

Monday, September 18, 2017


I love seeing globe thistle in the prime season growing season. The "flower" is spiky, purple, and provides a feeding spot for bees. As autumn approaches the flowers are evolving. Some have turned to dark brown, others retain some of their color and wear a hat of brown.

globe thistle, fading from purple to brown

I think globe thistle are beautiful. Do you agree?

Sunday, September 17, 2017

morning fog

I woke up this morning to a sea of fog. I immediately headed to the Stevens-Coolidge Place, wanting to see the pop of floral color against the dense fog.

a foggy morning at Stevens-Coolidge Place

Some flowers are still in full bloom; others are wilting into an end-of-season state.

I love wandering in the garden during this seasonal transition.

still in full bloom, gloriosa daisy

wilted, blackeyed susan

More photos from my early morning garden visit can be seen in the gallery summer :: 2017 starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

early color

Although the calendar says it is still summer for another week, some trees are showing a sign of autumn. I can see a rusty tinge to the sea of green leaves with occasional trees wearing a few leaves painted in red.

early autumn color

Thursday, September 14, 2017

a sea of yellow

Colby Farm in Newbury, MA plants a field of sunflowers each year with the intent of allowing people to walk around (and possibly through) the field. After hearing that the sunflowers were (finally) in bloom, I tried to stop there on my way home from my volunteer stint at Parker River last Sunday. It turned out that a lot of other people had the same idea; there were cars illegally parked on the side of the road, a long line to get into the parking lot at the farm, and a wall of people standing in front of the field. I opted to drive by instead of stopping.

I headed back to the sunflower field on Monday where I was greeted by a sea of yellow. There were bees on many of the flowers and there were occasional monarch butterflies flitting by.


If you'd like to see more views of sunflowers, jump to the gallery a sea of yellow.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Many flowers have faded as autumn draws closer; others have retained bright colors. I love the deep pink of these echinacea. The bees seem to be attracted to them too.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

art at Maudslay

The annual outdoor sculpture show at Maudslay State Park opened last weekend. Yesterday was a good day for exploring the art scattered through the park.

art at Maudslay sign

Even with the sculptures concentrated in large open areas in the park I'm not sure that I found all of them. It's always fun to wander through art living in unexpected places.

The two pieces I've shared below have a relationship with trees; one uses the tree as a focus for the sculpture and the other uses the tree as a presentation method.

Push / Pull, by Muriel Angelic
Push / Pull, by Muriel Angelic

Autumnal Green Man, by Sue Gately
Autumnal Green Man, by Sue Gately

The felted Autumnal Green Man is my favorite of the show.

More photos of the sculptures can be viewed in the gallery wandering Maudslay :: 2017 starting with this photo and ending here.

Monday, September 11, 2017

a Chanticleer visit

Although the day was gray and threatening rain I headed to Chanticleer Garden last Wednesday for a quick flower visit. As the end of the growing season gets closer, the flowers are tall, the beds full of life.

Some of the flowers were still showing prime blooms while others have started to fade. Flowers at all stages of life are wonderful.

garden view, at Chanticleer

More photos from Chanticleer can be seen in the gallery two gardens starting with this photo and ending here.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

late afternoon

As I was driving home from Parker River late this afternoon the clouds and reflections in Lake Cochichewick caught my eye. I stopped to walk and to enjoy the view.

clouds and reflection, Lake Cochichewick

Saturday, September 09, 2017


Birds are very much attracted to this bush. Many more than the two exposed here were perched within the branches.


Thursday, September 07, 2017

to Washington's Headquarters

The rain moved out overnight leaving a gray early morning sky. As the day progressed the sky wore bright blue decorated with fluffy white clouds.

I headed to the Valley Forge National Historical Park thinking I would follow the Joseph Plumb Martin trail in a big loop. Instead I headed out and back on that trail, following an offshoot that led to Washington's Headquarters.

Walking through that very small house was quite interesting. I understand that the house is about 80% original; some restoration was needed. The kitchen hearth was huge. The bedrooms upstairs were small, the beds were quite short. The stairs were worn, and the ceilings appeared to get shorter floor by floor.

It was a good walk.

Washington's Headquarters

Wednesday, September 06, 2017


The color of today's sky is gray. The air is cool, wearing a taste of autumn.

It was a good day for a walk at Chanticleer Garden. There are still flowers in bloom, many in the last stages of bloom. I think the overall gray nature of the day made the colors in the garden really pop.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

summer heat

After a stretch of cooler than normal days, today it feels like summer is back. It appears the warmth won't last too long though; the forecast calls for a drop back to cooler weather tomorrow.


A zinnia in pink is a good sign of today's summer warmth.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

simple beauty

As I wandered the gardens at Tower Hill last week I saw a bed of strawflowers. What an interesting flower! Although they appear to be dry (but colorful) flowers, they are very much alive.

The flowers are in the same family as daisies and sunflowers, Asteraceae. The petals of these flowers are stiff and paperlike; those that I saw wore bright colors.


Saturday, September 02, 2017

dahlia delight

The patterns and colors in the petals of an opening dahlia are a delight to see.

It has been a very good flower season.


Friday, September 01, 2017


The light was fading, the wind was light. A late-day walk by a pond at the Harold Parker State Forest delighted the eye with blue skies and subtle rippled reflections.

at Harold Parker State Forest

Thursday, August 31, 2017

gloriosa daisy

Although it blooms in summer, the color of this gloriosa daisy reminds me of autumn.

gloriosa daisy

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

teddy bear

A sunflower without long petals? I think this is a teddy bear sunflower, a variety with double, deep yellow blooms. The bees seem to like it!

teddy bear sunflower

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


I love the bright colors of these African daisies.

African daisies

Monday, August 28, 2017


It's a good time for ripe tomatoes fresh from the field.

Celebrate the flavor of all sizes and colors, a true taste of (late) summer.

ripening tomatoes

Sunday, August 27, 2017

a dahlia and a bee

A dahlia, tipped toward the ground, provides a feast for a very busy bee.

a dahlia and a bee

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Almost calm water wears small ripples and reflections of the rocks above.

reflections in a quarry, at Andres Institute of Art
reflections in a quarry, Andres Institute of Art

Friday, August 25, 2017

early apples

I stopped at a local farm stand this afternoon to pick up some pickling cukes and tomatoes. I always look to see if anything else catches my eye (and leaves me wishing for a taste).

Today some Zestar! apples jumped out at me. The sign indicated they were local, crispy, and had a sweet-tart taste. That was enough to convince me to try them.

My verdict? I like them!

Zestar! apples

If you see this early season apple, it's worth a try.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

sculpture in the woods

Yesterday it felt like a good day for a visit to Andres Institute of Art.

At Andres Institute of Art, we bring art to our community by making the experience of art an everyday relationship. Our purpose is to underline the interface of nature and culture in order to bring the visitor into a closer, and perhaps more comfortable relationship with the works of art. Both the location and the environment of Andres Institute give us the opportunity to continue to build a place in which individuals may experience art and nature in tandem. By placing sculpture within nature’s framework of trees, boulders, critters and mushrooms, viewers are free to consider the undercurrents of the inherently beautiful art form nature has to offer along with each piece of art work. The untouched quality of the Institutes’s 140 acres furthers the experience of a personal connection with nature.

from the Andres Institute of Art web site

I spent a couple of hours walking, following the signs indicating "sculpture trail", hoping that eventually I would end up back in the parking lot. I'm sure I missed entire sections of the park; certainly a future visit is needed!

I saw new-to-me sculptures as well as many that I saw when I visited last year. My favorite of the day matches my favorite last year, a wonderful piece that has been in place for the last 15 years.

Enjoying the Stars
Enjoying the Stars by Alexander Molev, Russia (2002)

More photos from yesterday's visit are in the gallery Andres Institute of Art :: 2017.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Did you know that there is a perennial known as an obedient plant?

Its proper name is "Physostegia virginiana". According to Wikipedia it is commonly known as an obedient plant because a flower pushed to one side will often stay in that position.

obedient plant

The flowers are delicate and beautiful.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

a sea of flowers

At this time of year, the cutting garden at Stevens-Coolidge Place presents itself as a sea of flowers.

flowers, Stevens-Coolidge Place

Monday, August 21, 2017

looking inland

I headed to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this morning to walk the newly opened Stage Island trail. It leads to the tip of Stage Island (on the inland side of Plum Island), an area also known as the Ipswich Bluffs.

The trail provided views of Plum Island Sound. It was a good place to walk on this warm summer morning.

looking inland, from the Stage Island trail

Luckily the greenhead flies appear to be gone for the season although there were plenty of other flying insects when I was close to the water.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

morning flower

Early morning calm and cool air convinced me it was a good time for a walk in the garden. Other than the birds, bees, and tiny animals, I had the garden to myself.

I enjoyed the solitude, soaking in the beautiful colors of summer.

a dahlia

Saturday, August 19, 2017

on the walls (again)

Yesterday morning I ignored the forecast for rain and headed back to Salem. I had a sneaking suspicion that I had missed a couple of murals on my last visit; I needed to fix that.

My first stop was the office of the North Shore Community Development Coalition. They own the buildings in The Point that are the canvas for the murals. I was delighted have the chance to chat with a manager there and to find out more about the project. It was an opportunity to see some of the murals in the office and to confirm that I did miss a few on my first visit.

I loved this one - there is a purple background mural on the wall in the office, with a set of windows allowing a view into the space behind, a space showing the eyes of a face peering through the windows.

in the office of the North Shore Community Development Coalition

Outside, I walked the same streets I had seen before, continuing past my previous stopping point to find two more pieces of art.

The first was a very large and multi-colored cat person covering the entire side of a building.

cat person on a wall

The second set of art that I missed lives in the open courtyard in front of a building. It is made up of columns of brick, painted on all four sides and showing faces of different ages and nationalities.

faces on brick columns

faces on brick columns

More photos from yesterday can be seen in the gallery walls and water :: Salem, MA starting with this photo and ending here.

Friday, August 18, 2017


Berries create a pop of red among summer's green leaves.

red berries

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

on the Royal River

Royal River Park in Yarmouth, ME is the site of a path that parallels the river. A good part of the trail is a bit of a tease since the river is hidden by the trees. An unobstructed view is available at a few places, and the bridges are very helpful.

Royal River

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


A sea gull stands on the beach, watching as the tide recedes.

sea gull at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Monday, August 14, 2017


Some flowers are still showing bright flowers; others are fading.

A garden full of coneflowers (properly named Echinacea) caught my eye as I wandered in Prescott Park. This patch was still bright even though the petals are starting to show their age. The flowers wear a shape that perfectly matches their name.


These flowers are beautiful, aren't they?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

chasing butterflies

Yesterday's visit to the gardens in Prescott Park (Portsmouth, NH) gave me a chance to watch the butterflies as they feasted on flowers. This beauty, hanging from a butterfly bush, stayed still for a moment and posed for me.

a butterfly on a butterfly bush

Saturday, August 12, 2017


A quiet beach is a very peaceful place, a good destination for walking and thinking.

on the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Friday, August 11, 2017


Delicate cosmos (flowers) seem to be dancing in the wind.


Thursday, August 10, 2017


A shell sits on smooth sand as the tide moves from high to low.

sea shell

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

back to the beach

A large section of the beach at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge reopened on Friday for people. The beach at the refuge closes on April 1st of each year for the piping plover nesting season, opening to people when the birds are done with it.

As of last Friday there were 45 fledglings and 6 chicks at Parker River. The portion of the beach that is still closed will open once the biologist confirms that the 6 remaining chicks have fledged.

It's good that this very narrow (and long) beach is closed each year for the birds. I think it makes me treasure access to the beach even more; it's a favorite place to walk along the water.

Yesterday I headed to the refuge for a peaceful stroll, looking, listening to the ocean, enjoying the beauty.

the beach at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, just south of parking lot 3

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

on the walls

The article "Artwork highlights Salem neighborhood’s true colors" in the Boston Globe two weeks ago led me to add Salem to my list of must visit places. It's less than 20 miles from home, but it's a place I hadn't visited before. Yesterday I headed to to Salem to walk and absorb beauty.

The mural project is impressive.

Punto Urban Art Museum

Our vision is to create a world class urban arts district in Salem’s Point Neighborhood, one that embraces its rich immigrant and architectural history and present a dynamic opportunity for the neighborhood’s future.

The Punto Urban Art Museum has two primary goals: to create a beautiful, uplifting environment for Point residents, particularly for children to grow up in, and to break down the invisible divide between the Point and the rest of Salem by inviting visitors into the Point to experience world-class art first-hand.

credit: North Shore Community Development Coalition

Some of the murals are in very narrow alleys; even with a wide lens it was a challenge to capture them with my camera.

I'm sure I didn't find all of the murals, and I know I plan to return and wander again.

mural in Salem, MA

mural in Salem, MA

More photos can be seen in the gallery walls and water :: Salem, MA.

Click here to see a video on the Punto Urban Art Museum published by the North Shore Community Development coalition. It's a wonderful presentation of the project.

Sunday, August 06, 2017


The curved petals of this just opening flower are reaching to the sun.

curves in opening flower petals

Saturday, August 05, 2017

away from the edge

An observation platform at the Marconi Station site in Cape Cod National Seashore provides a wonderful view of the high dunes and the beach far below. The platform is fenced and wears a sign warning of instability. I always wonder how many people ignore both the fence and the sign; a step too close to the edge could end with a long fall.

What a beautiful place!

warning sign near Marconi Station overlook

high above Marconi Beach, Cape Cod National Seashore