Denise Goldberg's blog

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

broccoli Romanesco

When I saw this new-to-me vegetable at Whole Foods I knew I needed to try it.

Resembling a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, Romanesco is a compact head of beautiful lime green florets attached to a cluster of stalks. These florets form a pyramid of spiraling, pointed cones, resembling a small alien Christmas tree. It is sweet with a mild nutty flavor and absent the somewhat pungent flavor of cauliflower.

description courtesy of Produce Express

The flavor seems close to but a bit different than cauliflower. I'm glad the color and shape enticed me to buy; broccoli Romanesco is now on my list of must buy vegetables.

broccoli Romanesco

Sunday, February 26, 2017


A line of birdhouses high on a building provides space for nesting.


Saturday, February 25, 2017


This morning I headed to Kittery Point. I was sure that parks and trails were still wet and muddy; I still hoped to find a good place to walk.

As I drove further along the New Hampshire section of I-95 fog enveloped the road. The structure of the interstate bridge over the Piscataqua River was visible when I was on it but the view to the side was pure white. Fog.

I took the first exit in Maine, following Route 103 to Chauncy Creek Road. I stopped near a section of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge to walk and enjoy the fog. It was simply amazing!

kittery Point, in the fog

You'll find more foggy photos in the gallery south coastal Maine :: 2017.


It can be very difficult (and upsetting) to read or listen to the news lately. There are days when I don't listen, but I always read the Boston Globe.

There were two articles in yesterday's paper that jumped out at me.

The first, titled Trump’s obsession with loyalty hurts his ability to govern was written by Sarah Hurwitz. The article is well worth reading; here are a few of the words:

Wise presidents understand that to run a large, mind-bogglingly complex government that handles the highest-stakes challenges imaginable, you need the top talent — people with expertise and experience who share your vision and are committed to serving their country — and you take them wherever you can find them.


It seems that for Trump, the key question is not: Are you loyal to American democracy, or Republican party values, or the American people? It is: Are you loyal to Donald Trump? After his erratic behavior during his first month in office, it’s likely harder to find people who can answer that question in the affirmative.

quote from Boston Globe article

The second article, titled Witches are apparently casting a spell on Donald Trump states that "some practicing witches will be casting a collective spell every waning crescent moon until Trump is out of office — to keep the president from harming people and nature".

If you can't play the video posted above, click to here view it on YouTube, or click here to read the full spell.

Friday, February 24, 2017

a good walk

A brisk walk this morning took care of my exercise needs but that wasn't enough for the day. Warm air tempted me to spend more time outside.

Knowing there was more than a chance that the park wouldn't be walkable, I still headed to Maudslay State Park this afternoon. There was melting snow on the ground that exposed both wet grass and mud. I spoke with someone at the park office and was told that the park was a mess, muddy and mucky. She suggested a circle following mainly paved roads instead.

I headed down the road that passed by Maudslay, crossing a foot-traffic-only bridge onto land owned by a monastery. I continued on the road through the monastery until I turned right on Route 113, turning right again on Hoyt's Lane which led back to my starting point in the park.

There were a few other people walking the same route, a good choice for a day like today when pavement was preferred over mud.

a tree stands tall, surrounded by snow

Thursday, February 23, 2017

spring-like interlude

The calendar still reads February but the air outside felt like spring today. It was a good day for a brisk walk, for a first outing of the year wearing shorts!

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
from Sunday's walk at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


My eyes are drawn to these delicate flowers. They look (to me) like the creation of an artist, a natural painting.

queen's tears
Queen's Tears, (Billbergia nutans)

Monday, February 20, 2017

low tide

Low tide, wet sand, and filtered sunlight created a subtle reflection of the clouds.

low tide at Jenness State Beach
at Jenness State Beach, Rye, NH

Sunday, February 19, 2017


The calendar says we're still in winter but the air temperature today was a wonderful taste of spring. I headed to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge much earlier than needed for my assigned time to staff the visitor center; I needed time for a walk on the beach.

It was low tide when I arrived, a good time to find pools of water in interesting shapes.

There were other people walking the beach too. We shared quick conversations as we crossed paths and I had space to myself as well.

The refuge is a place of both peace and beauty.

on the beach at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Friday, February 17, 2017

winter color

Snow is beautiful but I find I need regular access to bright colors. I headed to the Tower Hill Botanic Garden today to see if any flowers were blooming in the indoor spaces.

When I first walked in I saw mainly green. As I slowly walked and looked, I saw some larger flowers as well as many small pops of color.

It was a good visit.

flowering maple

More photos are available for viewing in the gallery Tower Hill Botanic Garden :: 2017.

Thursday, February 16, 2017


As predicted, snow fell overnight. With temperatures close to freezing the snow clung to trees, winter's decoration.

snow-covered trees behind and ice and snow-covered pond

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Two sets of footprints decorate the beach between active ocean and snow-covered dunes.


letters to Obama

Yesterday I came across to a link to a story in The New York Times Magazine published on January 17, 2017, To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation. I started reading, and I just couldn't stop. It's the story of the organization in the Obama White House that read the daily mail from citizens to the president, the story of the people who wrote, the story of response.

"At the beginning of his first term, President Obama said he wanted to read his mail. He said he would like to see 10 letters a day. After that, the 10LADs, as they came to be called, were put in a purple folder and added to the back of the briefing book he took with him to the residence on the second floor of the White House each night."


"President Obama was the first to come up with a deliberate and explicit practice of 10 letters every day. If the president was home at the White House (he did not tend to mail when he traveled), he would be reading constituent mail, and everyone knew it, and systems were put in place to make sure it happened. The mail had currency. Some staff members called it “the letter underground.” Starting in 2010, all hard mail would be scanned and preserved. Starting in 2011, every email every day would be used to create a word cloud, its image distributed around the White House so policy makers and staff members alike could get a glimpse at what everyday Americans were writing in to say."

quote from New York Times article

It's a long article, very interesting and so worth reading.

Click to read To Obama With Love, and Hate, and Desperation.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

ocean wonder

Listen to the sound of the waves...

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge called to me today. The temperature edged up to freezing, the air was dry, and I needed a walk by the sea. It was about an hour before high tide when I started my beach walk. The beach was narrowing but a good walking surface remained. I had to move quickly a few times when I was standing, listening, watching the waves. Sometimes the waves rolled over my resting spot; it's always good to pay close attention to the ocean.

snow, sand, and ocean waves

I feel lucky to live within a reasonable driving distance from Parker River and the Atlantic Ocean. It provides a wonderful place to walk and to reflect.

Monday, February 13, 2017


The snowstorm moved out, leaving howling winds behind. The haze close to the ground in this photo is snow, swirling in the wind.

trees stand tall in blowing snow


When I look outside I see a sea of white, snow, some untouched, some plowed into piles. I think we were lucky though; snow on the ground from the latest storm is much less than the forecast predicted.

The big storm that grew up a little too late to bring a major snowfall to southern New England is well east of Nantucket and pulling further out to sea. While it’s too far out to bring heavy snow, it is close enough to create a lot of wind, and that is the main forecast issue for Monday.

courtesy of Dave Epstein, Boston Globe, 13 Feb 2017
GOES composite water vapor
NOAA GOES-composite water vapor, Feb 13 17 08:15 UTC

Sunday, February 12, 2017

a walk in the snow

I headed out for a walk in the early afternoon. Light snow was falling at the start; I returned home in heavy snow.

The weather wizard says that the snowfall totals from this current storm are going to be quite high. When I came in from my walk I checked the forecast. It showed a total daytime snow accumulation for today at 3 to 7 inches, with possible new snow accumulation tonight of 5 to 9 inches, and tomorrow of 1 to 3 inches.

At 4:21 PM the blizzard watch for tomorrow was cancelled and the winter storm warning was extended to 1 PM tomorrow. The predicted accumulations were also changed, lowered to 10 to 14 inches in total. That's much better than the earlier accumulations, but it's still a lot of snow.

trees and snow

I find walking in snow to be beautiful and calming.

Saturday, February 11, 2017


The color of the day is white.

In the cold of this winter day, the ground is covered with snow. Tomorrow and into Monday there will be white in the air too as another winter storm visits the area.

In the warmth of a greenhouse, a white orchid shows its beauty.

white orchid

Snow and flowers provide quite a contrast, both wearing the color white.

Friday, February 10, 2017

after the storm

Clouds rolled away leaving bright blue skies, a blanket of snow, and a chilly, windy day.

after the storm

a Pinocchio tie

A quote at the end of an article in the Boston Globe jumped out at me this morning.

...Meanwhile, amid the roiling atmosphere of Trump’s young presidency, no theory is too out there to be disbelieved, not even one that holds Trump’s ties are growing ever longer.

"I think there could be a Pinocchio thing going on," said Megan Collins, founder of the high-profile Style Girlfriend blog. "Every time he lies it magically grows by half an inch."

What an interesting term, a Pinocchio tie!

Thursday, February 09, 2017


At 1:24 this afternoon the winter storm warning that had been in effect since early this morning was dropped in favor of a blizzard warning. Shortly before 2 PM I decided to head out for a walk. That didn't last too long; the blizzard conditions made it difficult to keep my eyes open as the wind blew snowflakes directly into my face. I only managed a quarter of a mile before I decided it would be smarter to return home.

This photo was taken on my return journey; there are buildings at the end of the road, totally obscured by blizzard conditions.

snow flying

It will be interesting to see how much snow accumulates from this storm. Last night the forecast was for 7 to 11 inches. Right now it shows a bit more than that, with totals projected to be between 12 and 18 inches.

storm total snow 2017/02/09

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


Tiny flowers caught my eye as I walked through the greenhouses at Lyman Estates. It's good to know there are places to go where I can see bright colors during the winter.

tiny flowers

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


It was a snowy day today. I saw snow in the air, sticking to the trees, covering the ground. I heard the crunch of snow beneath my feet.

snow on the ground, covering trees, in the air

When I finished my winter weather walk I checked the National Weather Service site and found that the precipitation had changed to snow fog. Rain and sleet is expected overnight, with tomorrow's high temperature predicted to hit the mid-50's. That's quite a contrast, isn't it?

It appears that there will be a flip back to cold and snow for Thursday. There is a winter storm watch posted from late Wednesday through Thursday; the watch calls for accumulation of 8 to 12 inches of snow. Yikes!

Sunday, February 05, 2017

at sunset

The sun was dropping below the horizon as I drove by Lake Chocichewick early this evening. I was happy to stop for a few minutes to watch the changing light.

sunset over Lake Cochichewick

Saturday, February 04, 2017


Today I needed a pop of color so I headed to the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate. The very chilly air outside must have discouraged other visitors since I was the only person (other than the two women who work in the greenhouse) wandering through the flowers.

I feel lucky to have access to bright flowers in all seasons.

a flower in bright pink

Friday, February 03, 2017


butterfly beauty
clear wings create a window
a feeling of calm

glasswing butterfly
a glasswing butterfly (greta oto) perched on a leaf

Thursday, February 02, 2017


Blue sky and bright white clouds reflect in ice, a beautiful winter scene.

blue sky reflects in ice