Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, August 31, 2018

back to the beach

The last plover chick on the (previously closed) beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge fledged last week. Since most of the piping plover have now left the area, the beach is now fully open. While I respect the need for closure to protect the birds, I am always happy to take my first walk there once the birds have ceded access to the beach back to humans.

Low tide on Plum Island this morning was at 9:34. I arrived about an hour before the tide changed direction to enjoy a walk on the beach. The sound of the waves is calming, and walking on the smooth and still wet sand is wonderful. While there were a few other people out walking too, most of the time I shared the beach with sea gulls, sanderlings, and a few other shore birds.

It was a good day for a walk on the beach.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
looking inland

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
looking out to sea

Thursday, August 30, 2018

changing sky

I headed to Harold Parker State Forest this afternoon for a walk with my camera.

I was there for about an hour, wandering in circles, stopping in the same spot multiple times. Imagine my surprise when I looked through the photos to find two almost identical scenes showing wildly different sky conditions. The first photo shows a bright white cloud decorated a sky wearing pure blue while the second shows layers of clouds.

Which is your favorite?

Harold Parker State Forest
captured at 1:10 PM on 8/30/2018

Harold Parker State Forest
captured at 1:52 PM on 8/30/2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

from the side

A zinnia poses for a portrait, creating a view of late summer perfection.


Tuesday, August 28, 2018

photos! parks in Colorado Springs

Photos from last weeks visit to Colorado Springs can be viewed in the gallery two parks :: Colorado Springs. The two parks are Garden of the Gods and Ute Valley Park.

I always find it interesting to wander in an area that is completely different from my home turf of coastal New England.

rock structure in Garden of the Gods

Monday, August 27, 2018

open & empty

When I walked through the wildflower garden Saturday morning I noticed that seed pods from lupine that flowered early in the season were open and empty of seeds.

I wonder... did an animal or a bird eat the seeds? Or did they fall to the ground to seed next year's flowers? Either way, I find the remnants to be beautiful.

lupine seed pods

Saturday, August 25, 2018

a bee's dahlia

Sometimes as I walk through the garden I think that the bees own the flowers. This morning I saw two bees enjoying the nectar of a very pink dahlia.

bees and a dahlia

Friday, August 24, 2018

rocks and trees

A walk through Ute Valley Park this morning was a delight, with changing landscape. I love the contrast of the rocks and the trees.

in Ute Valley Park

Thursday, August 23, 2018

morning walk

This morning was a perfect time to return to Garden of the Gods, to walk in a different section of the park. If I lived here I suspect that this would be a regular walking spot for me; it's so beautiful!

in Garden of the Gods

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


Brightly colored thistle decorates the landscape.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

red rocks

Today was a day of changing skies in Colorado Springs, from cloudy to sunny to stormy. We walked in Garden of the Gods before the rain came, enjoying the view of red rocks standing against the background of mountains.

in Garden of the Gods

Monday, August 20, 2018


At two months past the summer solstice, gardens are a study in contrast. Some flowers have disappeared, leaving seed pods behind. Others are still in full bloom. Both are beautiful.

from flower to seed pod

dahlia in full bloom

Sunday, August 19, 2018

on the walls

Yesterday I headed to Lynn to find new murals created for the Beyond Walls 2018 mural festival. When I left home the sky was bright; five minutes after I started walking in Lynn the rain came. I quickly ran back to my car for an umbrella, determined to continue my wander. The rain was intermittent, changing from heavy and wind-driven to light drizzle (and back again).

It feels like I walked in circles, and I know I didn't find all of the newly painted walls. The downtown area of Lynn is on my list for a return visit.

mural, Lynn, MA

mural, Lynn, MA

More murals can be seen in the gallery beyond walls :: 2018.

Friday, August 17, 2018


A dahlia in pink stands tall in the garden.


Thursday, August 16, 2018

dropped petal

A zinnia in bloom wears a single dropped petal. The flower portrays beauty in its imperfection.

zinnia as viewed from below

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

afternoon light

Morning fog eventually cleared leaving blue skies wearing pure white clouds.

at Harold Parker State Forest

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

between storms

Sunday I was caught outside (walking) in a downpour. Today I managed to watch the heavy rain from inside. The morning was spent in the garden, working and chatting with other volunteers. I managed an early afternoon exercise walk before the first rain came. There was a downpour, but as I looked through the rain I saw blue sky. I wonder how close the line was between heavy rain and no rain.

Early in the evening I headed back to the garden to wander among the flowers. It was a bit darker than I expected; the sun was hiding behind clouds. I absorbed the colors around me, enjoying the flowers and the birds. Ten minutes after I returned home heavy rain started to fall again.

clouds before the rain


Monday, August 13, 2018

a coastal walk

I contemplated heading to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge before my visitor center shift yesterday to walk a small section of newly opened beach. I thought twice about my plans after getting caught in a deluge during my morning exercise walk - we had 2+ inches of rain in the morning, nothing close to the 8+ inches that fell in Lynn, MA at the same time. My decision was to walk after I closed the visitor center.

It started to sprinkle as I headed into the refuge. Luckily the rain quickly stopped, leaving only brisk winds. The birds still have control of much of the beach, but the section between parking lots 1 & 2 opened to people early on Saturday.

I was delighted to walk on the beach as the tide was heading out, sharing the beach with a few other people and many sea birds.

beach as tide is heading out, at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

sea gull sharing the beach, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge


I've been using a straight-backed chair when I sit at my computer for a long time. A few weeks back I decided I wanted to switch to something that more directly encouraged good posture and sitting with a bit of movement. Instead of a chair, I started looking at stools.

Wobble stools jumped out. I started reading and looking at available products. Most of the stools I found were too tall at the shortest setting; they were designed for use with a standing desk. Then I found the Interstuhl wobble stool. While it's hard to tell from the photo, the base of the stool is rounded and the seat swivels. It can easily be set at any height between 17.25 inches and 24.75 inches, changeable on a whim!

:: from the product description ::

"The unique design of this active sitting chair is both attractive and functional, allowing you to sit still, or swivel and sway to your heart's content. The wobble base is non-marking and grips the floor for stability, while the feather weight and teeny tiny footprint makes the wobble stool easy to stash when you're not using it."

I've been using this interesting stool for a week now, and I'm very happy with it.

wobble stool

You can find this stool on Amazon at up Stool Adjustable Multi-Use Ergonomic Stool.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


I managed a good (exercise) walk this morning under gray skies. It sprinkled a bit while I was out but the heavy rain waited for the afternoon.

It was a good afternoon to curl up with a book, to listen to the sound of the rain, to watch heavy rain falling while I was comfortable inside. The forecast calls for a possibility of rain for the next few days; walking in the rain may still be in my future!

a dahlia posing in yesterday's sunshine

Friday, August 10, 2018


As I wandered in the garden this afternoon I noticed a moth perched on a leaf, perfectly posed.


Thursday, August 09, 2018


As I looked through the window early last evening I saw this rabbit happily munching grass. I opened the door, quietly stepping outside. Maintaining distance, I was able to convince the rabbit to pose for a photo!


Wednesday, August 08, 2018


The simple beauty of a single flower stands out in this portrait of a zinnia wearing orange.

zinnia in orange

Monday, August 06, 2018

chasing butterflies

When I walked into the garden early this evening I was greeted by a hummingbird and some butterflies. The hummingbird disappeared before I was ready with my camera, but the butterflies were happy to challenge me to capture them with my lens.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

dahlia delight

Dahlias continue to bloom in the warmth of summer. The flowers bring a pop of color to the garden.


Saturday, August 04, 2018

by the sea

A low tide walk by the sea creates a sense of solitude and peace.

low tide at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Friday, August 03, 2018

what's in a name?

I'm fascinated by the number of names this flower wears. When I went to confirm that the name I knew it by was correct, I found more than one answer. I knew it as a Rudbeckia hirta, a Gloriosa Daisy hybrid. It also wears the name Rudbeckia 'Cherokee Sunset'.

This flower brings sunshine into the garden.

rudbeckia hirta 'Cherokee Sunset'

Thursday, August 02, 2018

a happy bee

I headed to the garden this afternoon with the hopes of seeing some butterflies. A few were flying high but none were close enough to capture with my camera. I suspect the afternoon heat wasn't appealing to them.

Instead, I was fascinated by some very active bees. I suppose you could say these are bee-sized flowers even though the bee is a bit larger than the flower.

a bee, pollen, and a tiny flower

Wednesday, August 01, 2018


The birds have decided to share part of their beach.

The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a nesting place for the endangered piping plover. To protect the birds, the entire beach in the refuge closes on April 1st each year for the nesting season, reopening after the birds are done with it. This week the section of the beach heading south from parking lot 6 was reopened. While most of the beach remains closed, that small piece was enough to entice me to head out for a low tide beach walk.

The closed signs have been moved from the edge of the refuge to the beach entrance from parking lot 6.

closed signs, at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

There were many birds sharing the beach with humans. I saw gulls sitting still, walking, flying, and I saw sanderlings skittering across the wet sand close to the water.

It felt wonderful to walk on the beach; many thanks to the birds for sharing their space with me!

dunes and ocean, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

low tide, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

More photos from yesterday's walk can be seen in the gallery Parker River, and... 2018 starting with this photo and ending here.