Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, December 31, 2018


Smooth ice is interspersed with rapidly flowing water on the Royal River in Yarmouth, Maine. It's winter!

winter on the Royal River

Sunday, December 30, 2018

in the harbor

A walk along the Eastern Promenade in Portland provided a view of a ship sitting in the harbor. It created a splash of bright color to contrast with the blue of sea and sky.

a ship in Portland Harbor

Saturday, December 29, 2018

wrack line

Walking the beach as the time of high tide drew closer allowed a glimpse at the wrack line, the line of debris left on the beach by high tide.

wrack line

Friday, December 28, 2018

still waters

The waters of the Merrimack River wore a smooth surface at high tide yesterday afternoon.

I'm always happy to walk to the center of the bridge to Plum Island to catch a view like this one.

Merrimack River at high tide, from the bridge to Plum Island

Thursday, December 27, 2018

to Parker River

As I drove past the entry station at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this afternoon a sign caught my eye.

Where public access to refuge lands does not require the presence of a federal employee or contractor, activities on refuge lands will be allowed to continue on the same terms as before the appropriations lapse. Any entry onto Refuge System property during this period of federal government shutdown is at the visitor's sole risk.

While I would have been happy to trespass by walking in on the beach if the gates had been closed, I'm glad the entry was not blocked.

It was an hour before high tide when I arrived in the refuge. My preference is to walk the beach as the tide is going out since it leaves a wonderfully smooth walking surface, but sometimes the timing of my visit doesn't coincide with outbound tides. Today it was a bit of a challenge to keep my feet dry - and with the temperature in the low 30s, that was important! I walked close to the water's edge, keeping an eye on the inbound waves, moving quickly when the water intruded.

I feel a sense of peace as I walk by the ocean.

looking across the beach, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

a window

A walk along a canal in Lawrence just north of the Merrimack River this afternoon left me standing across from Pemberton Mill, a replacement for the building with the same name that collapsed in 1860.

I was fascinated by the curves in the windows. I wonder when the metal grills over the glass were added to the structure; somehow I can't imagine that they were part of the original structure.

a window in Pemberton Mill, Lawrence, MA

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

icy reflections

With cool days and cold nights many of the ponds in the area wear a partial skin of ice.

icy reflection

Monday, December 24, 2018


As I wander through the photos from my visit to the butterfly conservatory ten days ago I have the feeling I will need a return visit before too long.

Delicate flowers thrive in the butterflies' home.

delicate flower

Sunday, December 23, 2018

a walk on the beach

It's always a good day for a walk on the beach!

Chill air and a bit of wind accompanied me as I enjoyed the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge early this afternoon, about an hour after high tide. I shared the sand with people and birds too.

beach, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Friday, December 21, 2018


The winter solstice today brings unseasonable weather, rain and warmth. Cold leading up to the (calendar) change of season contributed to ice starting to form on local ponds.

a skim of ice on a pond at Harold Parker State Forest

Thursday, December 20, 2018

top photos :: 2018

As the calendar fades to the end of the year it's time for me to wander through the photos that I've published in 2018 to find my favorites. It's always an interesting exercise.

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

looking north

looking north
on the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge


a splash of color

inland waters

inland waters
looking to Plum Island


a Rudbeckia hirta

quiet waters

quiet waters
on the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge


gloriosa daisy

fallen leaf

fallen leaf
on a wet autumn day

in the woods

in the woods
a fallen tree, a mushroom, and moss


showing the beauty of a chrysanthemum


flowers opening

a pop of red

a pop of red
berries in snow and wet


a malachite butterfly

These photos are collected into the gallery top photos :: 2018. 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.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

assembly required

I decided recently that it was time to look for (and purchase!) a new computer desk. The one I was using is over 20 years old; it was inexpensive at the time I purchased it and it now looks pretty worn.

I spent some time browsing sites online and decided to purchase a desk that I found on wayfair.

computer desk by OneSource

The top is glass and the legs are steel; once it was assembled it felt very sturdy.

I always wonder if I will be able to manage assembling items like this desk. This time, the answer was yes! The instructions were clear, and overall the assembly process was easy. The only issue I had was attaching the keyboard tray to the sliding supports. Everything except the tray was pre-drilled. Given that it was black, it was hard for me to see the tiny indentations where the screws needed to go. Once I saw them I was able to get the screws started before attaching it to the supports. Whew!

I like the simplicity of this desk.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


While my primary purpose of visiting the butterfly conservatory last week was to find color, I remain fascinated by the glasswing butterfly. Its transparent wings allow it to blend in with its surroundings, sometimes hiding in plain sight.

glasswing butterfly

Monday, December 17, 2018

across the river

The Merrimack River came into view as I walked the trails of Maudslay State Park on Saturday. It wore a (mostly) smooth surface, creating wonderful reflections.

looking across the Merrimack River

Sunday, December 16, 2018


The design on this butterfly's wings is stunning!

I couldn't convince it to come away from its very green perch; I'm happy that the wings are still visible.

butterfly wings, intricate design

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Maudslay afternoon

It was a warm December day, a beautiful day for a walk in the park. Today's walk in the woods destination was Maudslay State Park.

When I started out I felt like I had the park to myself. After a bit of walking I started to encounter people and dogs who had chosen to walk the loop in the opposite direction.

It was a beautiful day!

evergreen branch

Friday, December 14, 2018

seeking color & warmth

Hmm... where can I go on a December day when I'm looking for color and warmth?

This morning I headed west, aiming for the center of the state for a visit with butterflies. Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory was my destination. It's just over 90 miles from home, far enough away that I don't get there as often as I'd like.

It was quiet when I arrived; just a few visitors (plus staff) were wandering among the butterflies. I feel a sense of peace and wonder. I walked slowly through the conservatory, looking around, watching butterflies in flight, watching butterflies at rest.

I'm still going through my photos from today. For now I'll share one of my favorites, a portrait of a malachite butterfly in what seems to be a normal pose, hanging upside down.

malachite butterfly

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Days of cold temperatures have created frozen surfaces on lakes and ponds.

a frozen pond

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Simple shapes in bright red cascade across a faded landscape.


Monday, December 10, 2018

calm waters

I never know if a wander at Harold Parker State Forest will highlight reflections in one of the ponds or if the water will wear a choppy surface. Conditions change on the whim of the weather wizard. On a visit last week the waters were calm, reflecting both the trees and the sky.

reflections in a pond, Harold Parker State Forest

Sunday, December 09, 2018


The water and ice in the Merrimack River wear shades of blue enhancing the color of the almost clear sky.

looking across the Merrimack River to Plum Island

Saturday, December 08, 2018

chill air

The winter solstice has yet to come but the air today certainly felt like winter. The combination of temperature and wind was a good test for my layering skills. I managed to don the right layers to combat the chill air as I headed out for a walk this afternoon.

While the sky wore blue I continue to feel a strong desire for the bright hues of flowers. Today's color comes from a fallen bougainvillea blossom captured in the greenhouse at Lyman Estate two weeks ago.


Thursday, December 06, 2018


A vine twists around a branch wearing thorns, reaching for sunshine.

vines, twisting

Wednesday, December 05, 2018


Pops of red decorate the landscape as the winter solstice draws closer.

red, autumn color

Monday, December 03, 2018

December warmth

It was relatively warm today with temperatures reaching well into the 50s. The predicted high for the next few days is much more seasonable, 20 degrees colder.

It was a good day to watch the sky change, to see a blue background emerge and then fade again. It was a good day for outside wanders.

reflecting trees in a pond at Harold Parker State Forest

Saturday, December 01, 2018


The opening petals of a dahlia wear different shapes, from tightly curled to flat and open. As winter draws closer I look back to the flowers of late summer for a bit of color.