Denise Goldberg's blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

a flower dream

On a day when the air outside wore winter cold it was good to dream of flowers.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

across the river

Standing in Prescott Park (in Portsmouth, NH), I look across the Piscataqua River to see boats moored on Peirce Island.

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard sits on the other side of the river, in Kittery, Maine.

boats on the Piscataqua River

Sunday, January 27, 2019


With today's temperature predicted to reach into the low 40s I decided to head to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for a walk on the beach. Initially I planned to get there a bit before low tide this morning but I changed my plans when I woke up to find the air at a chilly 19 degrees.

My walk on the beach started about an hour after low tide, with plenty of firm sand for comfortable walking. I headed south to start, walking into an unpopulated section of beach. I saw a single flock of sanderlings at the water's edge early in my walk. Since they seem to chase food by running after a receding wave I suspect they are more present as the tide is flowing out.

Once I turned north to return to my starting point the wind was at my back. It picked up sand from the beach, erasing footprints from people and birds, returning the beach to a pristine state.

Can you see the wind?

a windy morning at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, January 26, 2019

melting ice

Warmth and drenching rain on Thursday cleared land and water of (most) snow and ice.

A few pieces of ice remain in the waters of the Piscataqua River, melting.

looking inland from Peirce Island, Portsmouth, NH

Friday, January 25, 2019

flower morning

Yesterday's warmth and heavy rain cleared the snow, leaving us a landscape without much color. Since I need a dose of bright color on a regular basis I headed to the greenhouses of Lyman Estate to visit some flowers.

While this is not a prime blooming season in the greenhouse, there were some bright flowers scattered among the greenery.

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Today's forecast called for a wet and warm day.

When I saw that the early morning temperature was 56 degrees I knew that I wouldn't let the wet stop me from getting a long walk under my feet. The rain was light when I headed out, moving from light to heavy and back again, leaving me with a pair of very wet running shoes. No problem, I stuffed them with newspaper before heading out again.

Rain was steady when I arrived at the New Hampshire coast. It was about an hour before high tide with wild waves crashing against the shore. I stopped in several places to walk, to attempt to capture the stormy beauty with my camera. As the rain intensified the wind increased, blowing the water sideways.

Experiencing the power of the weather along the coast was wonderful.

one hour before high tide, New Hampshire coast

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


As the end of January approaches I realize that we're just one short month into winter.

While I still walk outside every day my wandering with a camera has been a bit curtailed. Today I headed to Harold Parker State Forest for a short walk from my usual parking spot between Field Pond and Collins Pond. Unfortunately when I arrived I discovered a parking area still covered in snow. Hmm... nope, I didn't feel a need to get stuck!

Sometimes a bit of inside quiet time is good. This winter I've discovered the world of edX. It's a non-profit, massive open online course provider, partnering with the world’s leading universities to offer online university classes. This month I started taking a class titled "The Science of Laughter", presented by the University of California, Berkeley. The class started on January 7th; since I am taking the free version of the class it has a hard finish date of March 5th. That's probably good for me since it keeps me focused on continuing to work through the class lectures and reading.

Tomorrow is forecast to be non-January warm and very wet. I wonder, will it be a wander in the rain day?

January 1st @ Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Sunday, January 20, 2019


With the temperature hovering at 14 degrees I set out for a walk. I walked in big circles, keeping a brisk pace, watching the pavement and hoping I didn't slide on some unseen ice.

The National Weather Service showed the conditions as freezing fog and unknown precipitation when I left home. I could hear and feel bits of something hitting me as I walked, some sort of frozen precipitation - not snow, not rain or hail, just tiny frozen droplets.

As I walked, I looked into the trees and saw large flock of robins, feathers fluffed for warmth. They moved as I approached, flying into the next tree and then back again.

Saturday, January 19, 2019


The weather wizard predicts that it will look like winter outside tomorrow. We are supposed to have snow overnight followed by freezing rain tomorrow and very cold temperatures on Monday.

It sounds like tomorrow may very well be an "stay inside" day. I hope not, but wandering outside will depend on how slippery the ground appears to be. Just in case, I managed long exercise walks yesterday (7 miles) and today (6.5 miles). Perhaps a rest day tomorrow is warranted!

As I wait for white, I leave you with a bit of greenhouse color.

flower, Lyman Estate greenhouse

Thursday, January 17, 2019


One large sea gull stood on the beach as I started my walk at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge yesterday. It stood, it walked a bit, then it flew off leaving me on the beach without any bird companions.

I walked a bit further before encountering a large flock of sanderlings. These small birds have always fascinated me as they run down the beach, running in one direction then changing direction as a group. Do some of their chirps signal direction changes? I'd love to know how they communicate with each other.

sanderlings on the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

outbound tide

With a projected high temperature in the mid to upper-30s an afternoon walk on the beach sounded good. Luckily I checked the tide charts early, changing my beach plans to late morning to coincide with the outbound tide. Today's destination was the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

The sky was clear this morning but as I neared the coast a layer of clouds appeared. As I walked south, there were layers of gray. When I turned back the sky started to wear blue again.

I love walking on the hard sand left by the receding tide, the sound of the ocean creating music and a sense of calm.

on the beach, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Maudslay morning

As the temperature slowly edged towards the freezing mark I headed to Maudslay State Park for a walk in the woods. The trails show signs of muddy conditions from days ago, frozen now into an uneven surface containing footprints and ruts from mountain bikes. Luckily the grassy surface to the side of the trail was smooth.

I heard creaking and cracking noises as ice settled on streams and ponds, and the Merrimack River showed a mix of open water and ice. In spite of the lack of snow, winter has made its mark.

looking across the Merrimack River

Monday, January 14, 2019

to dream

The mural "You can't untangle my roots", created by Angela Gonzalez, can be used as a trigger for dreaming.

It features a person, a head filled with dreams of beautiful places, roots leading down her back expressing a desire to hold onto those dreams.

You can't untangle my roots, by Angela Gonzalez

Saturday, January 12, 2019

cake first!

After venturing down an alley in Salem I found this small mural next to the back door of a building. Usually exercise comes first for me but this mural's saying brings a smile to my face: "Life's short, cake first!".

Maybe my priorities should change.

Life's short, cake first! by Meg Zany

Friday, January 11, 2019

on the wall

Brr! It was a cold day today, a day when it would have been easy to stay inside, to curl up with a book. Knowing that it was the start of several days of temperatures forecast to stay in the 20s, I dressed for the cold and headed to Salem.

My destination was a neighborhood called The Point, the home of the Punto Urban Art Museum. The project is led by the North Shore CDC with the following goal stated on the website.

The Museum was created to break down the invisible, but undeniable socio-economic barrier between the Point Neighborhood and the rest of Salem and the North Shore. Through stunning, world class art, we want children in the Point neighborhood to grow up with pride, and we want the rest of the community to have a reason to visit and discover the welcoming community that we know and love.

I love walking through the neighborhood, peeking between buildings, wandering through alleys to find murals in many shapes and sizes. Some were easy to capture with my camera, some were very difficult. I plan to visit many times to try again!

mural: The Queen of the Block, by Mr Cenz

More photos of the murals can be seen in the gallery murals in Salem :: 2019.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

blue and white

The sky wore decorations in the form of pure white clouds. Blue and white shaped reflections on the still unfrozen surface of a pond.

clouds and reflections, Field Pond

Wednesday, January 09, 2019


The curved petals of an orchid reach towards the curved lines of a leaf.


Tuesday, January 08, 2019


A reflected image of the sun forms a star in the waters of Field Pond.

sun star in Field Pond, Harold Parker State Forest

Monday, January 07, 2019


It was a cold winter day, with an early morning temperature of 18 degrees. Brr!

Some of the ponds in Harold Parker State Forest still show areas of open water; others are fully frozen. The icy surface of Stearns Pond reflects the blue of today's clear sky.

a frozen Stearns Pond in Harold Parker State Forest

Saturday, January 05, 2019


Tiny flowers in pink adorn the branches of a tea tree. It's a plant in the myrtle family native to Australia and New Zealand, living here in the northeast inside a greenhouse.

tea tree blossom

Friday, January 04, 2019

a soup day

Today was a sunny warmish winter day; it felt like a good day for soup.

I looked for a recipe for tomato rice soup, starting with cookbooks and then moving on to the web. I found a one that looked interesting on the Tori Avey's site.

The first step in creating tonight's tomato rice soup was to saute chopped onions, carrots, and celery, followed by throwing the tender vegetables into a blender with some tomatoes. This was the start of a smooth base for the soup. That's a step I never would have guessed!

The recipe called for either chopped fresh tomatoes or for canned tomatoes. I moved away from canned tomatoes a long time ago, using Pomi chopped tomatoes instead. Instead of the 3 14-ounce cans called for by the recipe, I used 2 26-ounce boxes. That worked!

Pomi Chopped Tomatoes

I've just started wandering through some of the other recipes on the site. I plan to continue to try recipes from there. It feels like a good time to experiment with food!

If you're interested in trying this tomato rice soup, click to the recipe.

Tomato Rice Soup
photo courtesy of Tori Avey

Thursday, January 03, 2019


Today was a beautiful "not January" day. Temperatures in the mid-40s made it feel like the season couldn't possibly be winter. That's not a complaint; it was a wonderful day to be outside.

After my outside time I headed to the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate for a taste of color. While this doesn't appear to be the prime blooming season for many of the plants in the greenhouse there were enough flowers in bloom to satisfy my need for color.

flowers in pink

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

crazy windy

As I walked the beach in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge late this morning the wind grabbed my hat and threw it into the ocean. The ocean kindly returned it to me on the next inbound wave. It was crazy windy out there!

Luckily the temperature was warm for January since the wind was howling with a low wind speed of close to 30 miles per hour. Sand was swirling, hitting exposed skin. Walking to the south was easy while walking to the north was a bit of a challenge.

It was a good day for a walk by the sea.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge