Denise Goldberg's blog

Monday, December 30, 2019


The weather wizards correctly forecast a messy day for today, from rain and freezing rain to snow and sleet.

I walked this morning on a messy surface wearing waterproof winter walking shoes. When I arrived home my outside layers were dripping but I was warm and dry beneath the wet.


Sunday, December 29, 2019

blue hour

The sun was setting as I left the visitor center at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge this afternoon. The water was quiet, the light dimming.

blue hour, looking to Plum Island

Saturday, December 28, 2019


A splash of red is highlighted by sharp thorns.

I think this plant is sending a clear message of "look, don't touch"!

berries of winter

Friday, December 27, 2019

looking inland

A sheet of ice topped with a bit of water painted a reflection of the clouds above.

looking inland, from the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
looking inland, from the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

by the sea

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

I started down the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge about an hour after high tide. The tide was heading out but I found that I needed to pay attention to the waves; the air wasn't warm to risk wet feet.

ocean waves at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

top photos :: 2019

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 2019 to find my favorites. It's always an interesting exercise, one that takes time, one that changes day-to-day until I have made my final choices.

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

wild ocean

wild ocean
along the New Hampshire coast

a flower smile

a flower smile
orchids in bloom


a line of tulips


on Jordan Pond


an emerging calendula


sitting on leaves

color pops

color pops
opening flower


across the river

monarch feeding

monarch feeding
butterfly beauty

rocky coastline

rocky coastline
at the tip of the Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park


chrysanthemums in bloom

These photos are collected into the gallery top photos :: 2019. 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, then press the triangle-shaped button at the top.

Monday, December 23, 2019

lighter layers

Today was a gift from the weather wizard, a day with temperatures rising to the low 50s.

I thought about heading to a park for a walk in the woods but ruled that out after thinking about the melting snow, ice, and mud that I was likely to encounter. Instead I chose a long exercise walk, dressing in light layers for a 7-mile walk on pavement.

It was a good day for a long walk!

a definition

I saw a reference to an article titled The Patterns of High-Conflict People today.

The article was (to me) a good description of the current inhabitant of the White House, an individual who doesn't behave in a manner that fits with the office of president of the United States.

Does the introductory paragraph from the article drawn you in as it did me?

Did you ever meet someone who seemed pleasant enough, until one day they suddenly turned on you and started raging at you for some minor disagreement, blaming you for things you didn’t do, threatening you with public humiliation or demanding that you assist them in criticizing someone else? Such people are often considered to have “high-conflict personalities.”

I encourage you to read the article published on the Thrive-Global web site on February 6, 2018.

Click to The Patterns of High-Conflict People.

Sunday, December 22, 2019


The petals of this pink camellia show a tight pattern, looking like they are folded into a small amount of space.

camellia in pink

Saturday, December 21, 2019

a new apple

I saw an announcement about the impending release of a new apple earlier this year. I've been keeping an eye out for Cosmic Crisp apples; today I saw them for the first time.

Yes, of course I bought some!

The Cosmic Crisp web site opens with the following statement:

Imagine the Possibilities™
The Cosmic Crisp® is a classically bred apple grown in Washington State.

The Cosmic Crisp is a cross between Enterprise and Honeycrisp apples. I don't think I've ever tasted an Enterprise but Honeycrisp apples are on my list of favorites. I'm always up for trying new apples; this one was definitely worth a taste.

Both the flavor and the texture met my taste test - Cosmic Crisp is now on my "must buy" apple list!

Cosmic Crisp apples

Cosmic Crisp apples

Thursday, December 19, 2019

seeking color

I find that I need regular exposure to color. This time of year that often means seeking color in greenhouses. Yesterday I visited the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate to look for flowers in bloom; my need for color was satisfied.

flowers in a greenhouse

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

a little snow

Yesterday's snow was much less than predicted, somewhere between 1 & 2 inches of the white stuff. When I looked outside this morning I saw just a light coating on the bushes outside.

plants coated with a light layer of snow

In case you're wondering, this photo is color, not black & white! As you can see there wasn't much color showing this morning.

Monday, December 16, 2019

in the harbor

While the sky is gray, boats bring a splash of color to Rye Harbor.

boats in Rye Harbor

Saturday, December 14, 2019

a conversation

I was amazed that these seagulls didn't move when I popped out of my car. I had no intention of getting close but I thought the sound of the car door closing would cause a mass flight.

Hey seagulls, thank you for sharing your space!

seagulls by the NH coast

Friday, December 13, 2019


It was a good day for a quick wander in coastal New Hampshire.

boats in Rye Harbor
boats anchored in the calm waters of Rye Harbor

Wednesday, December 11, 2019


Fallen oak leaves are embedded in ice.

oak leaves on ice

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

water level

For the past several weeks I've been wondering why the level of the water in Field Pond was much lower than normal. As I walked today I met some folks who knew the answer. Apparently the state has started the process of repairing the nine dams and spillways in Harold Parker State Forest; the dam at Field Pond is currently under construction.

The dams were constructed 100 years ago to create man-made ponds.

While I prefer to see the ponds filled with water I have to admit the lower water level creates some interesting views. I walked today on land that is normally well below the water's surface.

Field Pond, Harold Parker State Forest

Sunday, December 08, 2019

speaking up

The subtitle of an article in Slate caught my eye today: One used to speak truth to power. Now, one speaks truth to nonsense.

I found the article "The Women Who Still Speak Up" to be very interesting. It features women who are standing up (and speaking up) to the craziness spawned by the current resident of the White House. Perhaps the introductory paragraph from the article will drawn you in as it did me.

Speak “truth to power”—this is how most people standing up to the constant disinformation and bullying of the Trump administration may have once reasonably described their task. Increasingly, though, that work is being honed and refined into something a bit more complicated: speaking truth to nonsense. It’s not so much holding up a mirror so that power can see what it’s become; it’s simply the job of creating a record, for history if nothing else, of what is actually happening.

I encourage you to read the article published in Slate on December 6, 2019.

Click to read The Women Who Still Speak Up.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

a camellia

It always feels good to reach back to flowers on a cold winter day. A camellia in pink (from my early November visit to the greenhouses at Smith College) celebrates the day with bright color.


Thursday, December 05, 2019

after snow

Cold air was replaced by almost warmth today as afternoon temperatures edged into the low 40s. Interesting clouds replaced the clear sky of the morning; it was a good time to walk in Harold Parker State Forest.

after snow, Harold Parker State Forest

Tuesday, December 03, 2019


Snow was still falling when I opened my eyes this morning, and light snow is still falling now.

I think we were lucky. I've seen snowfall total reports for the overall storm showing about 15 inches on the ground here; further west in the state there are places that received up to 24 inches.

berries on a tree, covered in snow

Monday, December 02, 2019


This morning I looked out to a sea of white, snow! It appears that winter is here to stay.

snow & trees

Sunday, December 01, 2019


No snow yet, but the forecast currently calls for between 8 and 14 inches of the white stuff between tonight and Tuesday with some ice accumulations thrown in to keep things interesting. Yikes!

While astronomical winter doesn't start for another three weeks, meteorological winter starts today. The temperature over the past days made it feel like winter, and the forecast for significant snow just adds to the feeling that the season is changing.

Meteorological Versus Astronomical Seasons

As I walked in Harold Parker State Forest this afternoon I found that the ponds have started to wear a skim coat of ice. It's not thick enough for walking but the open water is gone.

trees on Collins Pond, Harold Parker State Forest