Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, July 30, 2021


The sand is undisturbed, smoothed by ocean waters.

beach at low tide, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

on the beach

The entire beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge closes each year on April 1st for the piping plover nesting season. It reopens when the birds are finished it, with the tips of the beach often opening before the bulk of the beach. On Monday I received an email from the refuge saying that the beach south of parking lot 6 was open.

Yesterday I walked the beach at Parker River for the first time since early March.

It's still greenhead fly season so I wore long pants and a long-sleeved shirt plus I was covered with bug spray (which admittedly doesn't work againt greenheads). Perhaps the wind kept them away.

The walk felt wonderful!

low tide, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

If I remember correctly the full beach opened last year just before Labor Day. I'm happy to have the small piece that opened this week for now.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

goldfish on a wall

Yesterday afternoon I headed to Salem to visit the murals. While most are in a three block radius in the neighborhood known as "El Punto", there are also some in other places.

These goldfish live on the edge of the neighborhood.

goldfish mural

To see more murals captured during yesterday's walk in Salem, click to the gallery murals in Salem :: 2021.

Monday, July 26, 2021


A single coneflower decorates the garden with a splash of pink.


Sunday, July 25, 2021

a ship in the distance

A ship exiting the Piscataqua River is seen from the shore at Odiorne Point State Park.

a ship in the distance

Saturday, July 24, 2021

in an alley

Thursday was a walking in Portsmouth, NH day.

A walk down an alley uncovered a set of murals created by Brian René Bergeron. The black & white paintings show the subtle beauty of the coast.

murals in Portsmouth, NH, created by Brian René Bergeron

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

patterns of green

Grasses and cattails form patterns of green. Wildflowers embedded with the cattails provide a small pop of pink.


Tuesday, July 20, 2021


Cosmos plants have a delicate flower; they wear a gentle beauty.

cosmos flower

Sunday, July 18, 2021


An open bellflower in purple provides a pop of color in Maudslay State Park.


Saturday, July 17, 2021

a mushroom walk

Today's walk in Maudslay State Park gifted me with memories of my mother.

I remember her looking for big mushrooms or fungus, placing the cap on a piece of paper and waiting for the spores to fall onto the paper. The resulting patterns were always interesting.

This morning I walked with my eyes scanning the ground around me, looking for interesting mushrooms.



Thursday, July 15, 2021

dahlia delight

I was hoping for a bit of dry weather on Tuesday; that wasn't to be.

I visited Fuller Gardens in early June when the roses were in prime condition. Dahlias were planted in their long narrow home next to the greenhouse but the beautiful blooms had not yet emerged.

On Tuesday I returned to visit the dahlias.

dahlia wearing pink

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

a butterfly visit

This afternoon I had the opportunity to visit with a butterfly.

This beautiful creature was enjoying echinacea along the rail trail in Newburyport.

monarch butterfly on echinacea

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

by the sea

The forecast for today called for a chance of showers. I felt a need for color and a need for a walk by the sea so I headed to the New Hampshire coast.

It was dry when I left home.

I drove through a few patches of rain.

My walk in the garden was accompanied by light rain but it eased off as I prepared to depart. I decided to risk a beach walk and headed to Jenness State Beach, arriving during a fairly dry stretch of weather. My walk was shorter than I planned; when the rain switched to a steady, heavier rain I turned back.

Even a short walk along the sea is a good walk.

at Jenness State Beach

Monday, July 12, 2021


Rain continues to fall, turning this into a very wet July.

More than 4 inches fell between July 1st and 3rd. That was followed by another 2.5 inches last Friday as the remnants of tropical storm Elsa moved through the area. Today? So far more than 1 inch has fallen.

I headed out for a walk earlier in the afternoon when the rain stopped for a bit. By the time I returned home the rain had started falling again.

two trees surrounded by standing water

Friday, July 09, 2021


What an odd name for a flower! When I went to identify this flower the name that popped up was sneezeweed.

"It is commonly known as 'Sneezeweed' due to the ancient use of its dried leaves in making snuff, inhaled to help sneezing and rid the body of evil spirits."



Thursday, July 08, 2021


I'm always delighted to see poppies in a garden.

The petals are delicate, the colors bright.


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

late afternoon light

After a bit of rain the sky cleared, showing bright blue decorated by a few white clouds.

It was a good time to walk across the Plum Island Bridge.

looking south over Plum Island

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

summer flowers

Early yesterday I headed to Portsmouth, NH to satisfy my need for flowers and color.

I started by visiting the flowers in the community garden at Strawbery Banke and then moved on to the gardens at Prescott Park. A good variety of flowers in bloom created a feast for the eyes.


Monday, July 05, 2021

back to the refuge

The visitor center at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge opened this past weekend for the first time in 16 months. My last volunteer shift (before yesterday) was back in February of 2020, right before Covid-19 crashed into the world. It feels good to be back.

After I finished my shift I headed into the refuge for a walk. The Hellcat trail was a good destination; the cool air and light wind kept the bugs away. Unfortunately that wasn't the case when I stopped to walk along the road on the inland side of the refuge - the greenhead flies are moving in!

looking to the ocean from Hellcat trail, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Sunday, July 04, 2021

cool & wet

What a crazy week of weather!

It went from multiple days of hot and humid with temperatures reaching the high 90s and a heat index of 100 or higher to multiple days of cool and wet. A report on the National Weather Service website shows that the town where I live had more than 4 inches of rain over the past 3 days.

I managed to walk on all but one day, choosing early morning on the hot days and in between rain storms on the cool days.

On this morning's almost dry walk this rabbit agreed to pose for me. I think he was watching to make sure I didn't move any closer to him.


Wednesday, June 30, 2021


This sign caught my eye as I was walking yesterday.

I think it's a reminder to let my imagination fly.

a sign, imagine

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

cooling thoughts

As the latest heat wave continues in both the northeast and the northwest I am thinking and dreaming of cooler days.

Here's a photo taken in Portsmouth, NH just a week ago on a cooler day. The sky was decorated by a pattern of clouds.

boats in Portsmouth, NH

Monday, June 28, 2021

fading iris

The color of these Japanese iris has faded a bit from their initial bloom. Even with the change the flowers continue to paint a corner of the garden in shades of purple.

Japanese iris

Sunday, June 27, 2021

in the distance

The Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse - located on the edge of New Castle Island - can be seen in the distance.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, New Castle Island, NH

Saturday, June 26, 2021

speedwell spikes

Veronica spicata decorates the garden with spikes of purple flowers.

This plant is also known by the common name speedwell.

veronica spicata / speedwell

Friday, June 25, 2021


Garlic scapes create interesting patterns in the garden.

garlic scapes

Thursday, June 24, 2021


The grass along the coast in Odiorne Point State Park is wearing an amazing shade of green.

Odiorne Point State Park

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

magic light

I headed to Portsmouth, NH yesterday morning to visit the gardens in and around Prescott Park.

I'm glad I broke away from the flowers long enough to walk across the bridge to Peirce Island. The light shining on the Piscataqua River was amazing.

looking across the Piscataqua River, Portsmouth, NH

Monday, June 21, 2021

sand sculptures

The 21st annual Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic was held last week. The sculptors prepared their sites on Wednesday, sculpting their creations on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I visited twice, on Friday afternoon to see the sculptures in progress, and early Sunday morning to see the finished sculptures.

My favorite is titled "Miss You, My Friend". It was created by Justin Gordon of Groveland, MA.

Miss You, My Friend

More photos of the sand sculptures can be seen in the gallery sand sculptures :: Hampton Beach 2021.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

hosta flowers

Delicate flowers rise above the leaves of a hosta.

hosta flowers

Thursday, June 17, 2021


The inside of the tubular flowers of foxglove wear interesting patterns.


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

a pop of pink

Wild roses bring a pop of pink to the coast.

wild roses, Odiorne Point State Park

Monday, June 14, 2021

on the beach

Late afternoon is a wonderful time of day for a quiet walk on the beach.

Yesterday I visited Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA with a friend. The entry point to the beach was crowded with humans of all sizes but as we walked to the south we shared the beach mainly with the birds.

Crane Beach, Ipswich, MA

Sunday, June 13, 2021

a single rose

As I drove up the New Hampshire coast on Friday I made a quick decision to visit the roses at Fuller Gardens. The rose gardens were a sea of color, simply amazing.

I plan to return later in the season to visit the dahlias.

a rose at Fuller Gardens

If you'd like to see more flowers, click to the gallery Fuller Gardens :: 2021.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

clouds on the coast

Yesterday was cool and cloudy, perfect conditions for a walk along the coast.

coastal view, Odiorne Point State Park

Friday, June 11, 2021

late blooms

It is late enough in the blooming season that most of the azalea and rhododendron in Maudslay State Park have already dropped their flowers. When I walked there yesterday afternoon I saw only a few that continued to decorate the landscape in shades of pink.



Thursday, June 10, 2021

morning light

A bearded iris glows in early morning light.

bearded iris

Wednesday, June 09, 2021

mountain laurel

I'm fascinated by the delicate flowers of the mountain laurel.

I don't remember seeing these flowers until a couple of years ago. This year I've seen them in quite a few locations near home.

mountain laurel

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

continued heat

A heat advisory for this area continued into today; it is expected to stay in place until 8 pm.

I'm happy to have a cool place to be when the temperature is this high but I also feel a need to be outside. While my exercise walks have been slotted into the somewhat cooler early morning hours, I have still managed to return home dripping in sweat.

This afternoon I decided to ignore the very warm temperature, taking a short, slow walk in Harold Parker State Forest. As I walked I started to hear thunder. Rain began to fall just as I reached my car. The rain stopped quickly; perhaps it will return.

trees reflecting in Field Pond, Harold Parker State Forest

Sunday, June 06, 2021

peonies in pink

An early morning walk in the garden showed a space decorated by peonies in pink.


Saturday, June 05, 2021

sculpture & flowers

Bedrock Gardens in Lee, NH is a delightful place to visit.

I headed there last Thursday for a wander among the sculpture and the flowers. It's always fun to discover changes and to see favorite sights from previous visits.

sculpture at Bedrock Gardens

More photos can be seen in the gallery Bedrock Gardens :: 2021

Friday, June 04, 2021


Most of the rhododendron I've seen in bloom this year have been wearing shades of pink and light violet.

A visit to Long Hill this morning showed me some in a wonderful shade of purple.


Tuesday, June 01, 2021

in the woods

Harold Parker State Forest was a good place for an afternoon wander. The predominant color was green but as always I was constantly looking for color.

Pink lady's slippers were hiding in plain sight along the trails, and I found a single yellow iris standing next to Collins Pond.

Seeing these beautiful flowers brought memories of my mother. She was an artist who taught me (and my siblings) how to see.

reflections of green leaves, Harold Parker State Forest

lady's slipper, Harold Parker State Forest

iris, Harold Parker State Forest

Monday, May 31, 2021


Tiny flowers in pink decorate the garden.


Sunday, May 30, 2021

garden flowers

Friday morning was a good time for a visit to the gardens of Portsmouth, NH. I arrived before early holiday weekend traffic started clogging the highway, returning home happy and stress-free.

It's still early in the growing season. There were empty beds but there were flowers too.

bearded iris

If you're interested in seeing more early flowers you can find them by clicking to the gallery gardens of Portsmouth :: 2021.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

color in the woods

Walking in Maudslay State Park today provided a feast of color. While some of the azalea are fading, rhododendron continues in full bloom.

azalea & rhododendron at Maudslay State Park