Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, February 28, 2021

a tree

Bare branches of a tree expose a complex structure.

bare branches of a tree in winter

Thursday, February 25, 2021

simple beauty

As the tide recedes it leaves shells decorating smooth sand.

shells on the beach

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

snow on dunes

While the ocean has swept the snow from the beach, it persists on the dunes. I suspect that with a few more days with the temperature above freezing the snow will disappear.

snow on the dunes in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

looking inland, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, February 23, 2021


Ripples form in the sand as the tide recedes.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Monday, February 22, 2021

afternoon walk

The forecast for this afternoon called for a bit of wet but since the precipitation hadn't started falling yet a friend and I opted to head to (what we call) the critter walk, hoping to visit with the animals. We were very lucky; while there were some sprinkles, the steady rain held off until we completed our walk.

This walk in Topsfield, MA is a favorite, one we discovered last spring. I hadn't walked there in several weeks since the road along one edge of the loop hadn't been plowed very wide. Today we walked 3/4 of the loop then retraced our steps to return, avoiding the narrow section of road.

There were animals out in the fields, most too far in the back to hold a conversation with us.

These horses were happy to chat, emerging from their barn as we walked past. It's funny, two of the three horses were wearing coats but the third was not. I wonder how their keepers decide who needs a coat; do you think the horses request one?


Sunday, February 21, 2021

blue & white

The ground remains covered by a layer of snow.

The white of the snow pops under a clear blue sky.

white snow, blue sky

Thursday, February 18, 2021

in motion

Butterflies at rest are much easier to capture in a photo than those that are in a state of constant motion.

Perhaps you can sense movement in these two beautiful creatures.

tree nymph and cairns birdwing butterflies in motion

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

sign of the season

Winter is still very much with us. Today is clear and cold; tomorrow's forecast includes snow.

snowman made of hay bales

a snowman stands at Ciesluk Farmstand in Deerfield, MA

Monday, February 15, 2021


I thought he was sleeping on his perch but I was wrong. He had one eye open, watching to make sure strange humans - visitors as opposed to the humans who supply his food - didn't come too close.

What a beautiful bird!

parrot, at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory

Sunday, February 14, 2021

butterflies on my mind

While snow continues to cover the ground, my desire to stand among butterflies has been growing. I watched the forecast for a couple of weeks, looking for a day without snow and ice with a target of driving west in the state to visit the butterflies at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory. This past Thursday turned out to be a perfect day for a drive and a visit.

The drive from home is about an hour and 45 minutes, starting on highways then switching to 2-lane roads. Arrival at the butterfly conservatory was just before 11 AM; my friend and I easily fell within the 50-guest limit for entry. We didn't need to wait any longer to satisfy our need for butterflies!

It was a sunny day. The butterflies reacted by flitting about, sometimes lighting on a food source, sometimes walking on people. I wore a sleeveless shirt once I entered the warmth of the conservatory so at times I had the experience of feeling butterflies walking on my skin.

Butterflies are delightful!

Antiochus longwing butterfly perched on a flower

If you'd like to see more butterflies click to the gallery flitter, flutter, butterfly :: 2021.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

sticky toes

I'm fascinated by a gecko's ability to scale vertical surfaces using their sticky toes.

gecko climbing

This agile creature lives at the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory.

Thursday, February 11, 2021


A visit to the Magic Wings Butterfly conservatory today satisfied my need for bright colors.


Keep an eye out for butterflies in this space, coming soon...

Wednesday, February 10, 2021


The road is dry but narrow.

As the snow fell, plows followed, clearing to the pavement. Most roads have a usable width that is much narrower than usual. Some are good for walking, some aren't.

The road below is a section of Harold Parker Road, cleared barely 2 lanes wide.

Harold Parker Road, Andover, MA

Tuesday, February 09, 2021

taste treat

I can't tell you what made me buy my first loaf of bread from When Pigs Fly many years ago but I know what keeps me going back - taste! Oh, and I love the company name.

While a small selection of their bread is available at my local Whole Foods, many more options are available at When Pigs Fly stores. My first visit was to the main location in Kittery. More recently - because of covid restrictions - I visited the smaller store closer to home in Newburyport. I'm enjoying trying different varieties of their bread.

My favorite "regular" bread is the Six Grain & Pumpkin Seed, with Multi-Grain Anadama coming just behind it. There are also breads containing nuts and fruit that I love topped with peanut butter. My current favorites of this type are Maple Walnut Banana and Wild Blueberry Granola w/ 8 Grains. These are old-world, artisan breads as opposed to quick breads, perfect for toasting.

Bread is comfort food.

When Pigs Fly logo

Sunday, February 07, 2021


A beach smoothed by the tide creates a peaceful place for walking and dreaming.

beach, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, February 06, 2021

happy ducks

As I was walking along the Merrimack River in Newburyport this afternoon I stopped to watch these happy ducks.

There were ducks feeding, ducks resting, gaggles of geese paddling and flying, and two mute swans paddling in the river. It was a good day for watching birds.


Thursday, February 04, 2021

ocean cleared

Yesterday's destination, the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, was chosen as a good place to walk after the snowstorm earlier in the week. The tides of the ocean cleared the beach of snow, leaving a good surface for walking.

I usually prefer to walk the beach as the tide is flowing out. My timing was off yesterday - I arrived about an hour after low tide. That meant I needed to pay attention to the ocean; amazingly my attempt to keep my feet dry was successful.

beach as the tide was flowing in, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

inland ice

I headed east this morning with the intent of walking on the beach at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

As I drove, moving closer to the ocean as the miles passed, I noticed the snow depth decreasing.

The beach and dunes in the refuge were free of snow but when I arrived about an hour after low tide there were still chunks of ice visible on the inland side of Plum Island.

inland view, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Tuesday, February 02, 2021


The edge of heavy snowfall from yesterday's storm sits not too far from home. Reports show 18 inches on the ground here, but Boston and other places along the coast received very little of the white stuff. It appears that Boston's Logan Airport received only 1.2 inches!

While local roads are still in a cleanup phase, neighborhood streets were clear enough to support a good walk this morning. It was good to get outside.

a small building in the snow