Denise Goldberg's blog

Thursday, December 30, 2021

by the sea

Even though we've had little snow so far this season, the small amount that fell a few days back remains visible on the beach.

I love the play of light in the clouds and along the edges of the ocean. Late afternoon light can feel like pure magic.

looking at the ocean from the north end of Plum Island

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

afternoon light

I headed to Plum Island for a walk this afternoon.

I thought about walking at Parker River but my tide timing convinced me to head to the north end of the island. The beach at Parker River is very narrow at high tide and the tide was rolling in.

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

at the north end of Plum Island

Sunday, December 26, 2021

top photos :: 2021

It's that time of year, the time when I wander through the photos that I've published during 2021 to find my favorites. It's always an interesting exercise, one that takes time and changes day-to-day until I have made my final choices.

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


wearing pink

monarch butterfly

monarch butterfly


in pink

a shell

a shell
exposed by the receding tide


in bright yellow

early autumn

early autumn
a touch of red

a single dahlia

a single dahlia
standing tall


in shades of orange

smooth sand & flowing water

smooth sand & flowing water
at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

quiet beaty

quiet beauty
looking north along the NH coast

high tide

high tide
in a coastal river

These photos are collected into the gallery top photos :: 2021. 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.

Friday, December 24, 2021


Water on the inland side of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is framed by cattails and tall grasses.

along the Hellcat trail, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

along the Hellcat trail

Thursday, December 23, 2021

color on a wall

A mural in Salem pops with color, showing the setting sun over water.

mural in Salem, MA

Wednesday, December 22, 2021


Sand dunes sometimes provide a home for trees.

These are visible from the trail that starts at parking lot 5 in the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

trees, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Monday, December 20, 2021

across the dunes

The parking lot 5 overlook at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuges provides a glimpse of the ocean across the dunes.

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Saturday, December 18, 2021


Sand covers some of the steps at the end of the boardwalk to the lot 5 overlook at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

Walking up was easy. Coming back down required a bit of care.

parking lot 5 overlook, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Friday, December 17, 2021


An image of a raccoon wearing a mask is a sure sign of the times.

a raccoon, masked

hanging on a building, Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Thursday, December 16, 2021

an interpretation

During the summer, the Punto Urban Art Museum issued a call for art to be placed on a wall surrounding a power station in The Point neighborhood of Salem. This wall is assigned a theme and painted in the fall of the year. This year's request was for artists to submit ideas that would:

use their creativity, communication and advocacy to develop an interpretation of "The American Dream."

My favorite of this new set of murals was created by Emily Kwong.

mural by Emily Kwong

For the artist's story, click to read Salem Murals Tell Immigrant Stories Of 'American Dream'.

To see more photos from my walk through the murals in Salem, click here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

afternoon light

Sharply angled light on a winter afternoon creates reflections in a pond.

reflections of trees, Harold Parker State Forest

Monday, December 13, 2021

in the woods

An afternoon walk, a tree wearing woodpecker-driven holes, fallen leaves, evergreens...

a tree, fallen leaves, and evergreens

Sunday, December 12, 2021

by the river

It was late on a cloudy afternoon as I walked along the Merrimack River at the northern tip of Plum Island.

Merrimack River, Plum Island

Thursday, December 09, 2021

tiny flowers

A quick visit to the greenhouses of the Lyman Estate allowed me to enjoy some out of season color.

These tiny oxalis flowers show as a pop of yellow against pink and green leaves.


Wednesday, December 08, 2021

high water

In some places the Ipswich River in Topsfield is out of its banks.

In other places it appears as normal, creating reflections of sky and trees.

trees reflecting in the Ipswich River

Tuesday, December 07, 2021


This is one of my favorite murals from our Saturday walk in East Boston - and we almost missed it!.

As we followed a map this beautiful creation was to our backs. Luckily the mural map included addresses; when we realized we had missed one we retraced our steps.

I'm very glad that we did.

Heart of the Ocean by Filipe Ortiz

Heart of the Ocean, by Felipe Ortiz

Monday, December 06, 2021

sea walls

Saturday was a good day for a walk in Boston, using a mural map to direct a wandering path through East Boston. The air was a bit chilly but a quick walking pace and the right clothing layers kept us warm.

The murals were driven by the organization Sea Walls: Artists for Oceans. Information on the project is here.

Here is the statement of purpose from Sea Walls:

"We aim to ignite ownership for the sustainability of natural resources and to build community around the common cause of protecting the region’s ocean and coast for future generations."

A total of nineteen murals were created in 2020 and 2021. A mural map, here, provided a path to follow.

Espiritu Del Mar by Marka27

Espiritu Del Mar by Marka27

More photos can be seen in the gallery sea walls Boston :: 2021.

Sunday, December 05, 2021

north on Plum Island

Low tide was approaching as I walked the northern tip of Plum Island last Thursday afternoon. Ripples in the sand and reflections in pooled water caught my eye.

a view of the Merrimack River from the north end of Plum Island

More photos can be seen in the gallery north on Plum Island :: 2021. Click here to view.

Saturday, December 04, 2021

rising tides

Today's wandering destinatination was East Boston, to visit to the murals of Sea Walls Boston.

"Rising Tides" is a mural created by Sophy Tuttle. It shows possible sea level changes based on global temperatures. It highlights the Salt marsh sparrow, a bird in danger of extinction because of rising sea levels.

I'm amazed at the amount of detail in this large scale mural. The feathers are wonderful!

Rising Tides, by Sophy Tuttle

Friday, December 03, 2021

an afternoon on the coast

Yesterday's warmish temperatures convinced me to head to Plum Island for a mid-afternoon walk. I headed to the northern end of the island to walk by both the Merrimack River and the ocean.

While there were many footprints in the fenced path through the sand dunes I had the beach to myself.

trail through sand dunes, Plum Island

More photos are coming... I'll let you know when the gallery is published.

Thursday, December 02, 2021


While most brightly colored leaves have dropped from the trees, there are a few still hanging on.

This one, captured on a walk yesterday, provides a nice pop of red.

a leaf wearing red