Wonder what this is....it was washed ashore by the cubic yards. The individual white pencil-like objects resemble the spines of sea urchins, but I can't imagine the shedding of spines in such abundance...Guess I'll need to do some research! 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
The sun was so bright and the sky so clear, that these green leaves took on a neon and often yellow tone - even the water is impacted by the glow! We often take on characteristics of the environment, whether it be the spring in our steps with the change of 'renewal' season, the constricted feelings when in confined in cold, metal places for long periods of time, or even when influenced by other's moods - be it happy or sad.
Of course, nothing stays the same and this neon lime glow was replaced with dark skies and torrential rains which washed out our DEN Geocaching Day ... Ellenton, FL
Friday, May 29, 2009
Ripply reflections were just a few of the interesting visuals seen at a quick stop through the Everglades (check out the dragonfly/prey and dragonfly/lilypad). Cars were whizzing by on Alligator Alley - and I've been guilty of the same, but I've vowed to stop and see the unexpected beauty of the normally hypnotic (but 'boring') miles of sawgrass and sky. It's so nice to slow down and appreciate the world around us! Alligator Alley, between Naples and Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Today was the second of several upcoming days of inventory and packing...so I'm staring at an abundance of cardboard boxes! My focus wasn't good despite the macro setting, so high contrast manipulation to the rescue (still out of focus, but at least a bit more interesting)!
Patterns are fascinating - they are representative of the many routines and examples that we expect on a daily basis. In addition to the design factor in form and shape, patterns provide us with a blueprint of sorts...a formula for results. Patterns and routines can be hard to break - like traditions, they are considered sacred and are not often evaluated for their qualities. Guess that's why it is so difficult to initiate change! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
It's a good thing I shot a couple of sunrise pictures on the way to work this morning...not only 'enlightening' but also the only thing in the camera today! The hectic 'end of the year' chaos is rising to a crescendo, so the days are without focus and basically, escape me! Fortunately, this too will end!
The colors were magnificent this morning and my lens doesn't do justice to the glow emanating from the rosy salmon skies as the sun's rays filtered through. Interestingly, another photo in this same sequence of shots shows some UFO-type stripes - I have no idea what they are...anyone want to take a shot at it? 3rd Ave S & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Not much today - quick attempt to add to my 365 on a dog walk with only the iPhone. This tree is beautiful when in bloom and even a favorite of mine when not in color with its feathery green leaves and its strong smooth branches. More importantly, I like its shape - this photo doesn't show it well, but the royal poinciana is a canopy tree with an open and airy interlocking structure. It is not so dense that it is allowed to breathe, transferring the blue sky from above and yet filtering the harsh sunlight. It is a beautiful tree, but not for most home owners as it overtakes its designated space and works hard to become the dominant plant - still, it is hypnotizing when under other's care! Naples, FL
Monday, May 25, 2009
Walking the beach this morning, I listened to Louise Fresco's TED talk on feeding the world. She has many premises, one of which is the foundation of bread as the world's mainstay, another is the need to balance the agricultural needs of mass production with individual wholesome-ness, but the one that struck me was the simple interconnectivity of people around the world for basic sustenance.
Maize is another basic gift of sustenance. For me it is not only the sweet taste, texture, and even messy consumption of the cob - only after taking care to prepare them for the grill...a 'strip tease' of sorts with the peel of the husks revealing first the silks and then the smoothly aligned kernels of yellow, white or both. In addition to gracing our summer picnics, corn provides a favorite snack in popcorn, feed for livestock, and even a source for biofuel. It definitely competes for the 'staff of life' title! Naples, FL
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Almost stepped on this Ghost Crab as I was leaving the beach and he was scurrying about - it appears he dug his home in a major pedestrian pathway, so he better sell quickly and move elsewhere! Checking out those claws may give you a glimpse as to why crabby best describes one who is irritable, defensive, and grouchy - this little guy is only about 4 inches wide and you can sense the anger and irritation!
Because they are elusive and often difficult to photograph, this one got the daily photograph tags today. But it was a pretty good beach day with photos of pelicans, sea turtle nests, fisherpeople, and my favorite egret! The rewards of a fifteen-minute beach adventure are vast and never fail to amaze me! 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Some days all you need is the blue sky above...of course, a little sacred assist doesn't hurt! After a long week of dreary rain showers (much needed, but we prefer expected Florida sunny vistas!), we have a beautiful morning.
This is Memorial Day weekend - one of giving thanks to all who sacrificed their lives in military service. It is so difficult for most of us to appreciate the long-ranging impact of all those fallen soldiers, preferring to take our freedoms for granted - giving back to our communities in some form or fashion helps to close that circle of appreciation. Crayton Rd & Alamanda St, Naples, FL
Friday, May 22, 2009
Not your typical sunrise, but the raindrops and dark clouds don't erase the blue hole in the distance - a sign of hope and better things to come...Keeping positive thoughts and inspiration is difficult when surrounded by continual bad news and gloomy conditions. Fortunately, the 'half-full' attitude seems to ease the dilemma, but only when there's a 'reality' component. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Another dog picture this month...but this one is too full of expression to pass up and there wasn't much time to explore alternatives (in part dealing with this canine's issues). Looking into his eyes and seeing his posture, what do you think preceded this photograph? I'll give you a hint - it wasn't a behavior that would be described as 'precious' (despite the adorable pose here)! Any takers?
So, are you ever taken in by appearances? I'm certainly guilty of the 'halo effect' where I see the positive characteristics overall of an individual or concept even if there's only a single one. Somehow, seeing the aesthetic beauty translates easily to positive characteristics of behavior and temperament...even though there may not be a correlation. The same effect can take place with the negative. Ultimately, the ease of generalization is not uncommon...and perhaps quite natural, but not always accurate! Naples, FL
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
The change from the winter drought to our now daily rains reflect the oppositional two seasons in Southwest Florida. The nourishing moisture has certainly helped the royal poinciana trees show off their colors! Feeding our brains and celebrating 'our colors' - that's what it's all about! 3rd Ave N & 6th St, Naples, FL
Monday, May 18, 2009
Please indulge me in one more 'truism' from Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain...In racing, they say that your car goes where your eyes go. The driver who cannot tear his eyes away from the wall as he spins out of control will meet that wall; the driver who looks down the track as he feels his tires break free will regain control of his vehicle.
I actually enjoy days like this with stormy clouds brewing overhead, white caps stirring up the calm Gulf, and even the torrential rains that make the roads impassable. But I appreciate it for the variety as much as anything else - I still value my sunshine and blue skies! I 'weather the storm' (pardon the pun) by keeping my eye on the prize! Despite the cliches, it is easy to lose sight of our goals and difficult to 'look down the track'. Setting aside checkpoints for reassessment can be helpful, as can conversation with others ... even if (or better if) they are dogs! :) BTW, in case you didn't pick up my 'subtle' recommendation for a good read, try The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Such a simple concept, yet so true: that which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves. ~ as noted by Enzo in Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain.
As with most simple notions, there is a deeper complexity that tends to intrude upon the original design. The accountability of something 'gone wrong' nor the accomplishment of a good deed is rarely singular, but the result of many influences. The purpose of these old fishing shacks has been 'modernized' to meet our tourism economy - the tin roofs mocked in the development's name, Tin City. With such a narrow focus though, our area suffers when reliability on that sole industry is impacted by global issues. Thus, like the paradox of this old shack architecture with the gaudy, twinkling lights, there is a similarity to the destiny creators and the influences from afar - Is anything really as 'simple' as it seems? Tin City, Naples, FL
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Many of us have convinced ourselves that compromise is necessary to achieve our goals, that all of our goals are not attainable so we should eliminate the extraneous, prioritize our desires, and accept less than the moon. ~ Garth Stein in The Art of Racing in the Rain
Imagine the possibilities if collectively we could all truly focus on our goals and help others do the same. This is the time of year when many walk across the stage in cap and gown to document and celebrate their accomplishments. Though the rituals are cherished, we could move forward, in both linear and curved paths, with incremental intrinsic rewards of goal attainment if we recognized the value. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, FL
Friday, May 15, 2009
Stormy skies up ahead! Our summer rainy season has apparently kicked in as the last couple of afternoons have had dark clouds that open up and dump buckets of water with accompanying thunder and lightning. The monsoon-like weather provides much needed drenching for our parched conditions and cools down the temperatures in the evening, but it also negatively impacts outdoor activities! The layers of clouds shine an interesting beauty, but you best be under cover when they pass over! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Some days you just need a little sunshine...and this pink frangipani (also known as plumeria) did the trick! It is the same blossom that is typically used for Hawaiian leis. With only my iPhone, the close up of the bloom is elusive, but the contrast of the shiny green leaves, the bright blue sky, and the fluffy cloud helps to make this photo a 'keeper' for today. Naples, FL
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sandwiched between two interesting meetings today was a short drive to another school ...in a blinding rainstorm! We've been desperately awaiting the moisture (heard it has been the driest on record since 1934!) so no complaints there - even when I could no longer wait in the car for it to subside and had to walk through 5 inch puddles due to the ineffective drainage system - at least I didn't leave my car window down like this unfortunate driver!
Meetings are often considered a 'necessary evil' and I grant you that trying to carve out face-to-face time in our busy schedules for things that could just as easily (if not more effectively) be handled through announcements, emails, etc. contributes to that perception. This type of communication can provide an avenue for conversation that is not often replicated in announcements and emails. Unfortunately, meetings can also be considered a form of 'lip service' for communication where only listening is encouraged and true dialogue is discouraged. Ah well, maybe the rain will cleanse us! ;) Naples High School, Naples, FL
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
He's back...temporarily! After a month away, Phoenix (my foster dog) is back for a couple of weeks while they ready a home for him. He still has a long way to go, but it looks like he will have that chance at living his life in the comfort of a loving home. He is one tired pup tonight as he desperately tries to keep his eyes open, but I know he's got to feel good about his destiny...now if he will only learn to trust more humans (as tough as it sometimes seems!)! Naples, FL
Monday, May 11, 2009
Some can create works of beauty from raw materials, patience, and the gentle work of the hand and eye. My dad was one of those folks - a true craftsman. He coaxed coffee tables and other furniture from rich mahogany wood. He massaged hard leather into pliable belts and other fashionable goods. He cut and patterned brightly colored glass and tile into mosaics and stained glass pieces. And he experimented with the principles of physics and ordinary objects to bring smiles to people of all ages when they looked into his kaleidoscopes. His memory lives on in all that he touched. Love you, Dad! Naples, FL
Sunday, May 10, 2009
On my usual Sunday beach walk, but today is Mother's Day....so I'm replicating one of the beautiful sights and sounds (waves lapping the shore) for my mother who was unable to walk with me this morning! Happy Mother's Day, Mom! 3rd Ave S & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, May 9, 2009
While geocaching, we came across this unusual lizard/gecko (which I think I've identified as a Common Five-Lined Skink through the power of the internet and search engines) slinking around a cabbage palm tree looking for dinner no doubt! An adventure such as this reminds me of how much we learn as we experience our world. The four walls of the classroom can certainly limit those experiences - how can we help students gain content knowledge and important skills within those confines? Or is there a better approach? 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Friday, May 8, 2009
Shiny and bright shapes, textures and sizes...all in one little package! There's even a reflection or two! The diversity interests me for no logical reason - just an opportunity for my brain to dance around in processing all that is here...which is not bad for a Friday afternoon! Naples, FL
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Puff the Magic Dragon reigns far and wide across the park, Cambier in the land of Naples. With the sweep of a gentle talon, children are free to imagine, create, and frolic. Play, a delightful incentive, to maintain sanity and to encourage development - available to all ages!
Peter, Paul and Mary's Puff the Magic Dragon is a classic and a favorite from my own childhood. I had no idea there was so much 'controversy' surrounding its lyrics. Guess that is partly due to the times and partly due to price of fame. No matter, this lovely sculpture always brings a smile! Cambier Park, Naples, FL
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Signs are fascinating - Despite their simple and humble design, the impact of their success in communication can be powerful! There is no 'life or death' message here...though the risk of walking across the busy highway might not be a good alternative...but the meaning is clear! Even a non-reader or those whose language is not English would be directed by the arrow. Our daily communication is often misinterpreted and/or ineffective - how can we take the patterned symmetry or other characteristics of this sign to more effectively influence the meaning of our messages? US 41 E & Goodlette-Frank, Naples, FL
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Innocence - the face of a child! This young toddler was a welcome sight for my meeting-wearied eyes. Though comforted by a cookie, her anxious (and ponderous) expression is somewhat foreboding as the adults haggled over ways to implement RtI alongside PBS with the underlying purpose of meeting NCLB standards via new reading programs - alas, we have really taken the learning out of 'schooling' and it is getting more frightening by the moment! Golden Gate HS, Naples, FL
“Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it.” ~ James Arthur Baldwin
Monday, May 4, 2009
Although I wanted to avoid taking repeat pictures as my featured photo of the day, I just can't allow the moon to escape an attempted capture! This one was at twilight, so it was still relatively light out (a better environment for my camera), but still no tripod and it shows! Perhaps the moon needs to be a monthly practice target for improvement! I do like the blue sky contrast though so it gets the honors today! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Sunday, May 3, 2009
When two forces collide it is most often not pretty, but the liquidity of Gulf waters provide a wonderful change for the eye! Whether hitting the beach or the weathered wooden groin, the effect, captured in early morning sunlight, is both soothing and uplifting. 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Friday, May 1, 2009
As a Florida coastal town, Naples has its share of tourist-oriented activities (some 'tackier' than others). This gator stands to bring in visitors for a little souvenir shopping and a trolley car tour. It is also part of a contingent of gator sculptures painted by various artists for a fund raiser (Gator Galore) a number of years ago. Ultimately, it is all about fun - very fitting for a Friday! Enjoy! 6th St & 7th Ave S, Naples, FL