Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SEP302009


SEP302009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Typical home in Buckhead Ridge along the perimeter of Lake Okeechobee...some times when traveling through the interior sections of Florida, it really is as if time hasn't changed things at all! Buckhead Ridge, FL

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

SEP292009


SEP292009, originally uploaded by colemama.

The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ah, so much potential! Imagine the vast coverage from the acorns in this photo alone, much less the those beyond the image. Imagine the thorough tapping of the human potential for innovation, democracy, peace, discovery, beauty, spirit, and unconditional love. Though Emerson's quote does not address the invariable obstacles that one must problem-solve while developing that potential, it is inspirational nonetheless! Watching the Ken Burns' National Park documentary provides another canvas from which to develop a potential masterpiece. My life in the Rockies and my connection to the Muir namesake makes this story...and the potential for new growth...even more compelling. Thus, the familiar acorn means so much more....Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Monday, September 28, 2009

SEP282009


SEP282009, originally uploaded by colemama.

These shiny silver wheel rims have often caught my eye while driving through a busy intersection, but not until this evening (with the strong sun making its way towards the horizon) did I have an opportunity to safely focus and push the shutter! A little help from 'boost' post-processing and the colors, shadows and reflections 'pop'.

Most days, I prefer the simplistic...but the decorative, the multi-dimensional and even the gaudy often provide a multi-sensory experience that is difficult to deny! Multi-tasking is a gift that many of us do these days - not always successfully, but our environment and societal demand a certain amount of juggling. Indeed, my concrete-sequential mind is challenged to be random-abstract on a constant basis! Fortunately, it is difficult to be bored... US 41 E & Davis Blvd, Naples, FL

Sunday, September 27, 2009

SEP272009


SEP272009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Despite the stormy weather, the day was full of good conversation, teaching/learning and renewed friendship with humans and animals alike. 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, September 26, 2009

SEP262009


Baby Coconuts, originally uploaded by colemama.

These baby coconuts posed so nicely for me in the late afternoon sun! I don't often get down to the beach at this time of day, but wanted to check out the condition as there was a reported fish kill due to algae...only discovered two (will spare you from those photos as they aren't pretty). As the summer heat and humidity begin to diminish, transitions are subtle, but evident. In southwest Florida, longevity is evidenced in the seemingly singular season, but we will see change, as well! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Friday, September 25, 2009

SEP252009


SEP252009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Scooters were popular around here when the gas prices spiked to $4/gallon - I even looked into one myself! In the past nine months or so, I can't recall seeing one and here are two at the grocery store tonight...and another one (out of the picture) leaving the parking lot. Is this convergence of scooters a premonition of the future or perhaps just a Vespa party?!? ;) Wynn's Market, 2nd Ave N & US 41 E, Naples, FL

Thursday, September 24, 2009

SEP242009


SEP242009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Colondar 2010 - a tribute to 14 colon cancer survivors who were diagnosed prior to the typical age of 50 or more - they model their scars and share their inspirational stories. The invasive cells that our bodies cannot naturally fight can so often be battled with early detection and appropriate medical attention. This year's calendar is particularly special to me as one of my co-workers, Heidi (Miss April 2010), is a model - Read and watch her story here. Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SEP232009


SEP232009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Vision - such a vital sense for individuals and a crucial ingredient for effective institutions. Without vision, we flounder along without direction; but vision without action often provides only wishful thinking. Coupling the two provides an awesome synergy - nothing really profound about that...but it still seems elusive most of the time! Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SEP222009


SEP222009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Keys, keys, keys ... They fit locks somewhere, but where? Matching a key to its lock can be a major feat when you have accumulated spare keys over a long period of time. These keys all appear to fit a door lock of some sort, but I think a couple might be to locks that have since been replaced and one is likely a neighbors...One of these days, the chore of matching them up may move up the priority list, but in the meantime, they are only linked to one another by the key chain! Naples, FL

Monday, September 21, 2009

SEP212009


SEP212009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Brought a chess board to the Media Center without much thought as to whether it would 'take off' or not. I enjoy playing a bit online, but am very much a novice at the game. Sure enough a couple of students are playing and even capturing the attention of others! Perhaps we'll turn those spectators into participants - I'm convinced that interest in this game can play a more important role than winning or losing (as are others) - it can keep our minds honed for thinking. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

We only think when we are confronted with problems.
~ John Dewey

This photograph is a response to Carol Van Hook's "Game is On" 365 Flickr Challenge for September 2009.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SEP202009


SEP202009, originally uploaded by colemama.

This opalescent piece of oyster shell is an eye-catcher among the whites, pinks, tans, salmons of the other beach shells. Its shades of amethyst, teal and blue sapphire emulate a milky jewel - in royal contrast to the other side of rough dark gray, covered in harsh barnacles. One wonders if this particular shell produced another gemstone, a pearl. The beauty of the iridescence belies the reason for the pearl's development - reaction to an outside irritant. I wonder if we couldn't take a few lessons from the oyster... 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, September 19, 2009

SEP192009


SEP192009, originally uploaded by colemama.

This banded sphinx moth has been hanging out all day - despite being attached to a door screen that has been opened and closed numerous times, it is stationary. It must need considerable rest, as even when nudged, it moves only slightly. The symmetrical patterns and greenish tones against the brown and tans make it quite interesting. Researching its name revealed even more colorful caterpillars from which it came...and apparently a pink area in the underwings - oh, the things we learn when we take the time to see through the camera lens! Naples, FL

Friday, September 18, 2009

SEP182009


SEP182009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Though I've featured this favored sculpture before, I couldn't resist highlighting it again - this time focusing on the colorful patterned shadows. The kaleidoscope-like 'feast for the eyes' called for a 'stop, shoot, and enjoy' moment or two. Wish I could figure out how to recreate such a vision in both my home and work environments. Until then, I'll take full advantage of these lovely respites. 8th St. & 6th Ave S., Naples, FL

Thursday, September 17, 2009

SEP172009


SEP172009, originally uploaded by colemama.

As summer wanes, the garden flowers in the northern hemisphere are beginning to fade. Here in FL, the seasonal changes will not be so dramatic - in fact, the variety and the number of flowering plants will increase. This pink bromeliad blossom uniquely displays a contrast with the silvery green leaves of the succulent plant. Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SEP162009


SEP162009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Took a little time to play with Photoshop on today's image - raindrops beaded up on the car's hood along with the sky and palm's reflections. Note the small patches of blue sky in the reflection - little, but optimistic. Though the clouds remained dense, the sunshine will have a chance tomorrow...besides, we 'need the rain' as they say!. At any rate, as Winston Churchill stated, "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.รข Always good to think positive (even if only cautious optimism)! Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SEP152009


SEP152009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Though I was concentrating on the foreground i.e., decorative landscape grasses, the trio of middle students walking home from school made the photo much more diverse and spontaneous. So a lot of cropping brings them to the forefront...at least from the 'interesting' perspective! Foreground and background usually blend pretty seamlessly in reality, but the camera lens certainly trains the eye to differentiate between them a bit more. LW campus, Naples, FL

Monday, September 14, 2009

SEP142009


SEP142009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Extra hours in the office + few hours outside + typical Monday craziness = little inspiration for 365 photo. The computer monitor reflections caught my eye in this framed Van Gogh print in the office...and that's about it! Some days are better than others for creativity and innovation - tomorrow is another day. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Sunday, September 13, 2009

SEP132009


SEP132009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Some wave action adds another dimension to the usually calm and flat Gulf waters. There were a couple of surfers out, but they didn't last long as the waves were not really cooperative for their sport. Love the splash and though my attempts at capturing them in the rising sunlight were a bit futile, like the way this shows the light airy bubbles as well as the thicker foam that eventually crept up to the shoreline. 6th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, September 12, 2009

SEP122009


SEP122009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Normally Saturday mornings are ideal times to find games going on around town, but the rainy conditions kept some away from play. It looks like the golfers and the basketball players are a much hardier group than those tennis players! ;) Wonder if there's a universal motivator that keeps some out of the rain and others apathetic towards the weather when pursuing a fun activity?

Daniel Pink (author of highly recommended reading, A Whole New Mind) on TED video describes the value of intrinsic motivation and how business models' emphasis on extrinsic motivation are outdated and inaccurate. The power of intrinsic motivation is certainly not new - it's been a long-desired goal for our students in learning. Instead, schools (like businesses), have turned to external motivators (grades, scholarship promises, and other rewards) to guide student education. So, now have we 'created a monster'? Are students limiting their time and energy to just doing the minimal as tied to the external standard? Just the other day, a 11th grader who admittedly doesn't read well asked me why our HS Library doesn't do "Reading Counts" as that is the program that motivated her to read in middle school...Did this incentive model really serve the purpose of learning? Are our teachers losing opportunities for helping students develop a 'love for learning' when they must focus on standardized assessments and packaged programmed instruction? Will we find a way to focus on intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivating factors in the future?

This photograph is a response to Carol Van Hook's "Game is On" 365 Flickr Challenge for September 2009 . Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club & Gulfview Middle School, Naples, FL

Friday, September 11, 2009

SEP112009


SEP112009, originally uploaded by colemama.

We make choices everyday - sometimes consciously and sometimes not. Depending on circumstances, we may choose "Push to Exit," we may exit in another manner or even choose not to exit at all! There are times when no matter our choice, we do not have an influence on a positive outcome. Today's 09.11.01 anniversary of the horrific loss of life and the enduring loss of innocence is a tragic reminder that our choices are sometimes very limited. In memory of those who lost their lives in eight years ago. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SEP102009


SEP102009, originally uploaded by colemama.

These kayaks are not likely to launch in this rainy weather, but the red, white and green colors immediately got my attention...and were subsequently translated into one of my favorite meals, insalata caprese! My synapses engage differently when basic needs, such as hunger, are not met - imagine what it is like for so many of our students who may come from an environment that does not regularly provide food, water, shelter, and generally healthy (both physical and mental) conditions - a true deficit for participating in the process of learning. Health reform is a hot topic for us (in the USA) right now, but that is not the only issue that needs addressing - we have our work cut out for us! 4th Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SEP092009


SEP092009, originally uploaded by colemama.

So what do you think is going on in this 'slice of life'?

The scene is downtown Naples which is primarily tourist-oriented, though locals will come out to shop and stroll, as well. The couple appear to be together (physically) sharing a bench, but apart in thoughts and conversation. What are they thinking about, talking about? What emotions appear to be evident? What values might also be conveyed?

Just another day in the life of people-watching - managed to snap this photo right before the light turned green! 8th St & 5th Ave S, Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

SEP082009


SEP082009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Despite the weatherman's claim of dry skies and the lack of color on the radar, it rained a lot this evening - a nice, steady, soaking rain! It was an uplifting change to the hot and dry week of late and will bring growth and renewal in the next few days. President Obama's speech to school children today provided an uplifting pep-talk, as well! Now it is up to all of us to continue to provide those supportive comments on a regular intermittent basis - a necessary requisite for development! Ideally, the one-shot inspirational talk would do it, but just like in learning, it takes multiple messages, given in a variety of ways to incorporate that learning into our 'being'. Naples, FL

Monday, September 7, 2009

SEP072009


SEP072009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Labor Day holiday offered an early morning (and much enjoyed) beach walk not normally part of the Monday schedule due to work expectations. Though many were out fishing and enjoying the shoreline antics of birds and dolphins, those very species were still 'laboring' to survive. This gull picked up a nice size bait fish, but was having a little difficulty getting it in position for a slide down the gullet - don't worry success was imminent!

Work is often associated with survival (i.e., to provide economic means for food, shelter, etc.) at the individual level as well as an economic state at a larger level. Oftentimes, the psychological benefits of 'work' are overlooked, i.e., contribution to the community, sense of accomplishment, setting for growth and renewal, and creative activity). Perhaps that is why many have great difficulty when transitioning to retirement - but 'work' can be seen in much bigger terms! Central Ave & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Sunday, September 6, 2009

SEP062009


SEP062009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Even the ordinary flock of sea gulls and terns look magnificent in flight - perhaps due to the unattainable desire to take off and fly ourselves (sans machinery). No matter the obstacles, though, the dream to improve, to innovate, to grow is the initial visualization. Is it a prerequisite for change? Examples of laboratory 'mistakes' leading to useful inventions would indicate not, but the time to kindle those hopes is often a precursor for action.

As a learner, the process of thinking and reflection is strongly vocalized, but I wonder where the allotted time is scheduled - the system still rewards the "fill the student brains with content so that it can be 'regurgitated' on a standard assessment tool." Little time is allowed for teachers nor students to really process and reflect as there is always one more thing that has to be checked off the curriculum list. Will reform (or better yet, transform) be the answer or are we still putting lipstick on the pig? 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico

Saturday, September 5, 2009

SEP052009


SEP052009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Remember when firetrucks were red? Ours are neon yellow these days, presumably to be better seen in the traffic - though not sure that it is that helpful?!?

Seeing this emergency vehicle at a stop light brought two diverse thoughts. One is with regards to the number of firefighting personnel being laid off in southwestern Florida during these tough economic days - it seems there's news of one county or another dealing with the conflicts of budgets versus services. Though there is a decrease in population, the foreclosed and abandoned homes still exist and have been targets of arson. It is definitely a dilemma for all of us.

Secondly, the abuse of emergency services has increased - it is interesting to discover what some consider an 'emergency' as in a recent case of someone who called 911 because he couldn't find his vehicle (due most likely to an excess of alcohol intake) and another who wanted to know the oven temperature for cooking a turkey. No wonder the costs are spiraling out of control! Davis Blvd & Airport Rd., Naples, FL

Friday, September 4, 2009

SEP042009


SEP042009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Though making individual steps to drive forward toward positive change - open communication and discourse - would seem in line with 21st century learning, our district has not just remained neutral, but parked (maybe even shifted into reverse) with a declaration that President Obama's live speech on Tuesday would not be available to our students. What a disappointment - even outrage - that such an event is censored. Interestingly, our district superintendent casts blame on "the logistics of making a Webcast" - what?!?!?! If that is the case and there are individual teachers who are able to figure out a way to share it with students...will that be allowed? Naples, FL

Thursday, September 3, 2009

SEP032009


SEP032009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Suffice it to say, this realistic human doll, posed as a driver in a parked 'classic' automobile, gets a second (and even a third...) look by many commuters. Those looks serve the purpose of focusing one's attention on the advertising (in this case, Truly Nolen's pest control) - subtle and effective! The scene sure brings a smile - it is unbelievably life-like and does test the thin line between 'real' and 'fake'! Coincidentally, my schedule has been inundated with library orientations which include a discussion of fiction (which students affectionately define as 'fake') and nonfiction - this photo will be a springboard for that discussion in tomorrow's presentation! Davis Blvd and US 41 East, Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

SEP022009


SEP022009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Interwoven and braided strands of palm tree bark provide a rugged durability that supports the life of this tree. It is amazing that the thin, fine fibers can offer such infrastructure. Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

SEP012009


SEP012009, originally uploaded by colemama.

The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.
~ Mark Twain

The silence in the courtyard sends an invitation for conversation - yet seems to appreciate the rest between student groups. Somewhat eerie to be so vacant - but still serene. There's a special sense of content when opposites balance. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL