The simplicity - just a glass of sparkling water...light, refreshing, and quenching. The basis of everything is dependent on something just as simple.
Watching the encroaching oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spread towards estuaries is disconcerting. Its impact on the simple aspects of life will be devastating - be it the wildlife, the flora, or humanity. I hope this documented evidence of the tragic nature of off-shore oil drilling serves as a reminder of the impact of a simple decision. Naples, FL
Friday, April 30, 2010
The simplicity - just a glass of sparkling water...light, refreshing, and quenching. The basis of everything is dependent on something just as simple.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Around and around and around this garden hose goes....coiled in its home when not in use. Amazingly, this device has worked well for the once unruly plastic tube! The hose, often animated when unwound, lies docile and resting ...waiting for its chance to unleash its positive force when called upon again.
As we head into the last 5 weeks of school (as the Dean so frequently reminded me today!), I hope we can continue to keep that flow of learning as the focal point, allowing for both the quiet reflection needs and the engaged state of activity. Naples, FL
What a pleasant surprise to find these ripening blueberries along a pathway in a newly developed park. It was truly tempting to pick the two blue ones for a taste, but left them for the wildlife!
As a planner and organizer by nature, surprises are not generally welcomed...but exceptions can be made. Once again, my eye was going elsewhere (soon to fall frond) when all of a sudden, this speck of blue caught my attention. We can get so honed in on one singular detail (or aggravation) that all else is difficult to see. While that focus is effective and necessary at times, keeping the antenna receptive to other options has its own rewards! Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Always fascinated by the interesting design elements of a typical power pole - only enhanced by the background of the solid azure sky - and this one caught my eye today! The utilitarian and industrial can be so diverse - here both minimalist and fairly complex. Imagine now the potential of this design to keep our homes, businesses, technology, etc. in working order.
My own reliance on various technology tools, alone, makes me vulnerable to the loss of power. Even most battery-powered devices use re-chargeables, thus the need for electrical power. Without power, much of my world would come to a stand-still. Without energy, stagnation survives. Without such a motivational source of powerful energy, learning is curtailed. Help our students find their power source! Naples, FL
When hidden away in a rarely used drawer, it is easy to lose track of accumulated items that may (or may not!) have lost their value. When moving from one location to another throughout my childhood, I kept material goods to a minimum. However, having lived in the same place for the last 15 years, I need to make concerted efforts to sort and purge regularly - and, even then, it often falls to the lower priority list.
In much the same way, I find the need to re-evaluate other daily habits - assessing their value and usefulness - every so often. The conscious attention to 'what works and what doesn't work' is a natural part of the circular evaluative model. Sometimes the intuitive process is in conflict with (and loses out to) that of standardization. Wonder why the 'data driven' models cannot be in better concert with the natural 'gut' interpretation of people? Naples, FL
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The properties of light and shadows are so foundational for photography - wish I knew more, but I do know what I like...and this photo's simplicity elicits the complexity of various elements, including dramatic and emotional facets. So many times, what one thinks will be simple ends up being complex - and what seems logical actually emphasizes emotion.... When one approaches a problem as 'easy' it invariably is not, so best to be surprised with a difficult issue that is easily solved! :) Naples, FL
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Didn't even get down to the beach and I was finding interesting shots...timing was nice (early morning light)...and the early morning songbird - what fun!
Sometimes we are so focused on our destination we forget to note the pleasures along the way. Time constraints do make the 'journey' difficult, but its consequences can have so many rewards that it is worth making the time...at least on occasion! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Patterns from cut fronds are a reminder of the lost 'branches' in a typical palm tree. The do provide a rhythmic expectation in the visual form and protection for birds to nest and insects to burrow in the practical sense.
Repetitive patterns provide a sense of stability, a feeling of comfort, a rightful prediction as to future events. Disruption of patterns can be extremely uncomfortable, but they can help us practice coping and adaptation skills. The removal of such predictability can lead to the 'flight or fight' syndrome until we practice using our brain to think through options....Still, patterns have their place in our world! Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Happy Birthday, Earth! It is your day to shine and celebrate! Even in times that are less than desirable, we need to look towards the positive and appreciate what we have and who we are! The blue sky, the greenery, the buds and the blooms were all glorious today - even got a nice little sea breeze to keep the temperature moderate!
Take time to toast the beauty of our world...and take some positive action in keeping our earth healthy! Naples, FL
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
This lovely yellow bloom set against the lake's inky blue called out to me today. Its beauty is temporary, captured here in the late afternoon sun and a gentle breeze, but its cyclical nature almost guarantees a future bloom!
As we approach the 40th anniversary of the environmental political stance named Earth Day, activism continues to work one step-at-a-time to improve the nature of our Mother Earth. Like so many initiatives, there is much work still to do, but when one thinks back to the 1970's, we have made some improvements (re: prevention of species extinction, decreased air and water pollution, and oil spills). Now we need to focus on developing nations who are destroying the natural resources in order to survive - what other practical ways can they live without harming the environment? Garden of Hope & Courage, Naples Community Hospital, Naples, FL
Part of the phone book page is not there - what do you do? Head for a web-based option? The 'yellow pages' were considered a valuable source of information...similar to the encyclopedia - but with the ubiquitous digital world, their value has depreciated considerably!
It is interesting to note, though, that certain reading strategies could be utilized here to predict the remaining text (i.e., EME and SE in the lower right - Emergency Service) - do you see others? Just as important is the need to discover or validate information (i.e., FISHING TA is what? or is Nap part of Naples or something else?). We often start our day without complete information - what do you do to seek out and insure the accuracy of missing pieces? ... or do you? Interesting to ponder as we often expect our citizenry to have problem-solving skills and seek out something that is not there?! Naples, FL
Monday, April 19, 2010
The fact that there are so many interesting and interdependent parts in a corkscrew is fascinating in and of itself, but add the act of opening a corked wine bottle and the function adds unbelievable value!
Among the many books I am currently reading, Seth Godin's Linchpin, is definitely finding its way to the top of the priority list. Like an ordinary corkscrew, much of the book is not really new, but without its principles, we can't get the job done well! Once again a delicate balance of interplay between the anatomy (structure) and the physiology (function) of an object, an organization, or a living being! Naples, FL
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Playing with camera settings in the pre-dawn morning darkness provided a different palette of opportunities. The reflections in this glass sculpture bring a story of their own, but I love the lit branches of the trees lining the sidewalk. It was rewarding to find a modicum of success in this shot, as I've struggled with night shots.
Such frustration is not unusual in the learning process. Be it 'trial and error' or 'drill' or anything in between, our emotional and psychological involvement can impact the outcome for the positive ... or the negative. For those who impact the learning environment, it is a reminder to put efforts into using those relevant ties to full benefit! 6th Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL
Saturday, April 17, 2010
With overcast skies these cassia flowers don't show their usual pop, but they still show a nice color. This time of year, the flowering trees really do shine with the bright yellow tabebuia, the purple jacaranda, this golden cassia, and both lilac and white orchid trees. As much as I would enjoy them all year long, having them as seasonal blooms does help me appreciate them all the more.
Near the equator, we don't have the extremes like so many to the north and south, but we still appreciate 'seasons' of sorts...and certainly relative ups and downs. I guess the qualifying word might be 'relative'. So often, we tend to judge others by our own standards - which is quite natural....but when there is little or no regard for the relativity of others' standards, none of us win! Honest and respectful conversation amongst others can go far in equalizing that 'roller coaster'. Pelican Bay Blvd, Naples, FL
Friday, April 16, 2010
Love these bright and colorful highlighters - they make me happy even if they are joyfully overused in most cases...to be honest, I tend not to use them often anymore because of the 'abuse' - still love to look at them! :) This assortment reminds me a bit of a tetris game, as well - LOL!
Highlighting is designed to pinpoint priorities and important characteristics. As commonplace as the tool, its effective use is relatively rare. So many of us have been 'encultured' to be "all things to all people." True, there are some of us who are better at breadth, rather than depth...but we all need to critically think about the highlights of our readings, relationships, accomplishments, areas for improvement, learning, and every other aspect of our world. Discriminating amongst the options to discover the priority is, indeed, a skill worth possessing (and teaching!). Naples Shopping Plaza, US 41 East & Golden Gate Pkwy, Naples, FL
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Naples Depot is undergoing a facelift, but its influence on the history and development of our town is truly skin deep. It is fascinating to think about the impact of transportation and its infrastructure on the growth of most American towns - just one innovation that transformed how we live. Similarly, the internet's capacity for communication has opened up a new way to create and think. Despite today's news about Ning, the power of social networking will march on - there is no turning back and the true meaning of collaboration is just beginning. As well, history is valuable as a conduit for manifesting the future. US 41 E & 10th St, Naples, FL
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Cologne and perfume fragrances are the product of both art and science. The biology and chemistry balance nicely with the creative, and likely countless, fragrance combinations. All play with that unique interaction between the brain and the nose to produce an appealing scent that is also uniquely appreciated (or not).
Though the purpose of such aroma is to enhance the pleasant nature of its subject, the unmistakable (and often common) extreme is similar to 'putting lipstick on a pig'. It makes me wonder why we can't accept the natural state of our uniqueness. Furthermore, I've noticed more folks who are susceptible to cosmetic and superficial changes and ideas - believing in them as 'gospel'. Whatever happened to critical thinking? When will we move the pendulum back towards a bit of skepticism? Naples, FL
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Segway tour is heading to one of the popular downtown streets with a small group of tourists - a bit surprised that they feel confident enough to congregate across the roadway, but season is starting to wane! The Segway concept is an interesting one - green and so practical for those short trips around town when time doesn't allow for walking...however, this innovative concept isn't very popular, at least around here.
Like so many inventions and creative ventures, there is usually a time of trial and error - sometimes we forget how much time and energy was invested prior to the 'output'. And, even more often we neglect to remember the number of failures that don't get recognized in the process of success. 11th Ave S, Naples, FL
The firecracker plant grows like a weed once established. Its crimson blooms nicely complement the feathery needles. Complementary colors like complementary personalities can harmonize nicely and make the image whole - a gestalt, of sorts. Like balance, I think we often seek complementary characteristics ... we just don't often recognize that relationship! Naples, FL
The stingrays were feeding along the edge of the beach this morning and I managed to capture this shot. Though not the best, I saw it as a coup...given that most of the other photos were only of their quickly exposed 'wing' tips and farther away.
Generally, these guys are buried in the sand and when an unknowing human's foot lands atop of them, their barbed tail curls up and into the foot or ankle with a very wicked venom. So, if you are from around here, you don't walk in the water, you do the 'stingray shuffle' as when you shuffle your feet, that alerts the stingray and he moves on peacefully to an undisturbed area. The stingray's attack is totally defensive - in fact, I've seen swimmers in the midst of 50 or so rays...all just happily swimming along.
It pays to know about your environment and the behaviors of others. When you do, you can make wise decisions about your own reactions. Sometimes, value systems, intuition, or just plain stubbornness may guide choices, as well. Plato's attributed to saying, "A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers." - it makes sense to gather as much information as you can in order to make the best choice. 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Though the focus of the Farmer's Market is fresh produce, flowers & greenery, and home-baked goods, its entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. These baskets are woven from freshly cut palm fronds and the weaver is quite a character. He and his wife always manage to draw a curious gathering whenever I've passed by their shaded spot.
Using natural elements to create functional and decorative items is not only a great model for recycling, but also a treasured outlet for creativity. Imagine the impact if more examples of reuse were transformed into functional works of art!! 3rd St & 12th Ave S, Naples, FL
Friday, April 9, 2010
Local schools' track and field participants ready themselves for the pole vault competition. Both a barrier and an opening, chain link fencing provides a different perspective, compliments of a 'stop light shot'. Like these athletes, we prepare for the daily tasks that are important for reaching goals. Practice and mental preparation both play a role - something to keep in mind for non-competitive tasks, as well! Naples High School, Golden Gate Pkwy & Goodlette, Naples, FL
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Looking for a little spark for the imagination and inspiration for my thoughts.... An unexpected reflection served as a temporary reward, but the corroded tip is obviously a carry over for the long-term. Nevertheless, the intrigue of such a component kept me occupied for a number of photographic shots.
As this is composed, members of the Florida legislature are debating a law which would change public education in our state...and not for the better IMHO. Rather than accept the challenge of true reform for 21st century world, these representatives are choosing to ride the 'performance testing train'. The governor has vowed to veto the bill, but to see this much agreement amongst the legislators is disconcerting. It does make me wonder about the 'kool-aid'?!?! Naples, FL
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Flitting around a patch of dried alligator flags, this golden dragonfly finally found a resting place ... though it was short-lived. I love the way its color is well camouflaged and its transparent wings pick up a glint of sunshine. The presence of such insects means there is plenty of prey and as an unwilling victim of the mosquito, I appreciate the dragonfly's prowess.
Up to my eyeballs in deadlines and overdue work and home activities, I can only wish for the latent nature of this effective camouflage - to be hiding in 'plain sight', to be able to watch and observe the world around me without being detected (or interrupted, or bothered, or...)! Dream on! Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Looking for a photograph to depict 'speed' for the @dailyshoot challenge today was not easy - things are pretty slow in Naples, FL... between the 'old-ness' and the laid back nature. This was punctuated when I got behind a family of tourists who were moseying down the sidewalk. While I was ready to bulldoze past them, I saw an opportunity for this capture defined by the shadows.
Rushing through life is nonproductive and yet many times 'there are so many things to do in so little time!' Of course, this trio was in vacation mode which allows for a more relaxed attitude, with little attention to deadlines or even time itself. This time, my need for speed was interrupted by this 'slow down'...but only until I had the opportunity to pass! ;) 6th Ave S & 11th St, Naples, FL
This is one of about ten stained glass 'star bursts' that my father made for me decades ago - they are suspended in various windows throughout the house, catching the sunlight, reflecting colors on the walls and floor, and reminding me of him, a generous and special man. Creating stained glass pieces was one of many things we shared - both of us fascinated by the property of glass, color, and texture - more skilled at the 'technical side' and less artistic than most 'creators'.
Art and science, similar to form and function, are best when balanced together. There's a bit of both in most everything - and, yet, we always seem to want to classify things as one or another. Naples, FL
Sunday, April 4, 2010
The many faces and behaviors of this particular pelican this morning begged for a collage sequence! Sitting and floating along in the early morning light, this pelican looked like it was just napping when all of sudden it submerged its beak and then quickly snatched its prey and swallowed it up only to resume the rather smug position! Fun to watch and to try to capture photographically in still images - this would have been much more interesting in video format, but I so rarely remember that I can do that with this camera!
Within a span of a few minutes, a sequence of photos can tell a story. Our eyes find those sequenced stories daily, though they are most likely not photographed. Like in this sequence, they often come full circle with repetitive motion for a purpose. Imagine what we could uncover if we would filter out and document those important stories that matter on a more consistent basis! Well, for now - 'life's a beach'! :) 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
"Lucinda Pins" are created individually with simple elements (including paper) and abundant creativity. They are sold as fundraisers for various organizations, thanks to the formerly homeless Lucinda. I'm always fascinated with entrepreneurial organizations that are able to incorporate the concept of helping people to help themselves - ones like Habitat for Humanity and Kiva, for example. Lucinda's inspiration lives on to fulfill their motto of "changing the world one pin at a time." This wearable art is not only attractive, but it represent so much more...making a difference to people in need. Naples, FL
Friday, April 2, 2010
Simple and shiny, these hoop earrings are part of my daily adornment. Other than habit, there is really no significance for this circular duo to have such a place...but they have been there for decades and have somehow become an element that helps to define me. For someone who enjoys change, it is somewhat ironic to desire such 'sameness'. Life is full of ironies - probably best to avoid over-analysis to maintain sanity! :) Naples, FL
Thursday, April 1, 2010
The founders of the Neighborhood Health Clinic worked tirelessly for years to obtain private funding for the establishment this facility and its services. Unlike many clinics for those who are uninsured, ours requires that patients be working as well as meeting 150% of poverty guidelines. In addition, all but a handful of the doctors, nurses, and office folks are volunteers - over 500 of us!
Health care is a complicated issue - this clinic fills a void for the uninsured working poor, but those who don't meet our guidelines are often in dire need of health care, as well. I don't know if the new health care reforms signed into law in the US are the answers....I would like to see a closer examination of how individuals take a role in being responsible for their own health care. In doing so, there will likely be additional conversation about the insurance, legal, and even food production industries, as well as the politics of the matter. In the meantime, I'm thankful to be a part of such a wonderful and meaningful organization. Goodlette Rd & 1st Ave N, Naples, FL
It seems the weather goes from one extreme to another this year - one day cold, the next hot...one day dry as a bone, the next well soaked. Today was hot and dry, which plays havoc with newly planted annuals, so a little drink was well appreciated. In fact, these pretty plants would not survive without a little help from someone's green thumb. All of the natural environmental elements are not always at prime condition for growth.
We often encounter the same kinds of situations with some students. They are ready to grow, but may not receive the nurturing necessary to do so. Parents, teachers, and other mentors can do much to provide the optimum environment for learning and growth ... it really can make a difference! Naples, FL