Posing for his portrait, this gull was motionless for a fairly long time ... it was as if he knew he was being photographed and wanted to cooperate! :) Always need to take advantage of those opportunities! 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico
Friday, July 30, 2010
Bees were buzzing amongst the various blossoms, but these two must have been a pair as they flitted together from one nectar source to another. Their flight patterns imitated those of aircraft circling over busy cities. And, if you didn't already, it definitely makes you appreciate the value of the air traffic controllers!
One also marvels at the complex communication needed to effectively monitor and control the air space for safety and productivity. By its nature, communication is two-way - needing both a sender and receiver - and challenging, given various facets of human-kind. With the advent of digital (and increased) communication formats, there's really 'no excuse' for not appropriately transmitting and receiving information...except for 'overload'! ;) And, gosh...that sure happens a lot! Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Illumination from the street light is soft and fuzzy in the early morning dawn...yet its 'shine' shows strength in luminosity, meeting its primary purpose. It is no wonder that the light bulb is a symbol of creative thinking, with illumination being a significant stage. Now, if we could just 'turn on' the 'illumination' like we do the light switch! 6th Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
After the storm, the sunlight pours through the window...still, Athena shows signs of anxiety. This summer, she developed a fear of thunder/lightning/rain (it is an especially tough reaction given our daily afternoon summer thunderstorms) and is pretty inconsolable. With incessant panting and pacing, she sometimes finds refuge in the bathtub, but she doesn't appear to relax until the storm is well off the radar.
Animals, like young children, are fairly easily 'read' - they've not yet learned to mask their true emotions...they've not found a reason to do so. Revealing one's emotions can be a risky venture - there's the potential for not meeting 'politically correct' standards, the loss of privacy with disclosure of true feelings, and the inference of the loss of control. Of course, there are always 'trade-offs' - but the animals and young children typically have not learned the value of manipulating the expression of feelings...and maybe that's a good thing! Naples, FL
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
There's really nothing more invigorating, motivating, and hopeful than waking up to a huge colorful sky like this ... I do enjoy when my commute to work coincides with these gorgeous sunrises! :) Somehow that beauty trickles over into the morning's work - if only for a little while!
Its awesome depth and compelling layers and textures put me at a loss for words - Just breathe it in!
3rd Ave S & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Monday, July 26, 2010
This image was obviously post processed (liberal use of various effects in Picnik) - every once in awhile, I like to experiment a bit with the program for fun. It is not meant to be a serious approach to art - rather, it is frivolous, entertaining, and mindless. Somehow, though there are still decisions to be made, perceptions to examine, and layers to analyze. Actively engaging the brain doesn't stop in such an activity - no matter how prescribed it may seem. Funny thing about it - we never stop thinking (and learning) - so might as well do it with meaning and purpose! Naples, FL
Once again, I'm reminded of the value of turning around for a different view. Attracted by the morning's sky, I headed for the beach with blinders on - just focused on the colorful clouds on the horizon. Walking back I noticed the dew drops on the sea oats and took a couple of shots before I realized the multiple elements in this capture.
It is difficult to seek out all views and perspectives in every sight, especially in the intense, time-driven world we live in. Doing so on an occasional basis is not only rewarding, but good for the soul - thank goodness the practice of daily photography offers that chance. It then becomes more habitual as we train our minds to think more openly, less blinded by the stereotypes that often guide us. 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, July 24, 2010
The neutral tones may not be eye-catching, but the fossilized rock above water stands in stark contrast to those under the shimmery Tarpon Bay.
This afternoon, free of rain (but not heat and humidity), was spent with my Flickr friend @vanhookc on Sanibel Island. After a delicious and filling lunch at Island Cow (don't ask me how they ended up with that name!), with her daughter and son-in-law-to-be ( Sarah and Jordan), we ventured into Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge for photos and conversation.
There's an obvious timelessness with fossilized artifacts...and so it is with great friendships. In a virtual world where 'friends' may lose their meaning on Facebook, there's nothing quite so special as re-acquainting, laughing, lamenting, and sharing face-to-face! Sanibel Island, FL
This stained glass piece was created for my maternal grandmother decades ago. When she died, it was retrieved as an artifact by which to remember her. It is definitely special in that regard. Most of us have items of sentimental value - those which are irreplaceable, invaluable.
Perhaps due to my age and/or experience, it seems I've collected quite a few such items! Every year I think about the need to sift through those that are less meaningful, but every year, I just seem to accumulate more memories without prioritizing the older ones for possible removal. There's definitely some 'housekeeping' in order - You'd think that a tropical storm would have provided that opportunity...but so many more interesting things to do! Oh, and by the way, this one will always be a 'keeper'. :) Naples, FL
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Rotation of the camera to draw attention to a subject is certainly underutilized. For some reason, even a slight skew is incompatible to what our brain expects. Still, the effect creates interest and offers stimulation for neurons and more complex thought! Too much of it might be a bit dizzying, but I do like the opportunity to add a tilted view.
Conformity has its place and certainly there is an expectation for some to have sense of socially accepted standards and conventions, but sometimes the pendulum swings too far to that extreme. The reality and need for individualization is just as vital - there has to be a working and flexible balance! Naples, FL
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Care for a little pepper-crusted brie bruchetta? Summertime seems so appropriate for impromptu wine and appetizers with a friend or two - too bad it can't be alfresco, but it is still in the 90s, with plenty of humid air, at 9pm here in FL! Spontaneous conversation - be it face-to-face or virtual - is another 'tickler' for thinking. Hyperlinked and threaded, thoughts can run the gamut - add another person's perspective and there's an explosion of possibilities! And, so it is with learning - I benefit exponentially from the interaction with others! Naples, FL
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
My neighbor's mailbox - an original and not your ordinary USPS-approved residential mailbox! She's an artist, so likely an influential factor in the selection...I like it, but find it a bit odd that one would spend money, time and energy on such a creation - especially when the baseball bats come out every once in awhile with mailboxes as targets. But, I really like it - the shimmery oscillating ribbon stripes on the side and the 'holey' front which reminds me of the beauty of the leopard's spotted fur.
Such a piece can captivate me for hours, allowing my sight to search the various depths and my emotions to be identified. Free flow writing often emanates from and accompanies that exploration, reflecting my mind's wanderings. Time is suspended and distractions are few when truly engaged. I do wish I could 'bottle it' for sharing with others! Naples, FL
What can you do in post-processing a photograph to not just change and reform it, but to actually transform it? What is the magic criteria that discriminates change from transformation? Why do we even care?
In thinking about creativity and the creative process, there are a variety of perspectives to consider - the aesthetic slant, the unlimited disciplines (from literature to mathematics), the unexpected discoveries, the meaningful and imaginative innovation! There's brainstorming, problem solving, individualization, personalization, improvisation, social springboards, and even serendipity! Underlying all is the lack of conformity and standardization...and yet, so much of what our world is measured by demands of calibrated similarity. So, how will we infuse such an antithesis?
BTW - Reading Candor by Pam Bachorz, a YA novel and one of our Florida Teens Read selections - many parallel themes! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Sunday, July 18, 2010
These cheap Clyde Butcher replicas (can't afford his actual work - but this helps me dream that maybe one day....!), If you don't know him, you should definitely check him out as his photographic methods are a bit unique and his studio out in the middle of the Everglades is by far a worthy stop. It is amazing how beautiful he makes the swampy locale.
His creative talent, like many artists, is unique among a small minority. However, all of us have the potential to tap into and develop a creative sense of some variety, as well written in Sir Ken Robinson's The Element. We may not make money from it and it may not be the traditional type of creativity, but it is there. Fostering its growth can have intrinsic rewards as well as innovative results for our collective society. It is time to allow for more emphasis and attention on the creative process and product, especially in its role in our future. Naples, FL
Saturday, July 17, 2010
A photographic stroll on the boardwalk through the swampy side of Freedom Park at the beginning of rainy season brings out new plant life and reveals beauty in old. Though not all is identifiable, there's a couple of cypress knees, the remaining stump of a cypress tree (presumably connected to those nearby knees) and the seedling of a new tree. The blurry moss in the foreground is less evident than the bright orange fungi, but both point to excessive moisture.
These images are such a gift of our natural environment and, for the curious, can lend to all sorts of study and research. The surrounding ecosystems are so under-appreciated and yet, we mimic them in our own lives...and could learn from them, as well. Learning can take place anywhere anytime. In fact, it is likely that more learning takes place outside the conventional classroom than inside it - so what exactly is the purpose of today's educational institution? Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Friday, July 16, 2010
We are lucky to have a nice display of colorful vegetables at farmer's markets, at grocery stores, and everything in-between. This diverse presentation of peppers, squash, and green caught my eye in The Fresh Market today.
Welcoming diversity is such a natural for some people,... but a disconcerting issue for others, who appear to find little positive in differences. So, do we have more similarities than differences or the opposite - more differences than similarities? It is an interesting conundrum! Balancing the individuality with the social sameness seems to beg for a little of both! US 41 E & Old Trail Dr, Naples, FL
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Taking the low point of view looking upward under this frangipani plant after an afternoon storm shows the lingering raindrops through translucent veined leaves. It is not a view normally taken, but one worthwhile in this instance.
Taking other views can often be valuable, offering an opportunity to see beyond the typical blinders...and perhaps even incorporating those differences into our own perspective. With our new culture of accepted (and sometimes expected) 'remix', it really is helpful to seek out other views! Naples, FL
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Corners can be sharp or rounded, outside or inside, and are often taken for granted. This chair's corner, highlighted by a triangle of reflected sunlight, looks cozy and inviting - where's that unread book?
Though a comfortable and welcoming environment is an important component for any home or business, it does not necessarily reflect the inner workings! We are drawn to people and things for our interpretation of their 'aesthetic' value and yet, the 'halo effect' is often in action, allowing us to be trapped solely by the external views. Complicating matters, the Nisbett & Wilson study showed that even if we intellectually understand the 'halo effect' we might still deny it! I wonder how we can translate this concept to critical thinking? Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Monday, July 12, 2010
This photo shows just a fragment of the whole and yet most people would be able to make it 'complete' and meaningful. Visual artists use the concepts of gestalt to help our eyes complete the picture or video. Principles such as similarity, continuation, closure, proximity, and figure/ground are foundational for graphic design...and likely photography, as well. Written text, verbal and nonverbal communication can all provide 'parts' for us to make whole - be it intentional or not. Perhaps these efforts to 'fill in the gaps' are the necessary requisites for solving problems, telling stories, and connecting concepts. If so, perhaps we need to include more opportunities to interpret and create gestalt in our learning and teaching.
And, kudos to ALL who played any role in this Naples Players production of Annie. It was so well done and delightfully entertaining - the actors (both kids and adults), the costumes, the music, the sets, the dance! I'm always amazed by the talents and efforts of our community theater, but this one was just incredible! Bravo! :) Sugden Community Theater, Naples, FL
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Bathed in dawn's golden sunlight, these ordinary dock pilings and mangrove trees reflect their earthy colors in Naples Bay. These type of reflections are not a mirror image, but instead allow for a varying interpretation of the original structure.
Reflective listening is similar - it can go a long way in increasing communication and understanding. Restating, clarifying, seeking depth beyond the superficial and providing an interpretation from the speaker's frame of reference. There are times when focusing on reflective listening can yield desired results. City Dock, Naples, FL
Saturday, July 10, 2010
In an attempt to better understand photography, my readings have included Bryan Peterson's books. They are really well done, but my mind doesn't 'sync' with the technical aspects of photography very well and commonly drifts to other places. Maybe through osmosis?? Our students often share this experience and though sleep (and drifting!) is important to the brain as well, I guess there's a time and place for everything! :) Naples, FL
Friday, July 9, 2010
These lizards (officially called brown or Cuban anoles) are common in Florida. They are quick and sneaky, often slipping into homes - which can be startling! But they also consume insects that might also sneak into the house - lizards are preferable over roaches any day! Their colorful dewlaps, often accompanied by 'push-ups', are displayed when threatened or competing with other males for territory or females.
Catching this dewlap display was a bit surprising, as he was 'on the run', but the 'gotcha' was rewarding. Gotcha is frequently used to catch students demonstrating poor or bad behavior. But, it could just as easily be turned for for the good! Gotcha! Naples, FL
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Exploring the neighborhood again for today's @dailyshoot challenge. These bright, cheery colors caught my eye, inviting me to explore the welcoming entryway. Architectural style in Naples is diverse, but much of my fascination is on the homes influenced by the Caribbean. The colors are bold and sassy mimicking nature's attributes. The construction materials of concrete and stucco offer not only a strong foundation from the potential hurricane winds, but also offer insulation against the heat and humidity. Plenty of glass exposure to the usually shining Florida sun is anticipated with with both interior and exterior shutters and blinds.
Architecture is one of those amazing disciplines that balances the combination of form and function - in a most appealing way! I'm constantly drawn to that combination - even beyond architecture...in my philosophy of learning (mind and emotion), in understanding the best forms of education (academic and vocational), and in life, in general (design and tools). 459 14th Ave S, Naples, FL
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Layers, colors, textures, contrast, light, vista, framing - what more could you ask for, especially after too many uncharacteristically rainy, overcast days. I was admiring (with envy) many of my northern Flickr friends' water scenes - the quiet, calm, relaxing blues, but this evening, I found it a few blocks away,
Unlike those times of disappointment, discouragement and/or frustration, it is such a pleasant surprise to savor such a scene. It can be an impetus for positive attitude shift, for compelling change, or for continuous support - all of which lead to growth! Creating those images can sometimes be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth it! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Blue has so many hues and shades and every one of them is a favorite in my book! This home owner went a bit overboard in sharing his/her love for the color (you should see the fence!), but some folks are not afraid to be bold and 'wear their heart on their sleeve'.
As an introvert, my comfort level would not extend to this blatant attention-getting display, but I certainly respect their perspective. At least they appear to be forthcoming about their preference in color. Certainly, their statement is more honest than those who 'play both sides' trying to satisfy everyone, trying to be 'everything to everyone' - is that possible to do? 9th Ave S & 6th St, Naples, FL
Monday, July 5, 2010
The stacks are quite a bit quieter this summer with only a small percentage of the usual student population enrolled. Fortunately, that gives time to inventory, weed, and better determine collection needs. Sometimes productivity is better served with rest - there is value in 'down time' as a way to 'recover' and rejuvenate! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Sunday, July 4, 2010
A gloomy, dreary day - and very quiet for a 4th...likely due to yesterday's celebratory events (parade, fireworks). We must be under a considerable mass of tropical moisture as it is unusual for the rain to start before noon and stick around all day and evening. Especially since this is so rare for our typical summer day, I feel the lack of energy, direction and initiative. I wonder if that is universal or if it is just me or if is because, relatively speaking, I am more familiar with a 'prettier' day...
My learning is often influenced by a number of environmental factors - from the weather to the noise and other elements in between. I may not be able to control the environment itself, but I can take control of my reactions to it...of course, 'easier said, than done'! Sometimes, I wonder if we don't spend too much time on traditional content and not enough on 'soft' skills to cope with everyday life. Whose responsibility is it to teach those skills and how is that accountability measured? I'll need to take accountability for my own lack of energy today, but I do wish that I'd better learned the skills to get re-energized despite the blah weather! Naples, FL
Saturday, July 3, 2010
I know sign-makers need to eat too, but I was surprised to see these 'how to read the crosswalk indicator' signs at every intersection. Apparently, explicit directions are needed - at least so it would seem. I've not seen anyone stop to read them before crossing the intersection, either safely or not so.
There is quite a bit of verbiage on legal contracts, terms of service, and even processed food containers - much of it unnecessary and most of it unread. Its purpose is served in the name of safety and protecting the rights of people and/or companies, but it loses value when it isn't read or understood. How many times have we actually read the details before signing or checking off 'I agree'? Even if I attempt to get through the words, my brows furrow at the jargon and I deem myself illiterate (despite my education). Communication often needs enhancement, but neither of these are good examples...or is it just me? ;) Gulfshore Blvd and the entrance to Lowdermilk Park, Naples, FL
Friday, July 2, 2010
Stuck inside while the rain shower passed by - was going after the fountain in the distance, but the running water on the window pane seemed a far more interesting (and drier) shot at the moment. The rain is nourishing and desired, but it definitely does make it more difficult to capture photographic shots outside!
Making the best of a situation is sometimes humorous, sometimes frustrating, and sometimes not even recognized. There are times that other alternatives are realized in hindsight - it is much tougher to establish an attitude, mind-set, and perspective that anticipates situations and the need for possible "Plan Bs". Pine Ct & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The maze of supportive scaffolding is intriguing in structure...and what a geometry lesson applied to 'real world'! :) Interesting that it can be so quickly constructed and installed and yet still provide the strength and flexibility for the building contractors. Some of the same variables characterize scaffolding in the teaching/learning process, but here the scaffolding is definitely a verb - a type of action - and not a product, persay.
Much of the research and writings of instructional scaffolding originate from Lev Vygotsky and his sociocultural theory and concept of the zone of proximal development. Like these physical structures, learning scaffolds are meant to be temporary - moving from constant and aggressive support to creating independent learning. The 'weaning' process is a natural one, used commonly by parents in the developmental process as well. Is it instinctual or does the scaffolding process itself need to be learned? What feedback is needed to determine the level of support needed? Educators often spend considerable time planning for lessons and I wonder how much thought is dedicated to the scaffolding process or does that really happen naturally...4th Ave N & Gulfshore Blvd, Naples, FL