Thursday, September 30, 2010


09.30.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

While strolling through Freedom Park looking for vanishing points and a camouflaged heron, my eye caught these unusual berries - all dressed up in fall colors of brown and pumpkin! Here in Florida one needs to look closely for hints of the seasonal changes since they are not as obvious as much further north (or south!) of the equator. But the drier air (at least for this week) and the slightly cooler mornings are teasers for more change on the horizon.

Incremental change is often difficult to see unless you are looking for it, but some sort of change happens daily, even if microscopically...a point emphasized via an impromptu discussion with an educational colleague about the alphabet soup that continues to come down from above. We are drowning in the various assessments required by this entity or that one - so many that it appears the interest is more focused on gathering research data than individual student success. There is so much value in anecdotal information from a wise observer and facilitator (aka classroom teacher), but the pendulum swing to the extreme standardized testing side has taken a toll on teachers, instruction, and ultimately learning...when will we ever learn? Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


09.29.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This bougainvillea thorn is deadly sharp. The thorns often hide behind the leaves on the branch and they are quite prolific...laying in wait for the next 'victim'!

Attended a virtual summit on e-books today (as best as one can while still trying to conduct daily business) and though many revealing presentations and conversations, there are certainly thorny issues to consider. As with any new 'technology,' it is difficult (but exciting) to anticipate future needs, but I'm in agreement that e-books have indeed hit the tipping point already and I'm not sure most of us are prepared for that transition. The platforms continue to blossom, the content is becoming more ubiquitous, and it likely represents a huge shift for not only libraries but learning. Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


09.28.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Asparagus is suppose to be best in the springtime, but these looked (and tasted) so delightful! They photographed fairly well, too. The structure of the asparagus (and other vegetables) is fascinating - Mother Nature's creation and a beautiful one at that. Dense with nutrients, it is also a favorite with its distinctive flavor and compatibility with preferred entrees. Hmmm...guess it's time to start cooking! Naples, FL


09.27.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Today's @dailyshoot challenge pointed me towards all things brown...and had to include my brown 'n gold from University of Wyoming! Affiliations can be long-term, despite the distance! Go Pokes! :)

Maslow refers to affiliation needs (social and belongingness) in his famous hierarchy. Decades of college retention studies point toward social involvement and club affiliation. Facebook and other social media are really taking advantage of present and past group affiliations (which will add up to great skills for the future). Affiliations take on many faces, be it religious, cultural, work/school, or other...but they all have value for now and time to come! Naples, FL


09.26.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Supported by its spiraling and clinging tendrils, this plant is determined to grow onward and upward. It doesn't know how easily the human snippers could curtail life or send its growing in a very different direction, especially since it is growing on the 'wrong side' of the dividing fence.

Divided - as much as we may want to believe in a unified front, we are often divided by differences of thought or value. Divided - as much as we may want to believe that all are equal, we are separated by a variety of resources and freedoms. Divided - as much as we may want to believe that opportunities are universally available, a look around reveals otherwise. Divisions, though, come open and closed. When open, as this fence, there is room for interdependence and interaction; thus, room to grow despite the division. Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Saturday, September 25, 2010


09.25.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Indulge me in another beach skyline....Tonight's sunset seems pretty ominous with the lingering rain clouds, but the glimpse of pinky salmon is convincing not only in its background layers, but also in its vague reflected tint in the indigo waters. Sunsets have always been a inviting draw for their color and interesting cloud shapes, but they are even more exquisite for their layers - the foreground and the background.

The study of perception includes the organization of figure and ground - the typical optical illusion of seeing the vase or the two profile faces or the old hag/young lady illusion. Naturally, we depend on that perceptual concept to make sense of our world, but in the daily environment, the richness is truly enhanced by the ability to see and deal with the layers. Layers offer that third dimension - one of complexity and value - difficult to capture in a two dimensional photograph, but for which one aspires since it better represents our 'real' world! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Friday, September 24, 2010


09.24.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Attempts to narrow my focus to just two books at a time - one adult and one young adult - has been less than successful. It seems my attention gets distracted with each new title...and worse, my dedicated reading time continues to shrink. But I will persist! :)

Reflecting on reading and books (even if just for pleasure) always reminds me of the value of such literacy. And this time of year, the Banned Books week features another important aspect of reading, books, and libraries - that of intellectual freedom...the right to access information and ideas, no matter their mainstream agreement, admiration or acceptance. It reminds me that we are not only lucky to live in an environment that encourages intellectual freedom, but that not everyone respects the same freedoms. Share the responsibility and the rewards of this freedom. Naples, FL

Thursday, September 23, 2010


09.23.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Dreary weather this afternoon...but caught the birds out on the pilings in between showers. The out-of-focus seaoat in the foreground provides a blurry frame for the landing pelican and an interesting line to the perched egret. Despite the less than stellar weather, this spot along the beach is generally popular with the birds and often entertaining for the bird-watchers!

Like birdwatching, observing human behavior offers interest, humor and curious revelations...especially, teenagers who usually are more concerned with themselves and their friends than any possible spectators. With the onslaught of open digital communities, even the more astute are unsuspecting of potential 'voyeurs'. Each and every social media participant needs to be responsible (and accountable) for understanding and protecting their privacy rights...and yet, have you ever read and/or understood the terms of service for the online accounts for which you've registered? 3rd Ave S & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


09.22.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Messy, chaotic, tangled and without organization ... this is the usual state of my ear buds when they are not in use. Though I much prefer them in a nice, wrapped circle, they appear to have 'mind of their own'! I've given up on trying to control them as long as they are cooperative when being used (which is also sometimes questionable!). ;)

My natural learning preference is much more sequential than unordered, more linear than hyperlinked...and yet, I understand and embrace the nonlinear and seemingly disconnected pathways to learning, the preferred style of many high school-aged students. In fact, I've even learned to applaud this 'chaos' in the classroom and in my own studies. Taking the time to see anothers' perspective can lead to a tangled mess - but one that offers even more opportunities! Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


09.21.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Whether focused on the reflection or the frame, this mirror generates a decorative home accessory. It was a marketplace find in San Antonio, TX and a fond remembrance of the time and the people. Mirrors are mostly about reflections - be it physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. So, what do you see in the mirror? Naples, FL

Monday, September 20, 2010


09.20.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The teddy bear - a time honored, warm and snuggly, irreplaceable stuffed animal that brings comfort and joy in spite of (or maybe because of) its condition. A relative rarity, there's quite a history to this ubiquitous guy. His popularity is maintained, in part, because of the flexibility to personalize - add a ribbon or other 'accessory', select a color and size...there's even a business to 'build a bear'.

Individualizing, 'making it your way', and personalizing has taken on new meaning in today's Photoshop world. Our uniqueness demands appreciation and value - if only by one's self and similar community. Thankfully, we have the freedom to create our own footprint - now, we just need to do so wisely. Naples, FL

Sunday, September 19, 2010


09.19.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Check out those green eyes, especially penetrating and set off by the background greenery! He appears to be feral, though I saw him at a popular beach park so he must not be too fearful of people...and likely found a good food source. Something about him portrays confidence and even defiance and, of course, the typical feline aloofness!

Though sometimes misinterpreted, body language can be revealing. It is especially interesting when exhibited involuntarily - researchers must have a field day in studying it. As such, I think that much body language is interpreted automatically without thinking. Integrated into our general scheme of receiving a message, nonverbal communication becomes an important, but silent contributor to the situation...involuntary, as well. Lowdermilk Park, Naples, FL

Saturday, September 18, 2010


09.18.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This dragonfly stayed just long enough to get off this semi-focused shot - what a challenge when the subject doesn't cooperate! :) Isn't that so true about many situations...when others don't behave as expected?! Celebrating the talents or needs of others can be difficult when you have your own expectations. Patience is the obvious key...but how long do you wait? ;) Freedom Park, Naples, FL


09.17.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The geiger tree offers profuse orange flower clusters throughout the year, but they are often 'hidden' amongst the dense leaves. It's always a surprise to discover them and enjoy their contrasting color and texture. After enjoying a short trip around town to shoot some photos, I came home to find no power. Not the same pleasant surprise as the geiger blossoms by any means...especially when the darkness and lack of AC & internet connectivity lasted all night, but it was one of those things...

Coping with unexpected surprises in life gets easier with experience, but it is not something that one thinks about teaching or learning. Like so many life skills, some have an advantage of strong parenting, while others struggle. There has long been conversation about the roles of parents versus the role of educational institutions...overlap? distinct responsibilities? Very little resolution in this debate, but in our current culture, there appears to be more polarization than collaboration. 1st Ave N & 8th St, Naples, FL

Thursday, September 16, 2010


09.16.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

I love this unique gate and its nontraditional 'fence'! :) Its rustic framing surrounds a more intricate carving that depicts a world quite different from southwest Florida - very eclectic. This gate is welcoming, offering a glimpse to the pathway beyond, unlike some gates that are closed and act more as a warning barrier.

Just as gates take on different traits, so do the gatekeepers. Controlling access can be a very powerful attribute...and potentially damaging to others. In our current climate in secondary education, one of the more powerful gatekeepers is the school district's technology department...the controller of the internet filter. As an educator, it is both frustrating and painful to see the number of useful and creative sites that are blocked - deemed inappropriate by non-educators in one broad sweep. Educating high school students to deal with inappropriate sites would have so much more value than blocking them from their view. There are just so many things wrong with this 'gatekeeper' in my view. 2nd Ave N & 6th St, Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


09.15.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Standing tall above the others, this palm tree is certainly more impressive than the others! Part of that is simply due to perspective, but seeing its background and viewing it closer (and perhaps more personal) helps to put it center stage. Sometimes we don't get a chance to draw on that perspective due to time, other focal points and maybe even disinterest.

Similarly, relationships with students can become quick and casual without taking note of the perspective. Knowing a bit more about one's background, seeing them as individuals - in a more personal manner - can help them feel more valued and help us better communicate and facilitate learning. Traditionally, in our high schools, teachers are asked to manage 150 students a day - no wonder many (sadly) don't even know student names. Fortunately, the high school where I work has cut that ratio in half and provides in-depth time for interaction with nearly 90 minute instructional blocks a day instead of the traditional 50 minutes. How can we help more students stand tall? 3rd Ave S & US 41 E, Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


09.14.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The egrets were gathered on the pilings at water's edge near sunset. Unfortunately, I had to shoot into the light to capture them, but couldn't resist! Like statues, they were poised to spear their prey. The light must have revealed transparency in the waters below because time and time again they showed success.

So many times we equate action with success, but in doing so, we may overlook the importance of inactivity and stillness to prepare, think, and reflect. The incubation (and even hibernation) of ideas may be the real catalyst of success. 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Monday, September 13, 2010


09.13.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Approaching what used to be known as '4 Corners' (back when it was the center of town and considered a major intersection) in the aftermath of a downpour (dark clouds corner the image and raindrops filter the view). The reflected colors make it cheery and bright despite the growing darkness. Mondays are often tough...between the shock of leaving the weekend and the looming list of 'to dos'! :) Add to that a return to work for "Back to School" night...and this Monday was a blur. Blurs are frustrating in terms of measuring accomplishments, but they do make the time 'fly'! US 41 E & 10th St, Naples, FL

Sunday, September 12, 2010


09.12.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Watching and photographing this egret at the Garden of Hope and Courage today was revealing - they really have to work hard to get just a nibble of nutrition! I took a number of shots, but really like this one for the stalk behind its beak - it looks like a brown version of the egret beak, head and neck. Mimicry can be a useful decoy when feeding.

The art of mimicking or imitative behavior is also a useful tool for learning. It is extremely obvious in early learning, but it is also evident in secondary and postsecondary education. Teachers model expectations and examples even if creativity is emphasized. As much as we desire individualism and unique innovation, we start with a similarity and simulations. Perhaps we need to take better advantage of what mimicry can offer in learning. Garden of Hope & Courage, Naples, FL

Saturday, September 11, 2010


09.11.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Headed home after chores and some beach photography...driving by Freedom Park, but decided not to stop since I'd already got some shots and had lots of other 'to dos" - until I saw the wreath placed at the unfinished Freedom Memorial at the park and had to reverse course. There was a solitary man there when I drove by. I met him at the parking lot when I arrived and he asked if I was headed to the memorial. When I responded affirmatively and that I'd not planned to but I'd seen him place the wreath there and turned around, he was touched and said 'thank you' before he drove away. It was as if the grief of so many sacrifices from nine years ago accumulated on the shoulders of this man and he welcomed a chance to share. Some other people share through StoryCorps.

Though there may have been other events in America's history that were as profoundly disturbing, the loss of life so innocent on September 11, 2001 was a marker in my lifetime and one that undeniably shattered a naivete of monocular vision for the nation. Although the phrase "Freedom isn't free" is very familiar to those of us who grew up in the military, the concept of freedom took on an entirely different meaning with such an unexpected and seeming inexplicable aggression. So my moment to reflect on (and to shed tears for) that tragedy's anniversary at a visioned, but stark, tribute to those lost...and time to send in my contribution towards finishing the memorial. Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Friday, September 10, 2010


09.10.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Some signage doesn't need much explanation! :)

So much of what we communicate on a day-to-day basis is, however, up for interpretation. It is often difficult to discern how the message will be perceived as it goes through the various filters of others...made even more precarious as we limit nonverbal communication in digital interactions. And then there are the 'listeners' who chose not to hear the message at all! Nevertheless, communication is the key (and a 'full time job') and deserving of top priority for all. 6th Ave N & 8th St, Naples, FL

Thursday, September 9, 2010


09.09.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Hungry ibis were enjoying abundant prey as a result of an afternoon downpour. Their mirror images shine brightly in the nearby puddle.

Have you ever been told that you remind someone of your 'double'? It is interesting to think that there's a mirror image of you somewhere in the world. How 'identical' would they be - looks, personalities, genes? Identical twins share such a legacy - some more so than others. As much as we value diversity and individuality, we really are more alike than we are so many ways! 13th Ave S & 6th St, Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


09.08.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A crazy and mismatched day, thus the deary content (only made more drab by the rains) and the kooky post processing (a nice distraction from the photo's flaws). Sometimes you just need to 'make do with what you've got'! Doing so, though, doesn't mean you stick with that attitude when you have loftier goals.

We know that sometimes 'taking one step forward' is accompanied by 'two steps backward' and yet we persist. It is difficult for many students to understand that phenomenon when they have not experienced (nor viewed) it as successful. The results of hard work are not easily seen unless you've toiled yourself. Success is many times sweeter when you've persevered, especially with those pesky roadblocks in the way. 8th Ave N & US 41 E, Naples, FL

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


09.07.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Five bubble mailers lined up nicely and a single errant one trying hard to conform, but...not quite - always one, right?! Observe my fair share of this behavior on a regular basis while dealing with teenagers. Enough said! Naples, FL

Monday, September 6, 2010


09.06.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This unusual beauty was in the Brazilian section of the Naples Botanical Garden. Fortunately, the docent pointed it out to me as it was not on my radar! Labeled as a chestnut tree, it apparently blooms annually, but only briefly, so I was lucky to capture it.

Luck - you can't deny it, but you sure can't depend on it! You might be able to anticipate it on occasion, but it can be fickle. Nevertheless, you always want it on your side... Naples, FL

Sunday, September 5, 2010


09.05.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

What a glorious and vivid sunrise this morning...there are so many advantages for being an 'early bird'! :) This shot was taken from the 6th (and top) floor of a parking garage which allowed for an uninterrupted view, making it that much more awesome.

Thank goodness for my early rise and photo shoot, as the rest of the day was full of unending 'to dos'. I often think about years past when I could indulge in a craft or pastime for hours on end. Now the days seem more limited, the time more stretched...Sure, there's the big time-sucker - the internet and all of its interesting distractions. And, then there's just the cumulative effect of so many years and so many interests! But how did the days get shorter? ;) Well, I'd much prefer this problem than being 'bored'! Waterside Shopping Center, Naples, FL

Saturday, September 4, 2010


09.04.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Some brightly blooming Mexican firebush lines one of the ponds on the pathway at Freedom Park. It was really too hot (midday, midsummer, FL) to be doing much outdoors, but I was in search of 'colors and water' for the daily shoot challenge. What prolific, vibrant blooms - there's water there, too, but I couldn't compromise this dof for 'water' requirement - would have been a totally different image...

Yes, some things are worth compromising and often uncompromised decisions are made in stubbornness or to satisfy 'power trips' or even from lack of awareness. Compromise certainly has its place, but sometimes it truly changes the intention, outcome, and value of a situation. The key is not necessarily compromise itself, but weighing it as an option in the decision making process. Granted, not every decision provides the most desired conclusion, but making a choice to consider the pros and cons of all options is responsible and allows for some good critical thinking! Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Friday, September 3, 2010


09.03.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Enjoying some cherished memories of my maternal grandmother this afternoon when taking moments to reflect upon the past. She was a first generation immigrant from Scotland who homesteaded with her family in central Wyoming...thus, the thistle and plaid box. Our history impacts our present and we are constantly creating history which will impact the future. Yet, we often aren't aware of such influence and responsibility.

Much of my day was spent with 10th grade Multimedia students discussing Creative Commons. Though there was emphasis on choice, responsibility, and sharing, we didn't delve much into the concept of 'building upon". It would seem that most innovations and creations have some sort of historical framework from which to build - it does give more meaning to studying history! Naples, FL

Thursday, September 2, 2010


09.02.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Looks like the outdoor shower head is in need of a major scrubbing or replacement - it has been around for awhile. Despite its corrosive appearance, it works well...which might be why it has been ignored.

The lack of a 'squeaky wheel' sometimes leads to complacency and even neglect. In fact, the opposite - obvious and continuous complaints - seems to garner much attention. It is no wonder that 'whiners' maintain their stance as they are so often rewarded with their desired attention. Naples, FL

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


09.01.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A tea kettle under the stove's hood light glow offers distorted reflections and abstractions. The essence and mood created seems in direct contrast to the function of this contraption! Ultimately, the image likely speaks to people on different levels (if at all!).

Again, different perceptions create a totally unique 'mind frame' and attitude not only about a particular situation, but life in general. Sometimes the extremes can be viewed as introvert v. extrovert (and I'm not thinking about the behaviors, but how they view the world). The MBTI delves deeper. I appreciate the value of understanding one's preference and the preferences of others around you, but I wonder how much one 'should' stretch to balance out the extreme tendency? Of course, there are parameters of acceptable and desired behaviors...but we always hope that diversity is also wide the range? Naples, FL


08.31.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Hurricane Earl is actually impacting us in a good way - bringing in dry air with a light breeze, which makes outdoor activities more bearable! Interesting that not many are taking advantage of it this afternoon, but it is still quite hot. The sea oats remain fairly erect despite a gentle breeze and the lone dragonfly aloft belies the insect activity.

The 'silver lining' is often deeply hidden, but it is there upon closer inspection! :) 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL