A nice display of the common and albino varieties of pumpkins at our Fresh Market. Since it is already Halloween and I doubt all were sold - there were likely some 'leftovers'! Of course, with the need for pumpkin pie in the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps they will find a 'home' after all!?! There has been strong commercialization for the holiday this year - there are three seasonal "Halloween" stores (i.e., sole purpose is Halloween-oriented) within a 2 mile radius here. This is a new marketing/retail ploy and I'm surprised that it seems to be taking off so well in today's economy...must be people are tired of the negatives and ready to have some 'fun'! Works for me! Old Trail & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Saturday, October 30, 2010
This little gal was concentrating hard on getting candy out of the bag and tossing it to those who lined the parade route. She was among many who participated in the annual Swamp Buggy parade...a unique event featuring a 'buggy' or two, lots of politicians, and a couple of high school bands.
This parade nor the photo shoot here was not on my morning agenda, but this is such a *big* event that they close down the major highway in town for half the day! Since my travels would suffer a major detour, it seemed a better alternative to accept the need for some photography. You know, one of those "if you can't beat them, join them" kind of moments. It also gave me the opportunity to play a bit with people as subjects, since that is not my forte. Naturally, we lean towards our preferences and strengths and there's good reason to promote that, but every once in awhile it is good to 'stretch' our limitations. :) And...another year until the next Swamp Buggy parade - ya'll come on down for it! 2nd Ave N & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Friday, October 29, 2010
So, what do you see in this cloud formation? How does your imagination form a familiar (or fantasy) figure in the whites, grays and blues? Any feelings or emotions accompany the time spent identifying cloud shapes? Some may discount such efforts as wasteful and nonproductive, but the act can relax the mind and reduce everyday stress to allow for clearer thinking, thought incubation and even potential innovation!
It doesn't take much time to 'escape' from reality - just a moment or two! All of us seem to be overly busy in the 'rat race world', but we can all benefit from a brief respite. And, as Dean Shareski states in his Let's Stamp Out Busyness post, "I'm not suggesting your life isn't full but for the most part it's the life you've chosen." - We make choices all of the time about how to spend our time and we need to start owning up to those choices. We also have the choice and the power to prioritize time for the benefits of 'cloud-reading'! It's not always easy, but it is....and it seems to be something that is often swept under the carpet of 'busyness.' Waterside Shopping Center, Pine Ridge Rd & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Thursday, October 28, 2010
A bee showed up just as the shutter release button was depressed - how serendipitous! In fact, the arrival of the insect transforms the photograph from its original composition, providing even more weight to the left side of the image and implying a stronger meaning with its pollen gathering.
“The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. But the bee . . . gathers its materials from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci
Serendipity is a wonderful jewel in my world. Though I believe in its ultimate surprising fate, I have no doubt that I have influenced the opportunity to experience such an event...and to do something with it. A serendipitous comment on a Flickr photo led to an amazing project with two other '365 photographers' ( Sinikka and Tania) with our Through Global Lenses collaborative project. Creating a student learning opportunity through the use of photographs and reflective writing from Australia to Finland to USA alone was a fun challenge, but experiencing the authentic results of social connections across the globe amongst students was extra special. Like the bee, it was transformational. Naples, FL
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
This scene captured my attention! Hanging a boat from a tree doesn't seem the norm...though it does make efficient use of space! You never know what you'll find around town...even a skiff being 'hung out to dry'! :) The thought of abandoning someone or something when their need is at the highest seems foreign and unnatural. Perhaps it doesn't happen purposefully, but it may be perceived differently. At what point does one person need to take responsibility for how another feels? How much accountability do each of us have for our own behavior, perceptions and feelings? Sometimes what seems obvious becomes ever fleeting upon analysis...Central & 3rd St, Naples, FL
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Pasta, though not homemade, is fairly nutritious in the whole grain version...and its actually tastier (at least to me!). Healthy, flexible, and easy to prepare...its hard to believe that pasta gets such a bad rap sometimes...perhaps that negativity results more from the sauce/topping than the pasta itself! Finding good nutrition in our fast-food and processed world can sometimes be challenging, but pasta offers a basic and convenient alternative. Nutrition for the body is just one survival trait...emphasis on the mind and soul is just as vital! Naples, FL
Monday, October 25, 2010
With some added processing to show more contrast, this spider web tendril shows some age with its clogged pathway. The silken thread is certainly similar to a yarn fiber ready to be woven! The anatomy and workings of a spider web is one of the most amazing of nature's phenomena. How in the world do they manage to get from one side to the other and then create such an amazing pattern? How ingenious to plan such a work of art to trap unsuspecting prey! The mysteries never cease to fascinate.
Creating a culture of curiosity is a both a challenge and a prerequisite for the teaching profession. Some may argue with that...expecting students to come with a readiness and a yearning for learning. Realistically, this expectation becomes stifled soon after kindergarten. The structure and formality of the education institution shares part of the blame, but perhaps the entire climate of the industrial age, complete with a low priority on education persay, has also been influential. Whatever the cause, establishing that desire to learn, to question and to discover is key...and not on the typical list of 'standards'! Naples, FL
Sunday, October 24, 2010
A monochromatic flight of two egrets - such subtle beauty and an amazing feat to witness. The wonder of our natural world is so obvious and still so elusive. Though this photograph appears to represent 'stop action', we know that their flight continued...and so it did.
There are times when others will try to appease with a comment similar to 'there will be another opportunity' or 'your time will come'...but ultimately, every moment in time is unique and becomes history immediately thereafter. Though history has been known to 'repeat itself' (and certainly, there are lessons to be learned), there really is just one opportunity for that unique moment...for that set of circumstances, for that decision, for that vision. Though not always pleasurable nor discounting the need for future planning, carpe diem/'seize the day' is valued advise! 7th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
A hazy pink glow to the full moon setting...as the sun was trying to rise and the gulls soared lazily over the Gulf waters and the dolphins made an occasional appearance. And, so it goes in southwest Florida. Change is rarely evident to the typical observer, but there is increased traffic of both types of northern visitors (the real birds and the snowbirds).
Paying attention to detail can be time consuming and is not always part of a preferred skill set, but acknowledgment of subtle differences helps to keep the senses healthy. It is difficult to focus on such a micro level when there are also demands to see the 'big picture'. So many challenges in today's reality ... they all benefit from the effective exercise of our thinking skills - both traditional and creative. 7th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Friday, October 22, 2010
The passage of time is documented by a couple of Spathiphyllum flowers at various stages of life - there's something still beautiful about the older version...thus, the clearer focus. Youth will always have an association with attraction and fascination, but the 'elders' are often cast off and ignored. Our society continues to value teens over seniors, while other cultures promote a healthy respect for the older family members. Value can be appreciated in the entire spectrum of life...all ages bring strengths and an opportunity for healthy discourse, just as all individuals have potential for the positive. It is sometimes difficult to see what is beyond the surface, but in doing so much beauty can be revealed. Naples, FL
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Close-up and personal, this is a detail of a banner advertising the Unveiling Breast Cancer photographic exhibition at the von Liebig Art Center...a revealing and honest look at breast cancer's impact and an invitation for conversation about the disease. Sometimes the best way to address the issue is to approach it visually, even if it is uncomfortable to view.
Subtlety may indeed be more sensitive, but there are times when one must be direct and frank (but not without kindness). The denial of honest conversation may lead to confusion, devaluation, and distortion. Of course, such need for upfront communication does not point toward the extreme pendulum swing...instead, assessing for a balanced, but straightforward, truthfulness. von Liebig Art Center, 6th Ave S & Park St, Naples, FL
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Spied the remains of this snake cactus bloom about 20 ft up the slash pine tree. The cactus itself is unusual as it vines its way up the tree looking strangely out of place. Also referred to as Princess of the Night, the cactus blooms nocturnally and only gets one shot to 'show off'...obviously, I missed it! The experience of viewing the flower would be awesome... and imagine photographing it! Well, it isn't a real high priority, but I will continue to be on the 'look out' for the elusive bloom.
Persistence is often a key characteristic for success...which makes perfect sense, as it is rare to accomplish one's goal the first time around! And, so I will persistently pursue the the opportunity to view such a delicate and rare blossom. Persistence, however, is only valued when the goal itself is high priority...persistence is fed by (and, in turn, feeds) that motivational purpose. Students without motivation would have little reason to persist. So many of our students arrive at our doorsteps without goals, without motivation, without persistence...all of which can be disastrous. Determining their 'night bloom' is a key factor that all effective teachers identify in the facilitation of learning! Bougainvillea and 6th Ave N, Naples, FL
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Early voting started yesterday and I happily obliged this afternoon - what a relief to get it crossed off the list! Now, if we could just get rid of all of the televised political advertisements...this year has been particularly back-biting, negative, and profuse. Though I wasn't always happy with any of the vying candidates, I applaud their apparent willingness to serve the public - it really is an unrewarding job.
Nonetheless, leadership seems to be rare and in high demand with little modeling available, considering the public appearances (both live and in selected ads) of such candidates. That doesn't seem to bode particularly well for the state of public government, but the high visibility of such negativism is particularly disconcerting when you think of the wide impact of the the negative exemplar. Naples City Hall, Naples, FL
Monday, October 18, 2010
The curved lines and spherical top of a street lamp stand in stark contrast to the fluffy clouds of the afternoon sky. Its purpose lies in wait while the sun's light dominate, but it plays a major role for almost half of the day when the skies darken and the only other illumination shines from the moon and stars...it provides the guiding light.
When I think about how much I take for granted in my daily life, i.e., those 'street lamps', I realize the number of undervalued structures, events, people and concepts that truly make the world 'tick'. Attention is often misplaced - much like the 'squeaky wheel'. Instead, the focal point needs to be identified and recognized for its worth...even if that goes against the flow. 7th Ave N & US 41 E, Naples, FL
These gulls were disrupted from their resting spot and took to flight in a synchronous fashion. Though their pattern looks a bit chaotic, they appeared to have a plan and ended up reuniting at a different part of the shoreline. Our world demands both synchronous and asynchronous communication...with a hearty expectation for the potential of daily chaos. Who would have ever thought (back in the '80s when we were complaining about the rat race) we would be challenged by such departures from comfort and familiarity in this contemporary day? 3rd Av N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Playing with the sunlight and the reflective surface...focused on the edge...coaxing color density...yielded an abstract of sorts, diverging from the reality.
In trying to personalize learning situations, teachers often utilize either a formal or informal method to determine a student's preference for abstract (vs. concrete) thinking...a philosophical versus literal stance. Despite my push to blur the edges and think 'outside of the proverbial box', my strength (at least, initially) is to take a hands-on and literal approach to learning. My need to interact with the tangible is usually a prerequisite for the abstract to occur. Meta thinking and reflective writing are good exercises in my developmental process. Naples, FL
Friday, October 15, 2010
Trying to close up the media center computer lab on a Friday afternoon and these two were still focused on a multimedia assignment for a language arts class. (Of course, I encouraged them to stay!) Many of their classmates had been down during their lunch breaks every day this week. The project (a retelling of a non-fiction selection) has been especially engaging and the teacher has been extremely satisfied with the on-task focus, the creativity, and the depth of understanding.
Despite the incredible amount of time spent (with likely intrusion on other lessons), this 'coverage' has been deep, interactive, quality and personal. Choosing to make the time is an important first step on the part of the teacher (and much credit is given to this fabulous teacher!). It is an important decision as curriculum standards, district initiatives, and a plethora of assessments compete for those hours on a regular basis. It becomes a daily dilemma for many teachers ... some have learned to go with their 'gut instinct' for what is right for students, but others have difficulty being swayed away from the 'top down' pressures. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Thursday, October 14, 2010
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
~ Albert Schweitzer
What a difference my PLN colleagues have made in my life for the last few years - the flame of inspiration is offered daily from those worldwide via social networking sites. What a coup! Professional learning networks spiral ideas and creative thoughts into action and provide encouragement for 'marching to one's own drummer.' PLNs are highly recommended to others, but many times the concept doesn't 'stick' - lack of time? lack of initiative? other? There is a demand for both commitment and sharing, but perhaps collective leadership is another expectation...a quality that is not natural for the traditionalist. Naples, FL
Upside down or right side up...two different views, but not necessarily with the value-added descriptions! Nonetheless, the views offer both similarities to and deviations from each other. All part of nature's plan, no doubt! Though there's much more to reflectively write on this topic, today's time slot was curtailed...so, let your imagination take you where it will! Naples, FL
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Framed brick stairs lead to this home's entry...somewhat interrupted by the overhang of the golden blossomed tree. Navigating steps is usually pretty straightforward, though not always easy. As long as those steps are outlined and supported, there is a chance for improved skill or knowledge acquisition in a learning environment. Preached as an important strategy in supporting those steps, scaffolding can be visible or transparent. And like the hanging branches, there are plenty of distractions to cope with along the path to learning. 3rd St & North Lake Dr, Naples, FL
Monday, October 11, 2010
Today's brilliant sunshine added beautiful depth to this red umbrella and even added some charming design shadows! The color red can evoke excitement, attention, energy, confidence, and enthusiasm. The word red has various meanings in phrases such as, caught red-handed, red carpet treatment, seeing red, no worth a red cent, and red tape. Whether a physical reaction or a challenge to our literary sense, these 'reds' are symbols of some significance.
Symbols are used in literature, religion, art, and politics...and without getting too philosophical, there is evidence of symbolism in both verbal and nonverbal communication. Images have become an incredibly rich springboard for free-flow thinking and metaphorical writing in the last couple of years of 365 project - an opportunity to explore the personal meaning of symbols. Of course, the process has also led to increased reflection, collaborative discussions, social learning, and an increased desire to facilitate a similar experience for potential learners! Estey Ave & Airport Rd, Naples, FL
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Window dressing comes in many different forms between the mannequins, the golden reflections on the window and the aesthetically pleasing frame, both architecturally and horticulturallyl Perhaps because of the rectangular and symmetrical window, the odd number of under-dressed figures still appear to be balanced. Sometimes, though, window dressing attempts to hide the truth, the reality...instead presenting an embellished representation.
With the advent of internet publishing, many are easily swayed by websites that only appear to represent documented information. With the popularity of photo editing tools, the typical photograph can be transformed to be something entirely different. The imagination and innovation of so many 'ordinary' folk are easily share on the internet. Yet many of our youth (and adults for that matter) are easily swayed by the 'window dressing' - critical thinking skills are even more in demand with the ubiquity of the internet. 12h Ave S & 4th St, Naples, FL
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Headed for the beach to shoot some palm tree silhouettes at sunrise, but was stopped by the recognizable song of a cardinal to his mate...looked up and there he was with a proud silhouette! Partial lighting revealed his red chest and yellow beak, but this visual cannot replace the magnificent sounds emanating from above.
We all have our own sense preferences, but sometimes an event is better experienced by a combination of senses or even one that is not normally used to its potential. Capitalizing on our strengths is both natural and valuable in our learning environments - in fact, we often don't do enough of that...instead expecting students to learn the same content at the same time in the same place. There are other times, though, when stretching beyond our preferences and going outside the circle of comfort provides the opportunity for transformational growth...and might reveal a latent strength! 3rd Ave N & Gulfshore Blvd, Naples, FL
Friday, October 8, 2010
Looking up is so much more fun than looking down, as this perspective reveals...and couldn't be more satisfied with the bright blue sky and the hexagonal light shapes which mimic the street lamp openings (totally unplanned for, by the way). The clean lines and characteristic minimalism are stark, but not unfriendly. Instead, the shot evokes a sense of calm and respite...a nice welcome to the weekend! Coastland Center, Golden Gate Pkwy & Goodlette, Naples, FL
Thursday, October 7, 2010
An deserted trailer hitch lies in captivity behind a chain link fence. Though its usefulness may have diminished (or, at the least, been ignored), its structure serves as shelter for the wandering insects and small mammals. The fencing may serve its purpose of keeping intruders out (and an abandoned trailer hitch in), but its criss-cross pattern also encourages plant growth in an upward fashion. So many times objects are designed for one purpose, but utilized for another. This duality is really quite a gift (often overlooked!) - imagine if we looked for those secondary functions on a regular basis instead of merely relying on their known use! Brookside Dr & Davis Blvd, Naples, FL
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Interesting veins in this slice of tree...the casing for a wooden kaleidoscope. As I recall, it is an unusual type of wood found in a different environment. The wood worker polished this piece into a beauty for the eye and touch. The capillary look offers a hint to the communication and delivery function of the network of lines. Just as the health of the tree depends on the network, the vitality of an organization relies to a large degree on effective dialog. Naples, FL
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
This brightly colored blossom has met its match and is slowly wilting from the power of time. In evidence, though, are two tiny buds that are not quite ready to burst - though one can anticipate what they will become. So, it goes in our natural world...there is birth, there is life, there is end-of-life - and when one life ends, another one (or two) begins and flourishes. The end of life for such a vibrant entity is both sad and disappointing...yet, nothing can really preserve it nor bring it back to life. Its future is in those two new potential blooms.
The recent and unexpected loss of a work colleague brings heartache and grief. The only bright spot is that her two daughters survived (at least the physical injuries) and will hopefully move forward with strength and love from both earthbound and heavenly spirits. Thinking about all of you...3rd Ave N & 6th St, Naples, FL
Monday, October 4, 2010
Who would have thought a toothbrush would offer color, texture, and possibly interest? We think of these implements primarily for their function and not for their design...and yet, there are multiple dimensions. Brushing away debris and cleansing for freshness is a daily ritual...in more ways than one! Imagining and creating a tool to do so needs to consider both facets of effectiveness and efficiency.
Brushing away color in parts of a photograph to focus on a particular area is a great post-processing technique to guide the eye and create emphasis. Determining the spotlight is always a key factor...evident in 'real' life, as well. Some people relish the limelight and prominence while others abhor it. Like the tools and the photographs of them, one needs to respect their basic characteristics and enhance only as appropriate. Naples, FL
This scene is not the usual calm Gulf of Mexico with waters gently lapping at the shore. It is fun to see and hear the consecutive crashes of waves (albeit small compared to many waters). Generally such an event is the sign of an incoming front and this time, it has brought cool and dry air to tease us with the seasonal changes on the horizon.
Such a wide expanse of the horizon helps to focus on opportunities to expand our passions, to hone our learning, and to create our future. With such openness, there are pathways in multiple directions to suit individual choosing. Even the potential barrier of the crashing waves can be overlooked when the vision is 'long-distance'. 11th St S & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Mostly submerged (...not unusual) this gator looks almost 'friendly' ... but looks can be deceiving! Though this alligator was in captivity at the Naples Zoo, there are many more 'in the wild' all over our area. They are amazing creatures - one moment, docile and the next, ferocious. Nonetheless, they rely on basic instinct and survival techniques on a daily basis.
There are times when we simply operate from the most primal of needs, but our thinking skills, our creativity, and our capability to adapt are more often called upon for survival in our contemporary world. Both parents and schools, as well as community, contribute to the facilitation of these modern 'survival skills'. All facets need to be powerful, empathic, and challenging - a proposition worth following and challenging! Naples Zoo, Naples, FL
Friday, October 1, 2010
Simple, minimalist...and a distinctive symbol in today's technology world. Though some may criticize Apple's ego and prices, their innovative products and impressive marketing techniques have made a dent in the industry. No matter how simple things may look, there is undoubtedly a web of complexity - sometimes forgotten as we try to understand and solve problems in our world. Naples, FL