Friday, December 31, 2010


12.31.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The lake reflects back mirror images of surrounding elements, offering a colorful and somewhat magical view - such an awesome trait of nature! Ending another year with reflection is quite appropriate...something that I've done the last three years now in my 365 photo project (12.31.08 and 12.31.09).

Though the year-end thoughts are important, there is more value in the day-to-day writings that accompany the images. The efforts in writing a thoughtful (some more thoughtful than others) commentary require focused time away from the 'rat race' of the day, as well as a potential connection to the image itself and a personal 'meta-thinking' process. The words sometimes flow with little conscious effort and sometimes with struggle, but they somehow end up on the screen. Reflecting inner thoughts, conflicts, or ideas, they are written without an audience in mind, but the added value of others' comments has helped me to grow and learn exponentially. There is still much to explore photographically, so 2011 will bring yet another 365 photo project. Garden of Hope & Courage, Naples, FL

Thursday, December 30, 2010


12.30.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

An overcast day at the beach still offered some delightful photo opportunities...including this 'tower' of this sandcastle with a sentry, of sorts, standing guard. Dreary as it was, I was focused more on hues and texture of the neutral landscape - the brights long gone with the sunny skies.

Even if the skies are gray, there is always optimism and hope when one feels a sense of accomplishment - be it the creation of a sandcastle or something more profitable. Establishing a positive perspective can so easily be hampered by obstacles, but forward movement beyond such negativity and despair eventually gains momentum. Most are moved by Nick Vujicic's courage (it is hard to imagine those who are not) and his message is clear. Hope is an expectation evident this time of year - we all seem to gain a more positive perspective as a new year approaches - let's 'hope' we can turn that into forward movement and 'finish strong' all year long! 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


12.29.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The late afternoon winter sun picked up beautiful highlights from the dimpled napkin rings, creating sparkly patterns on the textured placemats. Still, to only view and appreciate the scene is just the first step...the more critical and difficult subsequent action is to think, interact, remix and/or innovate. Not everything seems to lend itself for such a progression - and, yet, that is the essence of analysis, judgment, and ultimately, growth. Naples, FL

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


12.28.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Cold temperatures outside and warm heat on the inside yields condensation on the windows - this shot taken between the shutters. Our weather patterns have certainly seemed to be more 'extreme' the last couple of years with record-breaking temperatures (or close to them) on a regular basis. It seems those extremes are more evident in everyday life with regards to politics, religion, family, education, media/technology, and even Mother Nature! :) Naples, FL

Monday, December 27, 2010


12.27.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Pockets of reeds and water and a singular duck in the picture - this was the scene on a brisk late December day. I was struck by the variety of reed color as I looked across the park - how had I not witnessed such change? It was like watching family members grow old - the changes happen so gradually that they aren't seen until they 'smack you in the face' and then you wonder how the change occurred so suddenly. Taking time to focus and reflect on a daily basis helps to realize the essence of such momentous transition...and that likely extrapolates to learning in a general sense as well. ;) Sugden Park, Naples, FL

Sunday, December 26, 2010


12.26.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Airborne! What a difference a day makes ... the calm blue waters smooth as glass churned with the 6-8 ft waves whipping in a cold front. The winds of 20 mph+ brought out the kitesurfers and they appeared to be in a constant state of exhilaration as they sped up an down the shoreline. Often they would get enough momentum to lift up and 'fly' before resuming their zig zag travels over the waves.

It was both fascinating and fearful to watch these kiteboarders - it seems so risky to be battling the wind and the sea...natural elements that have a 'mind' of their own. We all take risks - some more than others. On a continuum, my tolerance for risk is likely more conservative - certainly not very spontaneous. Calculated risk-taking seems to be a better match in most cases...but, interestingly, the need to weigh the pros and cons has become more intuitive with experience. Working with teachers and students in the current technological environment requires some risk - and helping some accept that risk is requisite for learning. 8th Ave S & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, December 25, 2010


12.25.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A trio of terns posed proudly atop the pilings this Christmas morning - what a sight for the eyes on Christmas morning....enhanced even more so by the close-panning of feeding dolphins and the gull congregation onshore. It is a rare morning indeed when nature fails to offer peace, harmony, quiet and balance. It is a 'grounding' that is well-served on a daily basis...though not often accomplished - at least something for which to strive! 3rd St S & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Friday, December 24, 2010


12.24.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A predominant color of the holidays, red is, indeed, a striking 'pop'. Whether as wrapping paper or ribbon, these reds "help to make the season bright." On this Christmas Eve day, the packages remain dressed in their pretty outfits - nicely coordinated and perfectly placed. In less than 24 hours, the look under the tree will be entirely different - bare of color as the paper moves into the recycling bin and the contents get worn, played, admired or used...or perhaps even readied for the 'Return'. Like the drastic change under the tree, this holiday doesn't tend to linger beyond the 25th, despite the long-term build up and anticipation...perhaps due to the forward look to the next series of New Year's Eve and Day! Christmas cheer to all! Naples, FL

Thursday, December 23, 2010


12.23.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

In partial silhouette, the birthday girl remains avidly working through her special day...fortunately, though the work may never be done, the evening meal celebration was delightfully delicious! The nature of our 'always on' world makes it difficult to separate work from play. Recalling the 'rat race' of the '80s' is almost amusing as it doesn't come close to the crazy and fast-paced world we live in today. I'm not sure there's a way to really avoid the frenzy - maybe best to learn how to effectively cope with it? And, of course, working in the warm FL sunshine versus the gray, cold skies of northern NJ might be one coping mechanism! :) Naples, FL


12.22.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This solitary red leaf not only shows off its crimson coat, but also its well-defined shadow in the late afternoon light.Two very different sides to a single object...I suppose that is much more common than it is not when you think about it. ;) Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


12.21.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

It is a desperation shot reminiscent of the season, with more 'to dos' than at any time of the wonder the days are a blur! Hopefully, efforts to prioritize photographic energy will happen soon. In the meantime, I'll try to find a glimpse of focus and light. Naples, FL

Monday, December 20, 2010


12.20.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Six flames on the mantel...five days until Christmas...four corners to the candles...three shadows in hiding...two small baskets...and one white-bearded guy in a red plaid suit. It is definitely holiday season! :) Naples, FL

Sunday, December 19, 2010


12.19.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The metal face of this pier piling is peeling away - it reminds me of the top of a metal can half-opened. The old and rusty edges slice through the image to reveal the reality of living near the water. In the blurred background (and in contrast), the yachts are docked awaiting their owners' desire to appreciate the recreational value of waterfront property. How vastly different, at least superficially - the utilitarian versus the aesthetic. It is fascinating to contemplate the differences...and consider the similarities. The City Dock, Naples, FL

Saturday, December 18, 2010


12.18.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

On a quick photo shoot to Freedom Park to capture a few images of nature. After a fairly heavy downpour all morning, the look of the park was refreshingly bright and colorful...something a good rain always seems to do! These red maple leaves are showing off their bright crimson color, which is happy and bright - despite representing the end of the life of the leaf! Attitude can make such a difference! :) Freedom Park, Naples, FL


12.17.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The details of a conventional hair dryer are most often ignored by the consumer...after all, the user is just interested in getting their wet 'mop' dry! :) In a similar vein, those not doing our job really don't know the details involved - they are just interested in a satisfactory outcome! And, when the desired result is not produced, the 'armchair quarterback' becomes alive and well. ;) Lessons to be remembered...Naples, FL

Thursday, December 16, 2010


12.16.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The tip of a pine tree branch punctuated by baby cones and accentuated by a dead leaf comma beckons a little dressing for the holiday season. The tiny lights will soon shine picking up the ornament's sparkle and reflecting giving spirit. Full of earthy scent and family tradition, the Christmas tree stands guard over the gifts of exchange.

One of our major supermarket chains, Publix, shares their holiday tradition in a usually clever or sentimental television commercial every year. This year's is a good one, but not yet easily found on the web. This one, Conspiracy, is definitely one of my favorites, but Last Train Home is quite popular and Holiday Surprise conjures memories of our world's 'busy-ness'. Their appeal draws on many factors, but one's emotional reaction to them keeps you interested and perhaps even back for repeated showings...just as the scent, sight, and touch of the Christmas evergreen. Naples, FL

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


12.15.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Yellow day @DailyShoot and looking around for yellow brought few thought I'd create my own! ;)

But, seriously, from doodles, brainstorming and free-flow daydreaming can come many ideas and innovations. A form of 'play', such 'structure-less thinking' is often frowned upon in our society, especially in school and the workplace. And, yet, where would we be without the opportunity to release cerebrally, intuitively, emotionally, physically and spiritually in an uninterrupted manner? Just need to figure out how to balance it with the need for structured/regulated activities...hmmm. Naples, FL

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


12.14.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This bed of beach sunflowers is being overtaken by a lovely reddish plant (thus far, unnamed). Hopefully, they will complement each other instead of trying to compete for the same space. So many lessons to learn from nature! 13th Ave S & 2nd St, Naples, FL


12.13.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Well, it's a start - one string of lights is out and hung around the kitchen slow this year! These holiday lights lend such a 'sparkle' of brightness and interest - so simple, and yet so effective - not sure why we don't keep out longer or for more occasions. Yet, the rarity contributes to being special. :)

Ever finish a massive, time-consuming project and still have plenty on your plate, but choose to only relish in completion of the singular goal? Yes, there is definitely need for celebration, of sorts, even with a lengthy 'to do' list! And, yet, that celebration may be viewed differently, even with negative overtones, by others. It is sometimes a 'tough' call - to express freely without concern for others' needs/perceptions or to balance those emotions with a thoughtful response that may compromise one's own perspective for others. All in the day of the life...of all of us! Naples, FL


12.12.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Looks like this guy needs to really put some effort into getting in the air...even the nearby gull seems interested in the outcome. But it is just a typical 'take-off' for these large water birds... not the most graceful in appearance, but they get the job done! :)

Viewing this shot reminds me of trying to wind up for the last week of work before an equally busy upcoming holiday may not be pretty, but the effort will be least enough to stay afloat. But it is definitely time for a countdown of sorts and that often makes it difficult to stay motivated for anything beyond survival. One step at a time! 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, December 11, 2010


12.11.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The old Naples Daily News building is under destruction...the newspaper offices moved to a new property in the northern part of the county, which will leave a huge void in this block (not sure what, if any, plans are). Surprisingly, they made the move as newspaper business were folding left and right. Though I've no idea of their financial status, I'd guess they should be looking how they are going to 're-invent' themselves.

In this day and age of fast-paced change and innovation, 're-inventing' should be part of the 'norm'...but how many are prepared to do so? Adaptability is not a school subject (though it is often incorporated as a 'soft skill') nor is it always/often modeled by adults who themselves don't have the foundation for adapting to change. Hopefully, we can find a path for not short-changing ourselves... Central Ave & 10th St, Naples, FL

Friday, December 10, 2010


12.10.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

It's that time of the year...I resist getting ready for the holiday season as long as I can, but when the cards arrive and the calendar reveals a two-week window, it is time to bring the storage boxes out of hiding. So, this weekend, the wrapping and the decorating begin with the traditional colors of red and green, the viewing of the Naples Players performance of The Christmas Carol will be enjoyed, and the Santa list will be reviewed! Naples, FL

Thursday, December 9, 2010


12.09.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

There's really nothing like a comfortable pair of jeans...whether stone-washed or regular indigo, designed for laborers or models, recently purchased or well-worn. The amazing versatility of such a fabric is quite unique and much appreciated!

Some institutions try to replicate those denim characteristics - trying to meet everyone's needs, trying to satisfy all. Most of the time they are unsuccessful, as there are too many competing and conflicting goals, unless they compromise on quality. At some point, we really do need to determine the mission, beliefs and values of our organizations...and then mark our decisions against that vision. Naples, FL

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


12.08.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A collection of buttons - clear, colored, wooden, leather, some with shank and some without. Once kept around for a purpose (lest the loss of an original), now trivial lint collectors...still waiting for a chance to really shine.

“What is all wisdom save a collection of platitudes?”
~ George Norman Douglas

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


12.07.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Symmetrical and 'lined' dual residences are interrupted by the free-form nature of the tree branches. The tree offers incompatible characteristics - on the one hand, it is an interruption, a barrier to the symmetry, the equality of the siding, windows, and awnings...on the other hand, there's something about the curves and non-symmetry of the tree that provides a sense of balance and satisfies the need for a 'groundedness.'

Listening to Kieran Egan, author of The Future of Education: Reimagining Our Schools from the Ground Up and his premise of three incompatible goals (social, academic, and developmental growth) for education, exposing the flaws of the current state of educational affairs. His writings and thoughts are aligned with many contemporary tenets of transform. His focus is on developing the 'only source of knowledge... the human mind' and the crucial nature of conversation for education.
His comments about textbooks and libraries and even teachers being 'coded' to provide the knowledge are important, but the code is not being deciphered to tap into the knowledge most of the time - instead the emphasis has been on knowing the code itself. Fascinating and thought-provoking...and now a description for my tree 'interruption'! :) Naples, FL

Monday, December 6, 2010


12.06.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Bright and strong rays from the late afternoon sun cast representative shadows on a nearby wall. But the warm-looking image is deceiving as the temperatures steadily dropped during the day...with a potentially record-breaking freeze predicted the next two nights in the general area. Brrr - not a commonly used term in southwest Florida...and, certainly not nearly as cold as our northern neighbors! ;)

"What you see is not necessarily what you get" - in fact, by the nature of our individual and personal filters, we often place very different expectations on 'reality.' Just another reason for learning empathic understanding, honest communication skills, and coping with different 'realities'! :) Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL


12.05.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Just barely got this shot off of the little blue heron taking flight. It is clearly out of focus with the blur of the flapping wings and dripping water flow from the bird's legs. In fact, more clarity is evident in the bird's reflection! Despite the lack of photographic technical quality, I kept coming back to this shot as today's 'daily image'...maybe its reliving the satisfying moment of the shot (no matter the outcome) or the neutral earthy tones that belie the other views or maybe its the potential...the anticipation of what's next!

So much of the future can be created by each one of us - that potential can be translated into reality with a realistic vision, a confident belief, some thick 'elbow grease' and that inexplicable *magic* that really transforms. Though it may seem elusive or unreachable, working towards that future is vital! 12th Ave S & Naples Bay, Naples, FL

Saturday, December 4, 2010


12.04.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Weathered wooden pilings and equally worn rope stand solid..despite their age, they remain strong. Though this one is merely for show, there are others nearby still functional, as well.

Clearly our (so-called Western) focus on youth culture has diminished the powers of age. Many older adults strive to re-create their younger years...keeping plastic surgeons in business! Others tend to acquiesce with a submissive nod. Rarely, they take a stand establishing their time-honored sage and wisdom. Despite the devaluation, the strength remains...sometimes, being tapped for that function. 12th Ave S & 7th St, Naples, FL

Friday, December 3, 2010


12.03.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Some say that Florida's seasons never change, but this shot certainly shows off some fall-like colors! And, there was a nice little 'nip' in the air, as well! The cypress is one of the few deciduous trees that is natural to this area. Its golds and auburns are a delightful variation to the normal greens. So, yes, while others experience the 'white stuff', we bask in the 70 degree daytime temperatures, but we really do see seasonal change!

Nice to get the camera out for some nature shots at Freedom Park...especially relaxing and productive after a lousy day and a non-inspirational photographic yesterday. There is definitely something therapeutic about the environment and the lens on an early December afternoon. Cheers! Freedom Park, Naples, FL


12.02.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Playing around with the camera settings yielded a series of different shots...but nothing inspirational. Zip, zero, zilch! That happens some days and it seems the harder you try to drum up the creative spirit, the more elusive it becomes. Best to just move on until the 'magic' comes your way again. :) Naples, FL

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


12.01.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

My usual camera-shy pup was caught unaware when I came around the corner with the camera! She is fairly pitiful looking with half of her side shaved as a result of surgery, but her eyes are happy - no doubt because not only is it dinner time, but also because our temperatures dropped about 15 degrees! Sharing a smile, she's a 'good dog'! :)

Sharing through a Discovery Education webinar on Collaborative Storytelling, Dr. Lodge McCammon showcased some simple and innovative ways to incorporate the creation of digital stories in the classroom, even research-oriented. Allowing students to create gives them a voice - something they utilize every minute with their cell phones, texting, and Facebook pages so why stop in school...and doesn't school also need to help develop productive and responsible citizens? What I like most about his work is the focus is on the learning/the content and not on the technology - the message and not the 'bells and whistles'. And, though OK Go's "White Knuckles" video is a bit more sophisticated, its design is clean, simple and effective....and fun! Naples, FL