Monday, May 31, 2010


05.31.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Flags released and at attention stand guard over the graves of fallen soldiers. This one day of the year, the spotlight is on those who sacrificed their lives while serving in the military. Memorial Day offers a chance to reflect on the reasons those men and women made that forfeiture.

It is interesting to note that the military has always been a 'rite of passage' for some - many who signed up to serve in conflicts did so 'underage' with forged documents. How can those at 17 or 18 years old even understand the meaning of sacrifice? And yet, they make that commitment, brandishing courage, every day. Somehow, our belated thanks for keeping our country safe seems inadequate. Naples Memorial Garden, Naples, FL


05.30.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This night heron was stalking its crab breakfast while I was stalking him! I got my 'catch' but he wasn't so fortunate - at least not while I was watching! Naples, FL

Saturday, May 29, 2010


05.29.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Hard to believe the days of May are coming to an end - at least for this year. Marking the beginning of summer (though we've been in it for at least a month) and the end of the school year (though our calendar now demands two more weeks), Memorial Day weekend is underway in a celebratory and reflective mood.

The moon has been shining brightly as well - celebrating in its own way as a big, golden sphere. Much cropping in post-processing provided only this grainy shot, but it represents far more.

Reaching for our dreams and dreaming about more, the image provides a springboard for me to reflect on and remember those who lost their lives while serving in the military. Like the moon, the loss of life in the Armed Forces seems both distant (the destruction of war is brought to us daily through the visual media and yet it seems surreal) and close-by (it really hits home when a member of our community is named in the obituary section). There's some comfort and much connectivity in knowing that all of us view the same moon! Naples, FL


05.28.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Most of us find ourselves driven by time - work, family, friends, etc - mostly scheduled and measured in hours and minutes by clockwork. There are times when I can easily imagine the measure of time by nature with the cyclical rising and setting of the sun and moon. How about you? :) 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Thursday, May 27, 2010


05.27.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Who wouldn't love a shiny penny? It looks like a fine engraving with its detail, glow and color. Yet, what is it worth? Most people carelessly discard their pennies as worthless - in fact, there's a group advocating for the retirement of the penny! I must say, I've been ignoring the penny as I didn't notice until now that the one side has an engraved log cabin (presumably, Lincoln's?) rather than the Lincoln Memorial.

Even if the penny can't hold its own value in the economy, consider its impact on popular sayings:
- A penny for your thoughts.
- A penny saved is a penny earned.
- It is worth every penny.
- Penny wise is pound foolish.
- A bad penny always comes back.
Clearly, the penny's value extends far beyond the financial district, representing some importance to the American culture! Naples, FL

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


05.26.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

More blooms to share ... the pink hibiscus are so vibrant against the bright blue skies that I can't resist highlighting them! Indeed their vibrancy brings optimism and can transform an overall mediocre (or even a bad) day!

A new Sir Ken Robinson (TED) video has gone viral recently -- at least with the educational technology oriented folks! As usual, he doesn't pull any punches (though with a jolly sense of humor) in admonishing the current state of education and the need to *transform* not 'reform' the system. As an educator for more than 30 years, it is both disconcerting to even be at this stage of need and exciting to be part of the transformation, however slowly moving! My impatience surely shows an urgency for change...but the need goes back to the early 1980's report, A Nation At Risk. Robinson's choice of 'agricultural' as the word to describe the organic model of revolutional learning is in contrast though to the need for future/forward thinking IMHO...Naples, FL

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


05.25.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Even the wispy clouds in the blue sky background don't seem to take away from the mockingbird's presence. It is recommended to keep a wary eye on these birds as they easily 'dive-bomb' any intruders into their very wide 'home' range - justified by protecting their nests! Of course, they deceive you with their beautiful songs and mocking calls, but don't be lulled by their musical notes...they love to be the aggressor - going straight for the head!

Appearances can be deceiving indeed - from book covers to neighborhoods and across all sorts of people - but, ultimately, there are no masks and only the true essence. Interestingly even then, there can be various interpretations on the same object....just as the mockingbird appears to view all others as intruders! Naples, FL

Monday, May 24, 2010


Jacaranda Tree

The lovely jacaranda tree's lavender blooms are beginning to fade, but the vista is changing with the bright orange of the poinciana tree! The flowering trees are certainly a feast for the eyes - though not much scent! The explosion of color this time of year not only makes the world a lot more interesting, but it also seems to make it much happier.

Ending a school year brings 'good byes' which are usually the 'happy' kind with the culmination of accomplishments and the transition to new growth! Still, the 'farewells' can be emotionally laden and even stressful. Anticipation and awareness can often ease the negatives, but ultimately we all have 'peaks and valleys' with which to acclimate. Naples, FL

Sunday, May 23, 2010


05.24.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Shellscape from the shoreline perspective is yet another way to appreciate a 'landscape' at the beach! Since this is at dawn and the sun was just barely peeking over the horizon, the sand shows pretty dark, but it is a nice contrast to the lighter colored shells.

There seem to be so many contrasts to keep in perspective! For one who seeks balance, this often creates conflict, Still, there is no balance without extremes. 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, May 22, 2010


05.22.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The design of this ordinary egg carton is ever so interesting with its dips and ridges, crevices and peaks...all contributing to the protective function of the fragile egg! The young minds with whom educators work are also somewhat delicate - susceptible to manipulations from the environment and pressures from peers.

Unlike the mass-produced egg carton's protective function, educators are tasked with facilitating the growth of individual minds in a developmental fashion. The demands for customization are evident and are the needs to investigate all sides of the issue (not sure that is happening in TX with its new textbook curriculum policies!). Naples, FL

Friday, May 21, 2010


05.21.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A grill, an ironing board, a hot water heater (hidden in this shot) and other assorted items add up to 'everything but the kitchen sink!' I'm sure there's an interesting story behind all of these objects and their assemblage, but I can only think of 'one man's trash is another's treasure.'

Everyone carries around some 'baggage' - it is just part of life, but some carry an extra load and/or have difficulty putting it into perspective. It is also interesting, now that social media platforms allow/encourage (excess?) sharing, how much of that 'baggage' people reveal to the world. Just as no tarp protects this truck's load, many folks do little to protect their privacy...certainly a reflection of a different comfort level! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Thursday, May 20, 2010


05.20.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Pretty and unusual flower ... from a ginger plant, I think?! It is definitely summer here with hot and humid 90 degree temperatures, so the buds are bursting with color. Most varieties are recognizable to me, but I don't remember seeing this one before - a bit unexpected!

Also unexpected is an extra hour tonight as an online meeting with a student was cancelled - wow - what a nice surprise to have unscheduled time (and note, I'm spending it on Flickr!). I do love when the unexpected leads to positive results! :) Naples, FL

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


05.19.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

What could be more simple than the humble egg? And, yet, it is only the beginning of many complexities...from the philosophical question of which came first - the chicken or the egg? to the basis for various intricacies of life.

I was intrigued by my Flickr buddy's (@dcosand's) capture of the simple egg earlier this year and though I knew I could not replicate it (not even come close to his creative and technically well done image!), I also knew that it was a very relevant subject for today's @dailyshoot challenge of simplicity.

So many times we make our worlds so complex - is it the expectation of the rat race? are we responding to the need to 'fill' our time with 'busy-ness' whether or not it is justified? or are we just digging deeper and discovering the various pathways that network amongst simple ideas? All from the 'simple' egg! Naples, FL


05.18.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Still blooming even though my busy and hectic schedule has prevented much of the 'green' thumb from coming to fruition. All it takes are the basic survival elements of water, sun and warmth for these flowers to grow. To flourish, though, they need that extra TLC ... so much like our relationships with students in providing an optimal learning environment! Naples, FL


05.17.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Texture and lines are often part of the capture, but color is usually a major part of an image for me. This one offers too few hues, but the other elements create an interesting palette for the eyes. It is yet another image that haunts me, though, as I cannot really define why it draws me...cannot articulate its appeal. Naples, FL


05.16.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Stormy weather accompanied the drive back to Naples...but the hard-driving rain was welcome in that it washed away the thick smattering of love bugs on the windshield and grille. Looks like summer has arrived! Somewhere across the southern interior of the State of Florida...


05.15.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

It is fun to play with the focal areas of a composition. Here the lovely white oleander is blurred as the plant's leaf and blue sky are the primary focal points - impacted both by sharpness and color saturation. What draws the eye? How does one manipulate the environment to get attention? Are there times when the obvious needs to be obscured and vice versa? Just some of the thoughts running through my mind as I often view my world through the lens. Melbourne, FL

Daily Shoot 05.14.10 [Shadow]

Daily Shoot 05.14.10 [Shadow], originally uploaded by colemama.

Today’s Daily Shoot assignment is:
Find an interesting shadow--any shadow--and make a photograph of it. Consider your framing as you shoot.

With little sun to provide outdoor shadow shot opportunities, these drawer handles curves and shadows caught my eye! Coupled with the diagonal lines of the lower cabinets, the capture was today's photo! Naples, FL

Daily Shoot 05.13.10 [Blur]

Daily Shoot 05.13.10 [Blur], originally uploaded by colemama.

Today's Daily Shoot assignment is:
Make a photograph with motion blur of one kind or another. Use a slow shutter speed, pan, or both.

Tough finding tme to shoot today - sometimes, you've got to take what you get! ...Sometimes, as this week is reflecting, you also need to use one photo to meet a couple of challenges, too! Naples, FL

Thursday, May 13, 2010


05.12.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Though sometimes the paper clips get tangled amongst themselves and oxidize with our humid weather, they are definitely a valuable and favored paper 'accessory'. Their use, due to flexible material, is diverse - restarting computer devices, poking holes, connecting one element to another, acting as a cheap key chain,and becoming a hook for lightweight items, among other things... Imagine the possibilities! So even if we really do become 'paperless', there will always be a place for the paper clip - it is adaptable to change! :) Naples, FL

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


05.11.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Ear buds are so ubiquitous on our campus that one is more likely to find the familiar earphones than a pen or pencil. It seems that students have little trouble producing ear buds, even for an online assessment on reading! Tools continue to change and serve our needs to build, to create, to prepare, to communicate, to connect. We often talk about the need to capture these 'tools' for learning purposes - and though their use has been incorporated in a few compelling situations, we still have a long road to travel...and I wonder how many new 'tools' will arrive before some will accept the requisite for change! Naples, FL

Monday, May 10, 2010


05.10.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Today’s Daily Shoot assignment is:
Pay attention to your surroundings today. Make a photo of something you walk by every day without noticing.

Awareness often requires a restful concentration - one that is easily enhanced by a unexpected the framing of the sea oat spikes add not only a contrast, but also a feathery softness - not often noticed. In addition to the reflected rosy hues, the scents of the sea, the feel of the fine sand against your feet, the sound of water lapping at the shore all help raise awareness for both the expected and the generally unattended. 6th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Sunday, May 9, 2010


05.09.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Today’s Daily Shoot assignment is:
Make a photo that contains today's date in it somehow. Maybe abstract representation of the numbers. Maybe literally.

....or in this case, a radiant mom on Mother's Day, May 9th, 2010! Melbourne, FL

Saturday, May 8, 2010


05.08.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The recent hot weather has even the lizards seeking shade. The temperature is high enough, but the humidity makes it much more uncomfortable. Though we do acclimate to the summer weather, most try to spend maximum time in air-conditioned spaces.

Acclimation is a response mechanism to changes in the environment - most often considered a positive process as it increases survival, primarily in the physiological sense, but also in the psychological venue. Adapting to rapid change is sometimes 'painful' but in the long run the adjustment is likely worthwhile. Though acclimating to a new situation is generally not due to a conscious effort, I wonder if the lack critical thinking may lead to lost opportunity for manipulating the environment, rather than bowing completely to the change. Just pondering thoughts...Melbourne, FL

Friday, May 7, 2010


05.07.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Bar menus are really getting competitive these days - check out one of our choices: Island Style Mussels at Yabba's - Fresh Black Mussels Sauteed in a “Mamba” of Garlic, Fresh Roma Tomatoes, Basil, White Wine, Lemon,“Cracked” Key West Conch and Hearts of Artichoke! It was absolutely yummy!

But the other choice wasn't too bad either - Tuna Negril! Thankfully, we shared and enjoyed both culinary delights....again, the decision isn't so bad when both choices are positive! ;) Yabba's, Naples, FL

Thursday, May 6, 2010


05.06.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Lots of grid-oriented shots today per the @dailyshoot challenge, but I settled on this one for today's 365, despite its flaw. Something about the contrast between the rigid framework and leafy plant drawing the eye up towards that grid coupled with the varying degrees of shadows is inviting.

Grids provide a border, which can be quite limiting for the innovative - stepping out of the frame is much more comfortable for the creative side...On the other hand, the grid's framework provides an important foundational structure - even a starting point for those who like to 'color outside the lines'. So, it would seem we need grids to allow for both the structure and the innovation - an interesting argument for including extremes! 6th Ave N & 8th St, Naples, FL

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


05.05.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Since I didn't plan well enough to take advantage of a Cinco de Mayo meal, decided to build from a treasured favorite - crumbles of gorgonzola cheese. This distinctive flavor coupled with pasta and assorted vegetables is always a favorite, but it is also a nice condiment for leftover flank steak. Hmmm - some decisions are winners either way!

Choices are sometimes tough, but somehow much easier when the consequences for either 'side' are positive. We make choices every day - often without conscious thought. In fact, it might be mind-boggling to think about all of them! On the other hand, weighing the pros and cons of options can aid in more effective decision-making, especially as it relates to meeting goals. Naples, FL

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


05.04.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

It depends on where you put the paint, not how much you splash on.
~ Julian Eltinge

Quality is much richer, more compelling and lasting - wonder why we can't reward it as such? Instead, quantity appears to take center stage. Naples Community Hospital, Garden of Hope & Courage, Naples, FL

Monday, May 3, 2010


05.03.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Light plays an obvious role in photography and we often experiment with its properties when setting up a composition and making camera adjustments. Sometimes no matter how hard we try to squeeze out a 'winner' it doesn't happen...and the reverse is just as true when we luckily happen upon the right combination. Something about this image is magical, if nothing else because it was 'accidental' - light and glass interacting to show refraction, shadows, and reflections.

Don't you love when those 'magical' elements align and produce an unbelievable moment? It could be an interaction, an 'aha', a sight, or a memory. It is rarely, if ever, planned and it elicits response from both the cognitive as well as the emotional side. Learning to look for these opportunities is worth teaching! Naples, FL

Sunday, May 2, 2010


05.02.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This mirrored reflection changes with the time of day and amount of sunshine, but it has the potential to throw back light to capture a like, though reversed, image. Fascinating and eye-catching, there are a number of buildings that offer a similar architecture (not the best risk for a hurricane-prone area, but that doesn't stop art!).

I cherish time for reflection and though there are opportunities for contemplation and consideration on a daily basis, I wonder if there's less meaning because those thoughts are fleeting, punctuated only by the moment. It would seem that there would not be a true closure in reflection, as that might then prevent further need for it...perhaps it is more like a spiral or a network that feeds off of each reference point. The act of writing, however disjointed, helps to make reflection more substantial. US 41 E & Park Shore Dr, Naples, FL

Saturday, May 1, 2010


05.01.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Color and depth are evident here - one of the overlooked 'secrets' seen from the boardwalk. People walk through Freedom Park without their eyes and ears, expecting moments of beauty and song to reach out to them. Stopping to do a photographic study of this new growth brought an array of creations and a visit from some ducks and a little blue heron.

Have we conditioned our learners to sit and wait for the content? or are we helping them seek out new experiences and connections, taking the initiative to grow and innovate? Perhaps a continuum is established between the extremes and there is a place for both? Lots of natural beauty in which to delight on the boardwalk and many opportunities for other pondering...Freedom Park, Naples, FL