Wednesday, June 30, 2010


06.30.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This kitchen implement was rarely used in the past and now only occupies space in the drawer with the micrograters, toothpicks, and meat thermometer - there's no telling why it is still there...Any idea what it is? Someone invented it for profit, though I doubt many were sold as I've not seen them around these days.

Tools of our trade, be it at home or at work, have little value unless they are utilized. Even if they are not used for their original intent (i.e., clothespin keeps the potato chip back closed), their usage translates into some kind of value. The tools that stay hidden in the deep recesses of cabinets and drawers may perhaps be awaiting their 'time,' but their value is considerably lessened. Thinking about the tools of learning and their value - which ones are used as designed, which ones are used but not as designed, and which ones are hiding away and not used? Does their value match up? Naples, FL

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


06.29.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A couple of months now into my transition to Mac - there's no doubt that this has been a fun one! One of my favorite features of the machine is the light-sensored back-lit keys on the keyboard, especially valuable in low-light environments. The software is so intuitively creative, taking the 'mechanics' to a simpler level, and allowing for unique creations to transform.

Still, it has been and continues to be a learning curve for me - possibly because there is not just the learning, but the 'unlearning' of prior years. This can be especially difficult when the expected productivity tools and habitual short cuts simply don't work! Add to that scenario the typical 'time crunch' and you can sense the frustration.... This reminds me of some professional development initiatives made so much tougher because of the 'unlearning' components. Fortunately, my Mac experience continues to yield positive results, but I know that extra support facilitates that process in helping others 'unlearn'! Naples, FL

Monday, June 28, 2010


06.28.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Learning to sail on a nice breezy day on Lake Avalon can be an adventure! These sailors looked like they practiced their lessons well as they maneuvered to catch the wind, but I've seen others off-course and toppled. Still, even those mishaps serve in the learning process! It really is too bad that mistakes are so often associated with failure, that emphasis is placed on the final product and rarely inclusive of the process, and that schooling itself is so often different from learning. Lake Avalon, Sugden Park, Naples, FL

Sunday, June 27, 2010


06.27.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This crab (and all of the other ones on the beach this morning) were reclaiming their 'homes' that must have been closed up and/or washed away with last night' storm and tide. They are quite industrious and even showed some 'fighting' behavior with claws up for, presumably, a better location.

Protecting our turf is a common reaction in our competitive culture. Ideas and concepts are hot commodities for business and yet, there is a culture of sharing in some entities and in other countries and cultures. Survival is often a result of collaboration and cooperation, rather than isolation and individual competition - and interestingly, there were some crabs that appeared to be creating a common home ... or was that another type of relationship?! ;) 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, June 26, 2010


06.26.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Yellow is supposedly the best color to attract attention and thus is often used for signage. Signs like this dot our beach during loggerhead sea turtle nesting season - though not nearly in the same quantity as in the past.

The bulky loggerhead females make their way back to the beach where they 'hatched' as babies and laboriously dig a nest for the deposit of approximately 100 ping pong sized eggs. In about two month's time, the hatchlings break out of the sandy hole and instinctively head for the Gulf waters. Their chances of survival into adulthood are slim - estimated at one in a thousand. With so many strikes against them in the natural predatory world, no sense in adding man-made threats! Since both the nesting and the hatching usually occur in the dark of night, I have not witnessed the scene, but have often seen the wide swath of turtle tracks left behind after a nesting and occasionally witnessed the turtle monitors counting hatched eggs and rescuing baby turtles who didn't get out of the nest. Fascinating peek into nature's cycles! 6th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico

Friday, June 25, 2010


06.25.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Apparently, in an attempt to disassociate themselves from their parent company, this gas station has covered the "BP" on their signage. Of course, the now familiar (and infamous) logo remains and thus, the 'mask' brings more (not less) attention than desired. It is like 'the more you try to hide things, the more obvious they become'. I do empathize with the small franchise owners who are just trying to survive tough economic times - they are victimized as well.

Branding can be both positive or negative, but once established, the effect can be long-lasting. In marketing, visual images tend to have a very strong impact. Think of the Nike swoosh, Apple's apple, and now BP's green flower burst - their images easily translate to the company name - much more so than the parallel written slogan (though Nike's "just do it" is a tough one to beat!). The auditory jingle might be a close competitor and, of course, the combination is even more powerful. In school, with so many distractions, branding can be a creative way to focus attention, but it better be a good one! Mooring Line Dr & US 41 E, Naples, FL

Thursday, June 24, 2010


06.24.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

It is interesting to watch the crows create their own perch from the stalks of the sea oats. This one showed extra determination in returning to the same shaft a couple of times before finding just the right fulcrum point for balance. Despite the results of this battle - bird - 1 and sea oats - 0, the bend was not easily accomplished. The crow could have easily moved on - after all, there are plenty of perching opportunities, but due to stubbornness, fortitude or other factors, he/she choose to stick with it!

Like so many tasks in life, we make choices about the need to persist versus the need to find other alternatives when our first attempts are not successful. Though much guidance is published in this arena, there is no 'magic bullet' and it really does come down to individuals and the specific situation. What might be more telling, and even more rewarding, is the process and interaction that occurs. How can we value that process more in our worlds? For me, reflection and creating visual images through photography helps to bring 'whole' the product and the process - what about for others? 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


06.23.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

These royal terns are lined up for the sunset - despite the rather ominous conditions! The reflections are more obvious than the shadows, but both are visible when you are looking for them.

So how do you help students see beyond the obvious? What conditions provide a vision for depth? When is it important to dig deeper versus be satisfied with the superficial....or is that important? Working with visuals can be a nice lead into such conversations. Creating one's own photographs can provide an appreciation of the commonalities and the differences...and drinking in the sunset - well, that's pretty universal! ;) 1st Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


06.22.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Cloves - they are so aromatic...a bit strong sometimes, but other times just the right intensity. Most of my recipes don't call for whole cloves, but there's a nostalgia about them - maybe the act of spiking them into oranges during the Christmas season for pomanders or even the scent of Clove chewing gum. Their shape and texture also appeal to me - not your typical spice!

The multi-faceted trait has invaded much of our lives - from multi-tasking to multi-functional devices. We expect and demand that in this time-crunched world. And according to some research, our brains are being re-wired both because of it and to better manipulate it. I do appreciate many of those characteristics myself, but I hope that we don't swing too far on the pendulum! Naples, FL

Monday, June 21, 2010


06.21.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Love this rusty lantern with its paint flaking - it is obviously showing its age despite someone's attempt to mask it with a sunny yellow color. Interestingly, its partner was left to its natural metal sheen. Fortunately, it was still recognized for its function and not discarded.

Although I'm an advocate for change and forward movement, I do appreciate the past and re-purposing. Sometimes, it is tough to balance time and priorities, function and form, structure and relationships - but this piece stands as a reminder for me, a beacon, of sorts! St George & the Dragon, Naples, FL

Sunday, June 20, 2010


06.20.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Glad I caught what I did here as it happened so fast, but really wish I'd been able to stop time and capture this better. No time to focus, adjust controls, compose - I didn't anticipate it at all...You would think I would have learned by now...Despite that disappointment, I am drawn back to this image.

Anticipation is an important factor in learning - a positive expectation generally yields more success than a negative one. Our own expectations of learners can also play an important role. Remember Jane Elliot's experiment with her elementary school children - the treatment of blue-eyed versus the brown-eyed students? Though we all carry stereotypes, we can keep an open and positive anticipatory set to be ready for the good 'catch'! Naples Pier, Naples, FL

Saturday, June 19, 2010


06.19.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Red maple leaves drink in the early morning sunlight...buoyed by a glimpse of dew, they stand both solid and yet pliable to the new day. They are framed by a dark and heavily shadowed background that allows them to be the focal point.

Framing is usually thought of as visible framework offering structure. Around the perimeter, creating a focal point, a frame can be man-made or natural. Framing can also be the way we view our world - a filter of sorts, a way to communicate and respond without having to spend a lot of time thinking about it - just react. Sometime these frames serve their purpose in a positive way, sometimes not so...but being aware of them and their influence is powerful indeed. Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Friday, June 18, 2010


06.18.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Sea oats, well suited to the salty air environment, are taking off in the beach renourishment project. They are an important ingredient in stabilizing the shoreline and offer a refuge for those critters seeking shade. Stretching skyward, these stalks see nothing but space to grow! Hope and optimism abound - trying to make every day a positive one! :) 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Thursday, June 17, 2010


06.17.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A glorious colored bromeliad stalk stands proud amongst the green liriope. Amazingly, despite its unique structure, it looks comfortably at home. A walk around the neighborhood after a cleansing rain (actually quite the thunderstorm and wind last night) yields new growth everywhere....especially the weeds. Welcome or not, there's no sprinkler system that can out perform the natural nourishment of a good rain shower.

Tapping into the natural and intuitive has rewards that cannot be substituted with the artificially enhanced. Still, we shouldn't be discouraged from seeking alternatives that may help to develop new avenues or provide other resources. Naples, FL

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


06.16.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

On a bright, sunny day with 'feels like temperatures' up to 110 degrees, pink houses with round windows seem like a mirage...but this unique structure is actually home to one of my neighbors. Obviously not a 'cookie-cutter' community, but this one really does stand out. Although I would not choose something so bold for my own, it does evoke a feeling of happiness and whimsy - it also reminds me of one of those hamster houses and I can imagine all sorts of mazes and color within.

I admire those with such extroversion - so opposite from my own disposition. The risk taken often brings great rewards. My comfort level rarely stretches beyond a calculated risk, but it has definitely grown over the last decade. Pink house? Not that least not yet! :) Naples, FL

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


06.15.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Despite the long days of summer, the glow of the lamp's light is warm and beckoning as the sun sets - not only to this reader, but also to the season's flying bugs! ;) Like the proverbial 'moth to a flame', I cannot put down a thriller called The Thirteenth Hour by Richard Doetsch. It took a number of pages to get the 'hang' of the time traveling mystery, but the brain crunching is part of the attraction. If you like this genre, I'd recommend it!

The intensity of engagement in an activity that truly envelops all parts - mind, body, spirit - is so influential. To lose track of time, to be lifted from the mundane stimuli of daily routine, and to be transformed by the event is a gift. Learning can be like that - but only with all of the right ingredients. What an amazing treasure - one worth hunting I hope! Naples, FL


06.14.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Today is Flag Day - June 14th (and also my cousin, Jo Anne's birthday - happy day Sundari!). This is a huge flag at our local Perkins and I'd captured it in my rearview mirror and another angle, but anxiously wanted to shoot this view. Alas, the sun was directly overhead and I thought I would get nothing ... instead, I was pleased to get this lens flare highlighting the flagpole and the extended flag. It reminds me of the Star Spangled Banner's 'rockets' red glare' (though that does take some imagination with the palm frond and the puffy cloud in the sky!!).

I'm a big believer in purposeful activity and goal setting, but accidents do create the most amazing things. They say that many inventions and discoveries were truly accidental - such as microwave ovens and post-it notes, for example. Yet, they wouldn't have been 'accidentally discovered' if there wasn't some effort and experimentation going on. So, action must occur - even if there isn't a designated purpose - to move forward! US 41 E, Naples, FL

Sunday, June 13, 2010


06.13.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

These snowball looking blossoms are not familiar to me - and what a surprise to see them along the walk this morning. Though they are unusual and certainly a bright contrast to the greenery, they were not noticeable until turning around and looking backwards. We don't always take the time to turn around, look back and learn, especially from our mistakes. Here's hoping this shot will remind me to do it more often! Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Saturday, June 12, 2010


06.12.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Now that the regular school year has ended, summer reading may officially begin! Due to library inventory, I actually cleaned up my house of half-finished books and ready to start anew. There are books on Florida Teens Read list that I need to complete - Willow by Julia Hoban being one of them - but I also hope to get to my many lists of both fiction and nonfiction titles that are itching to be cracked open!

There is much satisfaction in finishing a goal or a project - some are never-ending (such as learning), but there are usually small steps that can be appreciated along the way. Often the process is much more rewarding than the finished product. Reading is sometimes that way when you so enjoy the printed words, story, characters, setting, etc. that you just don't want the book to end. Although the process or the state of 'unfinished' is not comfortable for some, it has its own advantages (opportunities for modifications, updates, changes)...and once you are 'finished' it is like saying good bye and time to look for a new one! Naples, FL

Friday, June 11, 2010


06.11.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A little late in getting this one planted, but it will take a couple of years before a new pineapple is ready for consumption anyway - assuming the environment or predators don't get it first. A great 're-use' of fresh pineapple - talk about multiplying the delicious benefits!

Pineapples symbolize hospitality and this one is a nice welcome to the weekend! A chance to re-energize and spend more time in relaxation and play! Now if I could just figure out a way to take the productivity and enjoyment of the weekend into the work week! :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


06.10.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

A little play with settings and size contrast - wish I had time for a bit more creativity, but last day of school and dealing with not only my own deadlines, but seemingly everyone else's! :) Some days, prioritization takes a totally different stance than planned and expected...but as Scarlett so often said, 'tomorrow is another day!' :) Naples, FL

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


06.09.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Not sure why this photo resonated with me today - it may be the diagonal line formed by the reflected leaf of one plant with the partially opened flower (a synergy of sorts) or it may be the various appearances of the lily pads or it may be the dark, murky water that still shows a transparency...Whatever it is, it is - some things are just like that! :) Garden of Hope & Courage, Naples, FL

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


06.08.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

My goal was to capture the blue goblet 'line--up,' but my eye also drifted to the linear pattern of the shutters and their reflections - all repetitive! My sight may seek an iterative pattern, but the mind (though finding comfort and beauty in the repetition) demands variety and challenge.

Most jobs require a certain number of routine tasks which are similar. Rote memorization of some concepts is an accepted and well-used 'learning' technique in education. Controlled performance does have its place...but without a tickling of the thought process and a stimulation of the cerebral cortex, the mind is truly wasted.

Sometimes I find our students are resistant to the projects which engage the creative thought process - seemingly to prefer being the vessel of teacher-fed content. It is as if their brains have been conditioned to expect rote learning (sometimes not much of surprise considering recent educational transformation conversations). It may be more likely the result of 'comfort level'. Finding a developmental process to move our 'brain training' to more challenge and less 'comfort' is a worthy goal. Naples, FL

Monday, June 7, 2010


06.07.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Having a vision doesn't necessarily mean all parts are in focus all of the time. The reality is that a vision alone is useless without the capability and resources to put the idea into action. With the multifaceted nature of most goals, one may often feel the need to constantly juggle the focal points. The 'push-and-pull' of those realities provides the daily challenges of keeping our eye on the target - delivering on the vision! Naples, FL

Sunday, June 6, 2010


06.06.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This cute little masked raccoon was foraging around the park totally focused on getting fed....I watched him/her in silence for a good fifteen minutes before making a movement which re-focused attention to the 'intruder'. Fortunately, after a few moments of staring, I was not considered a threat - and the feeding forage renewed!

Special moments with nature continue to amaze me...when I got to the park, there was only one other human (a fellow photographer) and plenty of wildlife - red-shouldered hawks (elusive to my lens), this 'bandit', butterflies, night heron, dragonflies, and grasshoppers made it in the shoot. I'm not sure if it is the photography itself or the places that it takes me, but I continually amaze myself at it changes the way I see things! Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Saturday, June 5, 2010


06.05.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

The orange geiger tree is almost ignored with all of its exceptionally showy counterparts. It is much more petite and lacks the presence of the poinciana - though they share the same color. Still, it manages to hold its own unique contrast to the blue sky and dragonflies still stop for rest.

It is easy to be overlooked in today's world - there's so much variety and such competition for the spotlight. Some tend to view success only when recognized by others, and yet there is equal, if not increased, value in creating and developing your own niche. Internet access and the interactive web have significantly increased the opportunity to 'star' in our own created networks - it also impacts a self-responsibility that many are not aware of nor prepared for...Naples, FL

Friday, June 4, 2010


06.04.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Though I snapped this magnificent sky at the beginning of the day, I write this description at the end of the day after a culminating ceremony of eager graduates celebrating their accomplishments. I share congratulatory wishes to all.

I also reflect on my dislike for graduation events - they've never been high on my priority list...especially my own. The pomp and circumstance seem lacking in substance and big on rhetoric. I prefer to treasure the moments, the days, the process leading up to the end-result, rather than focus on the product. Seems too little attention is on the journey...Daily sunrises are a good reminder to take and appreciate one day at a time. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Thursday, June 3, 2010


06.03.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

Tangrams - such a simple, and yet ingenious, creation! Who would have thought seven geometric pieces (originally a perfect square) would combine to create so many patterns? (In case you didn't recognize this one, these are two dogs playing!) Though often used as a game for creating pictures (which can lead to imaginative stories!) , these familiar shapes can also be used to increase spatial awareness/visual thinking and teach mathematical concepts!

Using simplicity to address complexities - what a concept! :) There are a number of thoughts that come to mind: the use of both right brain and left brain capabilities, the multiple benefits to both work and play, and the focus on creative thinking and problem-solving. Any way you look at it, it's all 'in the mind'! As one in the 'business' of developing minds, these tools cannot be ignored. Naples, FL


06.02.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

As lovely as the poinciana trees are this time of year, their color does fade away. Eventually, the delicate red-orange flowers drop from their branches and litter the emerald carpet below. Maintaining colorful beauty, their tendrils stretch upward - perhaps in hopes of being rejuvenated and back on the lofty stage again!

As the traditional summer break approaches, educators and students alike await some well deserved rest and relaxation...hoping to refuel and re-energize for the next school year. Hopefully, nourishment will include non-schooled learning - you know, the kind that is relevant and long-lasting! ;) Naples, FL

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


06.01.10, originally uploaded by colemama.

This time of year, with tensions running high and deadlines ever-looming, it's best to tread lightly! Naples, FL