Saturday, December 31, 2011
Reflections, nature, color, lines - a bit busy, too....all represent the year of 2011 behind the lens. Both the first day and the last day (as well as many days in between) of 2011 included time at the Naples Botanical Garden - best investment/contribution of the year!
There, the straight lines provide structure to the harmonious curves and the pops of color are rich in their own reflections. Both flora and fauna capture one's attention and the lens hardly does them justice. Each time I go, my shots seek out favorite spots and views, but the relaxed environment allows for some surprises, as well. Other reflective photos revealing natural color and lines were taken, but the underlying 'busy-ness' here better tells the story of the year. Wishing everyone the best for 2012! :) Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL
Friday, December 30, 2011
Working on my FETC BYOD concurrent session - Presentation Design: Before and After - with inspiration from a variety of web resources and these three analog versions! It is always fun (and a privilege!) to share with colleagues in a face-to-face conference setting...but, a bit nerve-wracking in the preparation stage! Using incubation, a step in creative thinking (as well as procrastination!), I'll step away for a few days before hammering out the details. Of course, I'm open for 'crowdsourcing' if you want to leave any comments of wisdom! :) Naples, FL
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Nearly seventy years old, the Slinky remains an inventive and simple toy that always seems to amaze children of all ages. Such an ordinary source of play can not only delight, but also allow for increased creativity. Although this week hasn't really provided much time for real 'play', the relaxed atmosphere of the holiday, has allowed the brain synapses to take on some fresh ideas! :) Naples, FL
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Window-dressing is always interesting at this downtown clothing store...with the exit of Christmas shopping, the focus is now on the New Year and our very short season of winter (it is currently a relatively cool 60 degrees Fahrenheit) whites! The display of merchandise in a retail store - either physical or virtual - is to provide the necessary attraction and invitation for a further look without creating a deceptively favorable facade. Of course, consumers need to take responsibility for filtering through the marketing tactics and judging for themselves the need for and benefits of the goods or products! The Wind and the Willow, 5th Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Completed just in time to be torn apart and re-boxed...seems silly to some as the work involved was consuming and intense, but puzzles are definitely meant to be recycled in my book (another example of process v. product, as well!) :) This one, titled One hundred elephants and a mouse (can you find the mouse?) is part of a fun, but somewhat difficult, series of puzzles. One hundred dogs and a cat was completed at school and now I'm thinking about One hundred alligators and a purse - Ha! :) Melbourne, FL
Monday, December 26, 2011
The sandhill cranes have made my mom's neighborhood their habitat - or likely the other way around...since their species is threatened and they are protected in Florida. With its long neck and long legs, it easily stands three feet high - thus, its size and unique red heart-shaped mask make it an unusual bird indeed. They are fun to watch hunt for grub (though I wouldn't want to work around their lawn 'maintenance'!) and I love to listen to their distinctive voice. We don't see these birds in Southwest Florida, so it is a treat to find them so prevalent here. Melbourne, FL
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Countdown to Christmas concludes with one tired puppy!
Many thanks for everyone's holiday wishes and comments! Merry one to all of you, too! Myra's exhausted state reflects mine this season...but looking forward to the upcoming week of rest and relaxation! On to the wrapping up of 2011 and the arrival of 2012 - will you be continuing your daily photo shoots/posts? Melbourne, FL
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Countdown to Christmas continues with two nutcrackers...
A product of German craftsmanship, the nutcracker not only 'cracked nuts' but also scared away the evil spirits with its big wooden teeth. Eventually, it was sold as a popular children toy and became the inspiration for the Nutcracker ballet, a popular Christmas event. Both fascinating and intriguing, they have also become a collector's item. Melbourne, FL
Countdown to Christmas continues with three singing angels...
Perforated metal, aluminum foil, wire, and ornaments would not normally be associated with angels, but the rough elements can be plied to be angelic! Crudely, but lovingly, assembled, this trio is part of a decorative piece created by my father more than sixty years ago. The angels make their annual appearance even if other decorating is at a minimum...and now they have even more significance since they outlasted him and provide a wonderful remembrance. Melbourne, FL
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Countdown to Christmas continues with four lighted palms...
It is quite popular to light palm trees during the holidays here, but it is rare to have the fronds strung with lights as well (usually, they just do the base of the tree). It really looks so much better with the entire tree lined with lights, but the labor and cost must be considered, I suppose. Palm trees are not usually associated with Christmas - at least, not from our northern neighbors - but, the religious meaning of Christmas would take you to the desert and one of the few trees to survive in that climate is the palm tree. Naples, FL
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Countdown to Christmas continues with five crèche pieces...
Most nativity scenes, depicting the birth of Jesus, have more pieces - three Kings, angels, camels, donkeys, and other barn animals. This one, depicting simplicity, is limited to Joseph, Mary, Jesus and two shepherds...but its meaning is just as complex. Though not a particularly religious person, I still sense the spiritual nature of this artistic expression - made in Mexico. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, St. Francis Assisi is credited with creating the first nativity scene! Naples, FL
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Countdown to Christmas continues with six holiday music CDs...
This assortment is nontraditional and diverse - representing part of an accumulation over the years (there's Bing Crosby, more Mannheim Steamroller and others waiting in the wings!). The traditional carols, interpreted by contemporary performers, are on the same playlist as some zany and often quite silly ones with a faster beat. There are some I like better than others...and some that are absolute favorites. For the traditional, votes go to The First Noel (sung here by Johnny Mathis), Jewel's Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Joy to the World, performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir - what are your favorites? Naples, FL
Monday, December 19, 2011
Countdown to Christmas continues with seven Christmas cards....
Christmas cards use to be a favorite of mine - I would get organized and write individual notes to dozens of friends and family over the Thanksgiving holiday....and, when the Christmas letter became popular, I would hammer out a newsy rendition of the year to include in the card. Now, due to time and technology, I have cut back considerably and generally get out my few between Christmas and New Years...sans Christmas letter. So, if you are waiting for one from me...well, consider this forum and photo as holiday greetings!! ;) Naples, FL
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Christmas countdown continues with eight glass ornaments...
Though this assortment is likely "made in China", the origins of glass ornaments can be traced back to Germany when Hans Greiner began hand blowing glass baubles in the mid 1800s. Soon, the unique and shiny figurines (generally in the shape of fruit and nuts, not spheres) were discovered by F.W. Woolworth who brought them back to the U.S. to sell in his five-and-dime stores! Who would have thought! Of course, it is usually the mass-produced balls that decorate Christmas now...and sometimes, they aren't even made of glass, but plastic. :( Naples, FL
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Christmas countdown continues...with nine wrapped gifts!
Presents are usually plentiful at Christmas time. Great efforts are made by charitable organizations to help those in economic need to provide gifts for their children. The lore of Santa, reindeer, elves, the sleigh, and numerous holiday songs would have little meaning without presents...but do you ever consider why/how you give at Christmas? Is it due to religious reasons or to participate in the 'merry' holiday spirit or to show love/care/kindness with material goods? Sometimes I fall into the habit of giving (and receiving) just because it is the expectation, but I do always enjoy an annual gift exchange that involves giving to a charity of our choice and I hope that there is meaning at a deeper level...though, I miss the wrapping! ;) Naples, FL
Friday, December 16, 2011
The countdown to Christmas begins with ten (well, there's actually more, but...) poinsettias bloomin' and just as many days remaining until the big day! So, my challenge for the next nine days is to photograph a Christmas-related item in descending numbers until Dec 25th - we'll see how it goes.
The red brachts of the flower are actually the leaves and not the petals of the flower, while the yellow centers are the flower buds. Supposedly, the association of poinsettias with Christmas is traced back to 16th century Mexico where a young girl offers weeds to the church...which then turn into poinsettias with their star-shaped representation of the Star of Bethlehem (Wikipedia). Naples, FL
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Colorful pushpins take center stage...pointing every which way. A Buddhist proverb states, “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
Remarkably, then, the key is figuring out if you are going in the right direction - a true dilemma sometimes! You can research and chat with others, but ultimately the decision is made (even a 'non-decision' becomes a decision by default!) and then commitment kicks into gear. Inertia, another roadblock, gets you nowhere...so, that 'walking' is not as easy as it sounds! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Signs are all around us - most offer straight-forward information (some better than others!) - be it a warning or a service, written or nonverbal, obvious or obscure. Some we take for granted and others surprise us...but not attending to them can be detrimental. I've been noticing the signs of eroding educational institutions for some time, but they continue to be ignored by others. There are signals sent 'loud and clear' by constituents, but are the politicians listening? Granted, some signs are 'roadblocks' and others misdirect us...hopefully, we can effectively engage our thinking skills to filter through those detours. Golden Gate Pkwy & US 41E, Naples, FL
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Trying to capture the backlit flowers of this orchid tree and failed miserably - amazing how difficult it is to replicate what is in the mind's eye sometimes. Nevertheless, I'm intrigued with the shot, with its contrasting dark and light, sharp and fuzzy, and its bokeh droplets. Furthermore, I find my eyes constantly exploring the various points and places, trying to make meaning and tickling the brain cells. Kind of like the winding path or the door ajar which invites you in, this photo provides me with a glimpse as to what is beyond, with knowledge that there's work to get there. Broad & 6th St N Naples, FL
Monday, December 12, 2011
Looking west, watching the sun sink below the horizon, never fails to bring an amazing sense of contentment and optimism. Funny that the ending of a day can bring such peace...of course, the added water component from the Gulf's quiet waves help create the setting. It would be nice to carry around this image (and its tremendous aura) in your mind for times when needed! ;) 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Unlocking the potential takes skill, an open mind, and often another 'twist'. This Master lock is definitely in need of that final 'twist'! I wonder how many other 'potentials' lay dormant because of the lack of that last bit of mental, physical or spiritual strength needed to make things happen...or simply because they are overlooked. On the lookout to unleash more potential.... 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, December 10, 2011
On the lookout for weather vanes these days - there are fewer than I thought! The mermaid...the aquatic siren...has a rich mythological and mystical fascination. A hybrid, indeed...and one can only wonder whether the best 'half' was so designated! ;)
As human beings, we are all a combination of various DNA which combines into our unique selves. As much as we say we appreciate this diverse personalization, there are too many times when the desire for same-ness occupies a priority seat and differences are not appreciated - even ostracized. We've got to keep working on this! 2nd Ave S & 3rd St, Naples, FL
Friday, December 9, 2011
Golden silk orb-weaver spins her web (despite the numerous shutterbugs)....fascinating creatures, but glad she was off the path so I didn't run directly into her! She was our first discovery as the high school Photography Club ventured into Freedom Park and though she may not have been on the scavenger hunt, she offered a potential character for a digital story! Unfortunately, rain was also in the picture...so, photos were a bit limited. I can't wait to see what the students found in our wet field trip! ;) Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Thursday, December 8, 2011
Ahhhh - I can *almost* sense it...time for my own concentrated pleasure reading - just hang on for another couple of weeks! :) This selection was recommended by a colleague with similar slants to the mystery genre. She was 'right on' with one of the author's other books - The 13th Hour, in case you are in need for a book! How about you? What are you reading now or looking forward to reading soon? Naples, FL
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
This traveller's palm has fanned out nicely with some 'bird-of-paradise-like' flowers emerging in the center. It certainly popped against the cloudless sky with its extended leaves and patterned symmetry. Associated with this plant is the following quote: "If a traveler stands directly in front of a traveler's palm and makes a wish in good spirit - that wish will definitely come true." I'm not sure that the facsimile will work, but feel free to use this image if you are planning travel. Naples, FL
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Shorter days, both literally and figuratively, impact this photo - not only the minimalist fashion, but the sieve-like nature of this garlic mincer...somehow the hours just seem to slip through the holes way too easily! ;) Naples, FL
Monday, December 5, 2011
These silhouetted branches and leaves invoke a certain starkness in the light golden hues of the setting sun. Though the outlines reveal undistinguished interiors, their shapes alone provide interesting detail and one can extrapolate their own 'details' using their imaginations and/or consider the 'white' space rather than the object itself.
Like an optical figure-ground illusion, foreground and background impact photographs. Looking at the layers and trying to add interest at each depth can make the image more lasting and effective, as discussed in this article. Naples, FL
Sunday, December 4, 2011
No need for sandals when headed for the sand... :) Come to think of it, we can probably shed a fair amount of unnecessary items if we think about our goal. For example, shedding words is challenging for some, but texting and twitter have provided plenty of opportunity to be inventive! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
Laundered items waiting to be ironed....procrastination at its best, but in this case, deservedly so! ;) Unfortunately, plenty of other delayed to do's await attention this weekend, so we'll see where the ironing fits on the priority list. Similar (and countless decisions) are made on a daily basis without much consideration, but perhaps that lack of thought and meaning is what helps to determine the procrastination itself! Naples, FL
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Reflection, network, framework - all appropriate descriptors for this photograph and ironically, the focus of tonight's class. These education majors were very receptive to thinking about uses of social networking tools in the classroom - and enthusiastically participated in the experiential role-play of our Inventor network in Edmodo. It was fun to see them get into their characters and create relevant posts and comments. Since this was the last class before the final exam, there was also considerable reference to the framework of the class and learning in general...and discussion/clarification about the upcoming reflection paper. Edison State College, Naples, FL
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
An unusual variety of hibiscus caught my eye this afternoon - a solitary bloom, as well. The 'pinwheel' look is nicely emphasized by the dark fucshia center, though its spinning capabilities are nonexistent! :) Oh, well - you can't have everything, right? Banyan Rd, Naples, FL
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
The sun's light is slipping over the horizon - punctuating today's expiration with a touch of color. There is a certain cleansing that occurs in the transition between days - an opportunity to start with a clean slate, to reassess and redirect. The respite from the bombardment of external stimuli allows for balanced reflection, shedding fallacies and stressors. Take it all in! Naples, FL
Monday, November 28, 2011
Yesterday I was a dog. Today I'm a dog. Tomorrow I'll probably still be a dog. Sigh! There's so little hope for advancement.
~ Charles M. Schulz
Sigh....my thinking continues to live in a dichotomy of vivid contrast with support from an online community and a backlash from those who think schooling is learning and vice versa. Listening to Anne Mirtschin's The World is My Classroom with emphasis on global communication and just-in-time learning as well as the zany, fun and very authentic self-directed community learning in ds106 courtesy of Jim Groom and Tom Woodward provides a desired perspective. When Learning becomes an event (Andy Mckiel), it really does reflect nature's course and playing in public (George Couros) offers incredible feedback for further reflection and change. The K12online conference is off and running - and a great platform for thinking about learning....and they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks! :) Naples, FL
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Heading east in the warm early morning sun...this weathervane is making me wanderlust, despite the onset of the most wonderful weather of the year here. Unfortunately, I don't see any travel on the horizon, but fortunately, I can live with where I am...will just wander vicariously through my connections online! :) 2nd Ave N & 5th St, Naples, FL
Saturday, November 26, 2011
This slice of Thursday's newspaper shows the bottom 1/4 of 'news' and the remaining top three quarters of Black Friday advertisements! Obviously I'm not a very good bargain hunter as I just reviewed them today. I only found one item in the 4 pounds (...and yes, I actually weighed the ads!) of newsprint now headed for the recycling bin - and, of course, they had sold out that bargain-priced item by the time I got there! :(
I didn't brave the early morning hours nor the crowds... but, I didn't get pepper-sprayed by one out-of-control shopped either! What are people thinking? More likely, why aren't they thinking? A bargain-priced Xbox is not worthy of violence - it really makes you wonder. May all of your holiday shopping be enjoyable and free of 'craziness'! :) Naples, FL
Friday, November 25, 2011
The eagle(s) have landed again - my neighbor said she has seen the pair, but I was only able to catch a solitary one on the lookout this morning...heavily cropped at that! Here is where I wish I had a really nice long telephoto lens! There is also a hawk that I need to capture visually - it makes its presence known quite well with recognizable 'keeahs' every morning. Interestingly, other neighborhoods close by have reported coyotes and bears - unusual, but a reflection of the need for food, even in a 'developed' environment. Naples, FL
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Happy Thanksgiving to all! The only turkey we had was this stuffed one (part of the 'centerpiece'), as our gluttony was spent on Spicy Grilled Shrimp, Herbed Lentils & Rice, Sauteed Spinach, Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce and Key Lime Pie - a tropical version of the more traditional Thanksgiving meal. Traditional or nontraditional - the significance, the meaning, the sincerity is really what counts!! Naples, FL
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
This show-off is a gulf fritillary - a bright orange butterfly with black markings and silvery white spots on the underside. Where there are fritillarys, there are likely passion flower vines as that is their primary host plant. Naples Botanical Garden, Bayshore & Thomasson Dr., Naples, FL
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
A plethora of papayas - this is definitely a nice crop in the ripening! Guess you could say this is representative of our tropical version of the cornucopia often associated with Thanksgiving. Abundance is definitely a characteristic of this season's expression of appreciation. Despite the crazy weather, today was a good marker leading up to the 'thankful' day as I got to spend it sans work and with special friends. Hope yours was worthy of appreciation, too! 3rd Ave N & 4th St, Naples, FL
Sunday, November 20, 2011
It is unusual to see a little blue heron at the shore line ... at least during my usual walk time/place, but this one was well visible, stalking in great concentration. It's neck is so pliant from an elongated "L" to this very curly "S"....perhaps it could manipulate into other letters, as well! :) 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Filament and elongated anthers on this spider lily flower provide perpendicular T-formations. Coming to a crossroads against the plastered cement wall, there are few alternatives. Sometimes hitting that 'wall' can limit growth opportunities, but somehow we must prevail. Creative thinking, collaboration, and open attitudes can make a difference. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
symmetrical leaves bisect each other
showing off their powerful green,
simply...a reflection of growth
but really much more than a sheen.
Well, I'm too old to perform at Louder Than a Bomb, but this documentary about a poetry slam is so inspirational that I had to try a short poem. Imagine the connections that teens can make with poetry and performing on an individual level, then a group level, then a school level and on and on. Potent, awesome, and transformative - you can view this film for free in its entirety (about 100 minutes) in partnership with the Global Education Conference through Friday, Nov 18th...then you'll want to buy it, especially if you are involved with learning or social culture issues. Do it - it can help make a change! Naples, FL
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Maximizing my professional development this week with the Global Education Conference sessions. Though my time is limited to just a couple of hours after work, the sessions are being recorded and so the archive will continue to be available. This session was on Aids Africa Foundation, an opportunity to make a difference in educating African children, but also to immerse in the culture. Another one was focused on aligning Common Standards with project based learning (BIE) and 'learning with the world, not just about it' (iEARN). Great resources, valuable connections, and interesting ideas! Naples, FL
Monday, November 14, 2011
Grids and rusty intersections caught my eye, especially after seeing @muffett68's grocery cart shot this morning. Funny how things stick with you sometimes...
Interestingly, my reflection goes back to Chip and Dan Heath's Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Die and the mnemonic device:
S implicity (basically just lines)
U nexpectedness (finding rust is not unexpected, of course, but definitely contrasts to the white)
C oncreteness (quite tangible)
C redibility (how can you not trust this sturdy looking structure?)
E motions (there's always an element of accepted, but sad realty when rust is visible)
S tories (answering "what is it?" is a start
Sunday, November 13, 2011
A lunar look - just as the morning was getting under way, the moon was still pretty high in the sky. Watching the orb begin its set over the Gulf of Mexico was a treat, especially against the brilliance of the blue sky. 7th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL