Monday, February 28, 2011


02.28.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Even though I ran all the way down to the beach, I missed the setting of today's sun. With no clouds plus a hazy sky, there is only a hued essence of what could have been. That doesn't seem to bother the evening pedestrians or the congregated gulls -- or me! Though this is not photographically a good shot (it is from my iPhone after all), the water and sand offer a relaxing respite for humans and birds alike.

Having a level of comfort, without stress and negative pressure can set the stage for effective learning. As educators we often try to minimize the discomfort of our students being in new situations. In the process, we build rapport and trust - a foundation for coping with those inevitable chaotic times when we must leave the 'comfort zone'. For now, though, at the end of the day, the focus is on the serenity. 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Sunday, February 27, 2011


02.27.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Just a drop of dew...but its simplicity maximizes both a reflection and a 'catchlight' of sorts! Interesting, too, that a half-step away produced a very different result - not nearly as unique. So, it was meant to be - this image...

Being empowered allows us to gain control over our own fate to a certain extent, to create opportunities that might not otherwise be, and to positively impact appropriate decision-making....but there's still that "meant to be" factor and today this shot was indeed meant to be! Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Saturday, February 26, 2011


02.26.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Surprise! Most visits to the Naples Zoo bring only fuzzy photos of striped beasts laying in a corner trying to get some shade in the 'tiger forest'...and though that was their 'stance' earlier in the morning, something got this one up and moving! This huge cat came very close and paced the length of its cage before stopping midway, obviously smelling some scent. A magnificent creature with beautiful coloring...but not a feline I'd be interested in meeting face-to-face.

The Naples Zoo, originally a botanical garden, is very small by most standards, but it fits nicely in the heart of town with a history dating back to the early 1900s. I always enjoy the chance to watch animal behavior and the zoo is certainly a fascinating observatory...but I often have mixed feelings upon seeing them 'in captivity'. In the end, I lean toward their mission of "delighting guests with the natural world to inspire the conservation of our planet's remaining wild areas and their wondrous inhabitants." Naples Zoo, Naples, FL

Friday, February 25, 2011


02.25.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

It's a puzzle...this Rubik's cube. After 30 years in the marketplace, it continues to baffle, befuddle, and bewilder even the savviest of folks. Contrarily, some can solve this enigma faster than you can say Jack Robinson!

So, how do you approach such puzzles? What is the most effective way to solve a similar problem? Is it better to use a methodical sequence or to embark in a more chaotic trial and error? So often we progress through life's problems giving little conscious effort to the process, seeking only the solution. Though intuition plays a role, I wonder how many more problems might be solved with the steps of the scientific process or an adaptation of that method...Whatever the answers, I find it much more entertaining (if not problem-solving) to photograph and ponder such puzzles! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Thursday, February 24, 2011


02.24.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

For some reason this EXIT sign caught my eye - perhaps because it is green...and I think most are in the attention-getting color of red. What happened here? Associating the green color with movement ('go') may be the reasoning, but still it seems 'wrong' when you are looking for the familiar red (and 'right') color!

While working with students on a WebQuest, the realization that the lack of a 'right' answer was very uncomfortable for some learners. Problem-solving and inquiry based curriculum and instruction has become familiar to me, but others are expecting a narrow solution - a correct answer...when, in fact, there are multiple options, as in reality. Allowing for those diverse paths can truly be a different 'mind set', but with practice and persistence the foreign does become familiar. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


02.23.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Needed an appropriate adapter, which was recently purchased, for presenting on the MBP ...only to find another one unexpectedly (apparently included in a purchase). This may represent one of those many items that you can never seem to find when you need them! It happens a lot with electronic accessories - at least to me... It also happens in the digital world, even with my presumed tagged and organized social bookmarking, use of Evernote, and other resource management strategies - many times I have only the vague memory of my desired search outcome. Of course age doesn't help either! :) Naples, FL

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


02.22.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Looking inside a bromeliad...lots of dimension and depth to explore. So much of what is revealed on the surface is such a small (and sometimes even false) representation of the essence of the object. Somehow that is both appealing (allowing for more exploration) and disconcerting (that superficial judgment is the typical 'take away'). Guess that challenging issue is much more universal than not...Naples, FL

Monday, February 21, 2011


02.21.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The pink powder puff tree exhibits a showy bloom and some buds ready to pop open. As one might guess, their color and texture are powerful attractors for bees and other insects. Along with other visual 'eye candy' at the Naples Botanical Garden, they are hard for a photographer to resist, as well. :)

Many educators are familiar with Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and have taken a survey or two to better understand their own learning/teaching preferences. I've always been pretty solid in my own preferences...until now. The Naturalistic tendency has increased substantially - due to my common photographic models? Did daily photography draw this latent preference out or did it manifest because of time behind the lens and the process of reflective writing? Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

Sunday, February 20, 2011


02.20.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Headed to Tampa to visit with family, including my niece at the Univ of Tampa and excited about the opportunity to photograph the campus. The unique campus, with Plant Hall and its many minarets, is one of my alma maters. Wouldn't you know my battery died and I had only my cell phone to capture some of the visit....bummer. It definitely means a return trip is in the future, as I marveled not only at the new construction, but the maintenance of the old...and the many memories it provided.

Whether consciously or not, we create memories every moment...though some may seem quite ordinary in day-to-day life, we may re-visit them as quite extraordinary in another time and place. Cognitive psychology and the study of memory incorporates the function of both mind and body - using senses as well as synapses. It is fascinating to consider the interaction of encoding, storage and retrieval of experiences. Photography plays nicely with the science, as well. Fletcher Lounge, University of Tampa, Tampa, FL

Saturday, February 19, 2011


02.19.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The opposites of black and white, straight lines and curved ones, rough and smooth textures all work well here to bring both a sense of balance and an aesthetic appeal. Perhaps a visual representation of 'opposites attract'! :)

But one can also see how opposites repel or bounce off of each other. Watching world events, especially as they relate to politics, would tend to support the aversion of unlike philosophies and beliefs. Unfortunately, those differences are also translating into violence and power plays instead of conversation and negotiation....and are providing poor role models for our youth. Hopefully, the real 'power' of peaceful coexistence will move those polarities towards approachable attraction. 6th Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL

Friday, February 18, 2011


02.18.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Students from the high school photography club download photos to Flickr. With only two lunch meetings a month, we are slowly moving towards getting our community group functional. Commenting is the next online goal. And between a funded grant and club member's candy sales, an after school *field trip* to the Naples Botanical Garden is on the calendar next month.

Working with students in a non-curricular format opens up opportunities for learning without the traditional standards, instruction, and assessment components...and yet, the learning abounds. Redefining outcomes, connections, and processes can help to *create* the future! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Thursday, February 17, 2011


02.17.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Fill in this partial icon - it's an easy one, right? On every other corner in my town! Central & US 41 E, Naples, FL

If you need a hint, check out this riddle:

Discovered in Africa, I spread like a tide
To become a hot staple known the world wide.
A necessity to some, a treasure to many,
I'm best enjoyed among pleasant company.

Some like me hot and some like me cold.
Some prefer mild, others only bold.
Some take me straight, while some like to savor
My essence to which has been added a flavor.

So put down your cares and sit awhile with me;
I'll send you back refreshed and full of energy.

Educational value in partial v. whole, branding, and riddles? Absolutely! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


02.16.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Architectural embellishment of crossed palms for, an otherwise plain, overpass bridge. Its solid colors are both stark and simple, appealing in a comforting way. The lines and shapes echo that simplicity...and yet there's an element of elegance when you think about this being a highway overpass! It seems contradictory and yet has been deemed appropriate in this particular environment. Golden Gate Parkway & Airport Pulling Road, Naples, FL

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


02.15.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Although these bloom are much preferred in close-up view, this streetscape vista shows the delightful and unusual, color-pop. The pink tabebuia is a decorative, but short-lived bloomer. This shot shows them close to 'prime' but the beginning of the dropped blossom carpet lies below. Thus, the need to show off one more sequence before their season ends. 2nd Ave S & 10th St, Naples, FL

Monday, February 14, 2011


02.14.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Love is 'in the air'...Literally! High above where the stadium lights pierce the bright blue sky, Cupid leaves a reminder for Valentine's Day! Though blurry power lines interfere and there's nothing in the usually favored red color (nor is there a hint of romance here!), 'have a heart' and enjoy your 'V' Day! :)
Naples High School football stadium, Golden Gate Parkway & Goodlette, Naples, FL

Sunday, February 13, 2011


02.13.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Playing with focus (foreground v. background) at the beach this morning as the sun came out a bit later due to leftover cloudiness. Both views have some appeal to me - guess it just depends on what your expectation or mood might be as to which you would prefer!?

Anticipating an outcome seemingly influences such if only in the sense that the optimism 'tricks' us into playing the right hand or the fatalist with the proverbial dark cloud hanging around lands into one bad situation after another. Looking with positive expectation is by far a better attitude, but one definitely has to be ready to cope with disappointing results just in case! Lowdermilk Park, Naples, FL


02.12.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

After a good rain, everything seems cleansed and fresh...even in the swamp! Though the sky was still cloudy and the sun had not made an appearance, the greens were just a bit brighter and the the browns a bit less dull. And, best of all, the water begins to recirculate as a vital element to this ecosystem. It has been a pretty dry winter, thus far, so every little bit helps!

Like the swamp ecosystem, with its 'unexpected' period of dryness, tolerance for survival can be surprising. Thinking about the recent Chilean miners or the seeming lost 'at sea victims' who manage to survive the elements, one realizes how much strength (and likely, luck) occurs in some situations. They say 'things happen for a reason' and I've always pondered that - it is like that balance of having control over certain things by planning, good decision-making, etc but still having to accept the 'luck of the draw'. Well, hopefully, this swamp and all of its plants and creatures will be filled up again by summer! Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Friday, February 11, 2011


02.11.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Not daunted by the soft, gentle rain and needing some fresh air, I headed to the park. As luck would have it, there was a darker, stormier cloud hovering low there, so camera time was limited. The collected moisture was suspended at the tips of pine needles in partial focus, in blur, and in bokeh against the forest colored background. It's as though the skies are crying and leaving their tears in various forms until absorption. Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.
~ Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, 1860


02.10.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Shades of gray are evident everywhere - even in 'black and white'. Sometimes the finiteness and absoluteness of oppositional states make it difficult to find the gray. Just as pros and cons determine polar opposites, the area in between is full of gradiency and layers. Naples, FL

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


02.09.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Hiding in the late afternoon shadows, the simple elegance of this home shines through...enhanced by a colorful and well-manicured landscape. It is lovely to look at and one wonders what how the interior is designed, with what it is furnished, and even who enjoys living here. The halo effect may influence our thoughts about those musings...and those expectations are not likely to be negative in this case.

As most of us know, though, there is no guarantee that the 'book' will be truly represented by its 'cover'. Some objects (and people) are purposely staged to show only the positive on the outside. It is easy to be deceived by that exterior appearance, but when peeling back the layers, a different interior is revealed. Information literacy includes a similar 'look' - thinking about and analyzing a web page, for example. Hopefully, those skills will transfer to countless other situations - ones where outward appearance seems to be the main priority. 4th St & 4th Ave N, Naples, FL

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


02.08.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The burst of these pink tabebuia blooms really sneaked upon me this year. This tree loses all of its leaves and looks as dormant as the northern tree in colder climates. Then they 'surprisingly' explode into clusters of bright pink flowers, laced with a tint of buttercup. I love them against the brilliant blue skies! They tend to be planted for streetscape decor and add a delightful diversion to daily commute.

Surprises come in interesting packages...fortunately, today's unexpected packages were of the pleasant variety and represented good memories from the past. It is rare when friendships can span decades with no communication of any kind...and then, a newsy note! Though there is obvious 'catch up' on years of events and happenings, the familiarity is evident and delightful! 10th St & 1st Ave S, Naples, FL

Monday, February 7, 2011


02.07.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The sun nestled into the clouds on the way to the horizon...the color and cloud puffs lure one into a state of easy relaxation. Though it is the end of daylight, there's still work to be done - isn't that always the case? :) It is always beneficial to enjoy a respite, albeit brief, when a full day (and night) of work 'beckons'! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Sunday, February 6, 2011


02.06.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Fog descended across our region this morning and opted to stay most of the morning. Its shroud created and eerie, but interesting, cover. The thickness is actually kind of inviting - a chance to explore a different contrast to our usual crisp clear air, only thickened by humidity in the expanse of summer.

I've been known to walk around 'in a fog' on occasion - a time when the sharpness of thought and usual interaction is challenged with a thickness that covers general reality. Trapped in my own world, the neurons don't connect with what is going on around me. Sometimes, it is a purposeful escape and often it is not entirely pure as multitasking efforts kick in, but those foggy notions are a bit mystical. I wonder if nature's fog is a chance for a similar moment - no doubt, it has less impact on the creatures who don't depend on the sense of sight! North Lake Dr & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Saturday, February 5, 2011


02.05.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Silk filaments create lacy patterns and provide structure for dew drops in the early morning rays of light. Wonders are created and recreated daily in the tapestry of nature. Wandering along the visual (as well as auditory) delights got me to thinking about the tenets of consumption versus creation.

Before the widespread (and usually, wasteful) 'materials' economy (watch The Story of Stuff for a great review of the concept), folks use to make their own to survive. It was a hard life and not something wished for now, but it does make one think about how much we've become slaves to consumption. We are willing to let anyone/anything else do most everything for us - from providing basic nutritional needs to entertainment. To some degree, we have buried the desire for self-sufficiency. Perhaps that is why it is more difficult to justify time spent on creative thinking?

A presentation at the 2011 Florida Educational Technology Conference by Cheryl Lemke noted the overlap and interactivity between critical thinking (an aspiration of educational standards) and creativity (represented in the arts and often the first on the chopping block when budgets are tight). Perhaps the evidence will help allow more priority on 'creating' rather than just 'consuming' in our typical school classroom. Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Friday, February 4, 2011


02.04.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

This view shows a bit of the country side in central Florida, just north of Lake Okeechobee, that is not often associated with the state. Although the majority of the state's population lives on the coast, most of the land mass is internal, dotted with numerous lakes and rivers. The winter months are dry, so the usual green is faded and less frequently seen, especially under overcast skies, but the temperatures warmed up to the low 80's today.

Perceptions of Florida generally focus upon the white sandy beaches and the wonderland of Disney World, with an occasional acknowledgment to the Everglades or Kennedy Space Center. We so easily grasp onto a categorization (our minds seeking a pattern) to better organize massive bits of information. Generally, that is a good thing as the quantity would be quite overwhelming. The flaw is in accepting those broad strokes as the 'end all' and not seeking out the detail nor differences. State Road 70, Buckhead Ridge, FL


02.03.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

deflated shiny balloon caught amongst branches....
Needing time for reflection after a three days of intense conferencing, meeting, learning, teaching, networking - but tangled amid 'reality' for another day!
Hope to be back on track tomorrow for more thoughtful commentary and more pleasing photographs!


02.02.12, originally uploaded by colemama.

Looking out, reflecting in...Hotel internet service is quite spotty and lucky to get this photo uploaded, so will try to write more later...Orlando, FL


02.01.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

At an angle, in this case, mostly right angles! Math comes into play in our world in so many ways - it is difficult to imagine a photograph without some mathematical traits! For those who suffer from the anxiety of numbers, the value of natural images (both viewing and creating) may counteract the mental blocks and nervous tension. Besides the beauty and visual impact that images bring, there's the authenticity of the daily environment - we just need to look around! Orlando, FL