Sunday, July 31, 2011


07.31.11 by colemama
07.31.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Various stages of the sea grape tree provide an interesting ceiling for the distant Gulf background...with some imagination, one could imagine big-headed branch people with knobby legs walking down the beach - ok, work with me!! :)

The Reform Symposium online conference and Matt Damon's speech (see part of it below and link for more) at yesterday's Save Our School's March in Washingon, D.C. yesterday are putting the issues that drive my passions back on the front burner with glimmers of hope. It is time to turn those 'imaginative' thoughts into reality! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

I don’t know where I would be today if my teachers’ job security was based on how I performed on some standardized test. If their very survival as teachers was based on whether I actually fell in love with the process of learning but rather if I could fill in the right bubble on a test. If they had to spend most of their time desperately drilling us and less time encouraging creativity and original ideas; less time knowing who we were, seeing our strengths and helping us realize our talents.
~ Matt Damon, Save Our Schools March, Washington, D.C.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


07.30.11 by colemama
07.30.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Amazed at how vivid (thought somewhat dizzying) this reflection was when walking the boardwalk - it is like a new living clone within the pool of water...despite the ripples and blurred distortions! Replication is usually not the desired effect anyway, but simply a base from which to remix and mashup. Clearly, this one click of the shutter cannot be duplicated exactly - but it may contribute to another person's thinking, vision, or idea. Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Friday, July 29, 2011


07.29.11 by colemama
07.29.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

The beauty of the lotus is multidimensional - its art, science, and soul all coexist to provide overall good karma.

To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.
~ Buddha

Lunch with a colleague today and though the conversation was primarily non-work in orientation, there were a few stray mentions of what the new school year will bring. Such talk led to new energy and ideas with a focus on creativity and innovation....not atypical for the beginning of fall semester. Though this lotus will have wilted by then, I hope this photo will keep the enthusiasm alive as the 'reality' sets in!! Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

Thursday, July 28, 2011


07.28.11 by colemama
07.28.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Gates are plentiful in Naples - an effort to create ownership, but also creating a division between 'mine' and 'yours'. This gate is somewhat transparent, allowing the illusion of openness and inviting entry, but there are other elements that obviously signal otherwise. As an owner of a private (and very expensive) beach home that sits in public view, I imagine I would also seek to create my own space with such devices.

My thoughts, though, go to the gates that keep out the very people we want to engage...setting up barriers, making folks jump through unnecessary hoops, and generally discouraging forward movement! Unfortunately, most of those gates are within our power to open....and we can't see the forest for the trees....keep pushing away at it though! Naples, FL

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


07.27.11 by colemama
07.27.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Appealing? Chiquita has made its mark with the yellow fruit and the famous sticker for decades. Remember the Chiquita banana jingle...both the official one and the 'kid's version'? Not sure what happened to Miss Chiquita...usually part of the label branding, but it is fun to see all of the different marketing campaigns over the years. I suppose there are some competitors (i.e., Dole), but I definitely think Chiquita when I think banana. The positive efforts of branding definitely have a payoff, a true example of 'stickiness'. Naples, FL

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


07.26.11 by colemama
07.26.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Illumination comes relatively easy in our powered world...but 'turning on the light bulb' for knowledge, revelation, insight, and wisdom is an entirely different story!

There are very few human beings who receive the truth, complete and staggering, by instant illumination. Most of them acquire it fragment by fragment, on a small scale, by successive developments, cellularly, like a laborious mosaic.
~ Anais Nin

No wonder learning is tough and time-consuming! Now, how do we convince "the powers that be" that it can't be reduced to standardized test scores and school grades? Looks like that illumination will be a slow process, as well! Naples, FL

Monday, July 25, 2011


07.25.11 by colemama
07.25.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

A penny (or two) for your thoughts?

Taking time to photograph and write on a daily basis has become habit, though sometimes neither one is worthy of much. A penny is not worth much either, but it is probably my favorite US coin, due in part to its copper color. Even if one's photography or writing is not deemed 'worthy' to the general community, it has meaning for the artist/author. So if creation authenticity is evident, is the product justified...even if it is not appreciated by others? And, if yes, is there a limit of submissions? Thinking about all that is on the internet - all the tweets, blog postings, social network statuses...and more! Naples, FL

Sunday, July 24, 2011


07.24.11 by colemama
07.24.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

This old 'red' was daring me for a shot - challenging me to think about time again. This Ford station wagon is at least five decades old (I'm guessing - some car expert want to pin this year down?), but unlike most of the vehicles built today, this one was built to last.

We've become such a disposable society that so many things are meant to be consumed quickly or expected to be temporary. Our values seem to be fleeting, as well - changing, as the tide flows. While our culture needs the flexibility to address change, we also need the time-honored and solid foundational values to provide guidance. Love to get these 'dares' and reminders of the value of time - after all, it is not infinite, but one of the rare commodities we all have the same amount of on a daily basis. Mandarin Rd, Naples, FL

Saturday, July 23, 2011


07.23.11 by colemama
07.23.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Interesting decorative ironwork below the second floor window of a residential condo....with absolutely no function (not a burglar bar nor a lanai railing) - just an architectural feature, I suppose!! Its curves and repetitive patterns do attract the eye, especially against the bright salmon color. So, perhaps the real value is the 'attention getter' trait - and then the focus shifts to original objective. Lessons for learning, as well! 6th Ave S & 3rd St, Naples, FL

Friday, July 22, 2011


07.22.11 by colemama
07.22.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Just a slice of sky, water, and sand (with a little sandcastle indentation) - after the afternoon rains to provide dark hues! Well, that and the algae bloom offshore that is sending dark waters our way. Simple lines may still provide a mathematical problem to solve. Certainly the study of the natural gulf water changes would invite science-content conversations. Perhaps the photograph could be the interpretation of a relevant selection of literature or poetry. There are numerous springboards for learning with simple visuals...and imagine the creative possibilities! 5th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Thursday, July 21, 2011


07.21.11 by colemama
07.21.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

"No room at the inn"! For whatever reason, the campus parking lot light poles are choice roosts for these buzzards...and they seemingly don't mind the crowded conditions, as community-minded as they are. It was kind of an eerie scene even though dawn was breaking on a new day - it looked like they were waiting for their freshly deceased 'victim' to appear!

Now that summertime is in full swing, I think that is exactly what the barely visible mosquitoes must be doing - waiting in swarms for that 'fresh meat' to expose themselves. I seem to be pretty 'tasty' as I examine (and scratch) bites from the last couple of days! Totch Brown referred to our healthy salt water mosquitoes from the Everglades as 'swamp angels' - a common expression from the experienced 'old timers'. Call them whatever you want, they are definitely thick this summer! Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


07.20.11 by colemama
07.20.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Finding nothing redeeming about this outdoor eating area (except perhaps during the holiday season?), I'll just call this tacky! I would much prefer to view (and shoot) items of beauty, but sometimes, we just need to 'face the music'. Fortunately, there were many more appealing events/activities that occurred today and that definitely makes me smile! :) So, how much is 'relative' and how much is 'absolute' or does it really matter as long as the 'redeeming' qualities are tapped?! Wednesday ramblings...but tomorrow is our "Friday" in the summer's 4-day workweek, so hurray! :) Airport & Estey, Naples, FL

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


07.19.11 by colemama
07.19.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

The drape, the folds, the light, the shadows, the fabric, the accents - what's not to like? :) Somehow, the simplest things really do reflect the bare essence...and all I really expect on a day-to-day basis. Analyzing the complexities only brings one back to the basic foundations anyway - it's how we perceive and what we do with the 'simple stuff' that makes a difference! Naples, FL

Monday, July 18, 2011


07.18.11 by colemama
07.18.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

On a warm afternoon walk, I stumbled upon this colorful abstract sculpture installed on (of all things) the city's Art Center! :) The busy-ness reminded me of a typical Monday (how do Mondays manage to be so much busier than the other weekdays?) and the randomness easily reflects some of today's school news - re-shuffling principals in the district. There's likely a plan that is based on data and/or other pedagogical frameworks, but I'm not sure that has been communicated with the least, not to their satisfaction! Hopefully, the whimsical nature of this sculpture will also play a role in the aftermath of these announcements! Cambier Park, Naples, FL

Sunday, July 17, 2011


07.17.11 by colemama
07.17.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

It is always refreshing to see the dew at on the needles of a cypress tree. The glistening facets sparkle and clamor for attention in the early morning light, thought not to be outdone by their own reflective qualities. It is the simplicity of such a capture that never fails to amaze, to awe and to re-align priorities (at least momentarily).

Pondering some recent blog postings about ISTE with a focus on particular sessions, I continue to be reminded of relevance and meaning. Due to the diversity of background knowledge/experience and needs, we all seem to approach new experiences differently. Most of us respect that differentiation, at least in the intellectual sense - but reality often dictates a different reaction, one that takes on a different purpose. Isn't it perceptive of nature to lift off the mask? Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Saturday, July 16, 2011


07.16.11 by colemama
07.16.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

The mighty fortress still survives...both the enemies of the surf and the walker's footsteps...but how soon before it succumbs to the elements? Just by the nature of its constructive materials, it will be a temporary structure with limited resiliency. Nevertheless, it served a function - if only in the imagination, energy and tactile creation of the 'sand sculptor'. The photograph documents the sand castle's existence and allows a moment of delight and reflection, but its time is definitely finite.

Pondering attributes used in the traditional school system to measure success and their relationship to time....Students are expected to 'learn' concepts within a specific semester or academic year, checked off with an assessment instrument. The system has developed the temporal infrastructure to deal with the masses and that is understandable - though the rigidity is often frustrating. How much depth of understanding/meaning do we lose to those time constraints? Are reflective pieces either missing or superficial? Does it matter? Can the artificial time constraints be changed to better accommodate our learning needs? Fleeting thoughts as I work to keep this image in my mind! 2nd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Friday, July 15, 2011


07.15.11 by colemama
07.15.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

The light was just right and the dragonfly stayed still for just the right amount of time to take this shot. Stationary on the tip of a bright orangy-yellow bromeliad, the jewel blue body is a lovely contrast...but the transparent and patterned wings are really fascinating. Apparently, their unique flight engineering may even yield efficient wind turbine design. Their ability to move in so many directions as well as to seemingly hover effortlessly makes them that more intriguing. They are often thought to symbolize change - deep, substantive, life-meaning change, not superficial - and so I will find encouragement in my lucky photographs of them this morning. Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

Thursday, July 14, 2011


07.14.11 by colemama
07.14.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Received this fun card from a friend this afternoon and couldn't resist sharing! (Anyone know the answer?!?) It also seemed quite fitting to accompany the viral challenge delivered this morning.
i was tagged for this by @cogdogblo, blame him! The idea is to use your own photo to answer the questions below, write your own responses, and then use the "add a person" feature in flickr to tag other people to try it and respond (yeah its a game, and silly, and annoying.).

Here you go, don't blame me, I am passing on the virus. (thanks for all the verbiage @cogdogblog!)
1) What's the last movie you watched?
Generally not a movie watcher, but a friend provided me with some DVDs for the Christmas holiday guests and I did watch Precious and The Hangover. The last movie theater experience was It's Complicated, Dec 2009. Infrequent, but diverse!

2) What's your favorite noise?
Both the lulling sound of the waves of gulf waters hitting the shore and the comforting rhythmic breathing of a sleeping canine create "fav" for me.

3) Do you like some kind of light on when you go to bed, or just darkness?
Natural darkness but that often means the light of the moon....

4) What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
I'm sure my mother would come up with something...

5) What's something you really want right now but don't need?
Ah, let me count the items...iPad 3, iMac, multiple camera lenses, house remodel, second home in the mountains...but I'll settle for a glass of wine.

6) What's your hair look like right now?
Freshly clipped and tied up in a scrunchy.

7) Have you seen Waldo?
You bet - Wally sighting in the Everglades...disguised as a butterfly dressed as a alligator! :)

Tag! You're it! Naples, FL

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


07.13.11 by colemama
07.13.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Yet another book started - this one has been on the reading list for awhile, as well. Much shorter in script, it still resembles the more lengthy Michener's The Source or Uris' Exodus, both of which I deliciously savored decades ago. Still not halfway through the book, I don't anticipate that the similarities will last, but I do hope that the effective storytelling holds my interest. With time at a premium, I don't take dedicated time for pleasure book reading - summer and vacations are the best opportunity, so off I go to peruse some text and escape into the world of the novel's Haggadah. Naples, FL

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


07.12.11 by colemama
07.12.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

You know it is summer in southwest Florida when the local Costco parking lot is empty. This shopping cart is only a few spaces away from the 'cart lot' and yet someone (likely not 'thinking') abandoned it with obvious disregard. It's funny how we sometimes are so casually oblivious to common courtesies - caught up in the daily pace... And, then, it's not so funny when the exception becomes the norm. Naples Blvd, Naples, FL

Monday, July 11, 2011


07.11.11 by colemama
07.11.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

I love blues - be they color or music...or even mood (for short periods of time), as it creates a baseline for relativity. I love glass for its amazing qualities and forms - the way it takes on depth and hue and plays with light. So, even though this is the kitchen window sill, which generally means dish washing chores, the cluster of blue glass is relaxing and invites me to linger. Naples, FL

Sunday, July 10, 2011


07.10.11 by colemama
07.10.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

The sharpened teeth of the grapefruit spoon have had little practice as trees are not currently bearing ripe fruit. Instead, the mangos and lychees call for consumption...though they are not as prolific as previous years for some reason. The freshness still prevails no matter what's in season. Perhaps that is why the 'fresh' nature of Google+ is tempting, as well. Ripe for something new... Naples, FL


07.09.11 by colemama
07.09.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

In motion, this butterfly was in a constant state of 'flutter'... never seeming to rest during my observation. Such was my day, as well - a good one, but a bit on the 'flitting' kind with a volunteer stint in the morning at the Neighborhood Health Clinic/ and a drive up to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota to visit my great Flickr friend, @vanhookc!. After walking and photographing the gardens, we headed to St. Armand's Circle for a little window shopping (& a quick self portrait)! Happy days...despite the "flutter"! Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, FL

Friday, July 8, 2011


07.08.11 by colemama
07.08.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

The sunshine is definitely hiding behind this dense mass of morning clouds! Though the sun managed to break through briefly for a few moments, the usual prevalent blue sky was missing...fortunately, though, not as much rain today. Watching the televised view of the last shuttle "liftoff' from Cape Kennedy, FL, indicated we weren't alone! Sometimes we take for granted some pretty important things. The space exploration program may be one of those .... and now we may not know the impact of the loss of the shuttle for a decade or more. Hopefully, the plan for growth and development in exploring our 'new frontier' is well underway - staying stagnant or going 'backward' leaves a bad impression indeed. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Thursday, July 7, 2011


07.07.11 by colemama
07.07.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Bare beaches, white capped surf, sunless skies, a "Northwest" drizzle, and bowed sea oats mark the passing of a tropical wave. Pulsating bands of wind and rain are 'hurricane-like'...sans the intensity and strength. Not particularly pleasant to be 'out and about', but, if under shelter, observation can be quite rewarding. Another day of this soggy moisture before we transition back to our usual summer pattern.

We live in a time of transition, an uneasy era which is likely to endure for the rest of this century. During the period we may be tempted to abandon some of the time-honored principles and commitments which have been proven during the difficult times of past generations. We must never yield to this temptation. Our American values are not luxuries, but necessities - not the salt in our bread, but the bread itself.
~ Jimmy Carter

Transitions can be tough, no doubt, but strong beliefs in valued principles generally prevail. The key may be truly understanding and believing in one's own solid foundation. Lowdermilk Park, Naples, FL

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


07.06.11 by colemama
07.06.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Soggy day (and a few more in the forecast) a tropical wave heads in our direction. The plants are loving the soaking raindrops and the temperatures have mercifully decreased. Of course, the flip side is the high(er) humidity and gloomy skies...but, let's stick with the positive! :) Everyday we encounter situations that require the 'half-full/half-empty' approach - how do you usually view life's events? Finding the silver lining often leads to increased good health, even when it is learned optimism! That adds extra value to the perception of 'half-full"! Keep smiling (even if there's a touch of 'reality")! Naples, FL

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


07.05.11 by colemama
07.05.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Looking forward to experimenting with the capabilities of the Echo smartpen...and determining the upgrades from previous versions. Convinced that there is great value for 'learning' in this tool, I'm hoping to resurrect and re-hone some research and application exemplars. Repetition is a natural occurrence and perhaps, we should more thoroughly consider how it can play an effective role in the educational system.

initial experiences point to use with visually or auditory impairments, but others easily benefit from the key characteristics, including multi-dimensional, individual/social hybrid. Thus, the eventual
winners are those dreaming of a creative and functional uses! Naples, FL

Monday, July 4, 2011


07.04.11 by colemama
07.04.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Can't have the 4th without a little red, white and matter how faded! There wasn't much around this morning - but by the time the holiday weekend celebration ends on Monday, much of the events have passed. The only remaining ... and most awaited one, is the firework extravaganza at the beach! Happy Independence Day, America!

As often the case, there is a disconnect between the parades, fireworks, backyard Bar-B-Qs and other celebratory measures and the true reason for the holiday. This birthday celebration is representative of so much more - our country's principles. That 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' is often taken for granted in modern days. It shouldn't be, as it can slip through our fingers if we don't handle our unalienable rights with some responsibility and respect. So, bring out the hamburgers and hotdogs, but keep your eye out for the real prize! Freedom Park, Naples, FL


07.03.11 by colemama
07.03.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Last view of this marshy island in Avalon with all of the water 'happenings' and last day of a mini reunion with two special high school friends. The weather turned lousy upon our departure, but the memories were irreplaceable. I've come to appreciate the the time of 'doing nothing' - just 'being' instead of always doing something, focused on a goal with an action in mind. It is not easily measured, but its rejuvenative properties are unsurpassed. There are many photographic scenes that can invoke such an atmosphere and I hope to continue to take advantage of them! Avalon, NJ

Saturday, July 2, 2011


07.02.11 by colemama
07.02.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

The life on the water is both relaxing and invigorating during a holiday weekend. These colorful kayaks definitely hit the spot today as jet skis, boats, floats, sailboats, and rats provided a way to enjoy the cooler water temperatures in the bright sunshine of the day. My mind and my writing is also on break these days....Avalon, NJ

Friday, July 1, 2011


07.01.11 by colemama
07.01.11, a photo by colemama on Flickr.

Gathering pollen - how could any bumblebee resist these bright pink blossoms? Nourishing for all - as the distribution of pollen provides so much growth. Attending professional conferences, whether onsite or virtual, not only provides necessary sustenance, but (like the pollen gathering process), offers the ever more vital characteristic of sharing with is a springboard and the crux of a spiral.....leading to so much more! Avalon, NJ