Thursday, March 31, 2011


03.31.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

This lovely view (sans the cars in the temporary parking in the background) is from the 2nd floor breezeway of the classroom building on the Collier campus of Edison State College. The profuse bougainvillea vines twist and turn among the arbor structures outside the Learning Resources building, which overlooks a small lake (actually a retention pond). The lyre sculpture in the lake harmonizes nicely with the natural and pristine scene...and adds a certain elegance, as well.

This scene has many memories, as my connections with the college are both transient and deep, both intense and fleeting. Time has a way of changing our perceptions...and yet 'the more things change, the more they remain the same' (attributed to Jean-Baptists Alphonse Karr). So many paradoxes, so many puzzles - it's nice to allow my eyes to rest on a pleasing scene! Edison State College - Collier Campus, Lely Cultural Pkwy, Naples, FL

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


03.30.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

This popular restaurant uses the sidewalk billboard signage to draw its customers...well, that, and its name recognition. Certain sections of town really don't need much to draw in folks during the 'season' - their location is the draw and most feed off of that placement....even at these prices. ;) 'Location, location, location' is the home buyer's mantra and that maxim has usually paid off.

After spending the day working with freshman and their research papers, my mantra was 'think, think, think'! In our 'copy and paste' world, students need to be encouraged and supported to engage their brains. The evaluative process continues to be challenging, but kicking in the relevancy and 'entertaining' factors can go a long way! 5th Ave S & 3rd St, Naples, FL

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


03.29.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Seeking soft relaxing wavy curves for my shot today and ended up with angular lines and designs - even the shadow play of nearby palm fronds are primarily straight and linear. Some (often, many!) days, our paths diverge from their original plan! It can be easy to make the 'best of it' until you realize you still need to travel that first path! :) And, then the stress begins to mount...

It always seems that spring is the time of extra demands - perhaps, in anticipation of the ending of a school year or maybe due to the atypical 'routine' that occurs when seasonal folks remain in town or even perceived as such because of the energy loss that occurs after cumulative days, weeks and months of high stakes teaching. The flip side of that strain is the positive breath of new growth indicating the excitement of new beginnings. So, my focus is on the warmth of the sunlight across stucco and the eye-pleasing symmetry in this image...and, of course, the potential for seeing the world in purposeful lenses. 2nd Ave N & 3rd St, Naples, FL

Monday, March 28, 2011


03.28.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the inner space
that makes it livable.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.
~ Lao tsu

When time is wasted on the superfluous and conversations are held to be 'politically correct' I seek the grounding of the wise sages - we seem to be lacking in them these days. Naples, FL

Sunday, March 27, 2011


03.27.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The dawns are arriving later now with the time change, but seem to be more powerful than ever! The big ball of light also rose quite quickly as I'd hoped to get to the top of the parking garage for a better frond silhouette. Instead, this shot reminds me of something from the desert with the blazing sun. Just when you think you have enough time, you never do! There's something about doublling your estimated time in an effort to accomplish a task, but today, I could have quintupled my estimate and still needed more time...and that dealt with another project, and not this sunrise shot. But, oh well, tomorrow's another day! :) 6th Ave N & 8th St, Naples, FL

Saturday, March 26, 2011


03.26.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The jacaranda are once again pretty sparse this year - both in terms of blooming trees and in density of blooms, but we'll take what we can get! :) Another of nature's beauties...even if in short supply! Keenly aware of our natural resources, we should all be cognizant of their limitations and doing our part to conserve and reduce/recycle use. It's timely, then, that tonight's Earth Hour reminds us not only of the precious earth, but also of our accountability in sustaining it.

In teaching a undergraduate face-to-face class this semester, it would be easy to revert to the traditional excess paper to supplement knowledge resources and assignments, but all has been done online thus far. Even a pair of students submitted their collaborative lesson plan assignment via an email attachment and applicable links - appropriately, their lesson plan related to next month's Earth Day! :)

While writing this, I was informed of the death of Geraldine Ferraro - may she rest in peace having led the platform for equality, especially with respect to women. Although she didn't come without controversy, her nominations as the first female vice presidential candidate was trailblazing. Naples, FL

Friday, March 25, 2011


03.25.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Over and up! This wave makes a splash over the piling on the way to shore. Fun to take a couple of moments to watch the slight water motion on the usual smooth Gulf! It is interesting to note that the wave hit one piling but not the other, despite its proximity. The effect of two forces in collision often has a much more destructive impact, but thanks to the properties of liquid, the water transforms into traveling droplets and reconvenes on the other side. Wouldn't it be nice if the learning transformation was as easy? Still, there's hope that learning will take a different 'shape' to better align with the fluidity of innovative goals, information processing and knowledge creation. 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Thursday, March 24, 2011


03.24.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

In Ft Myers for a meeting this afternoon and drove by the old house - it looks pretty much the same...nearly twenty years later! It seemed only fitting to show it off via the Instagram app filter. The effect, reminiscent of the '70s and Polaroid shots, really does offer a different perspective in terms of hue and saturation. The ragged edges give an unfinished look and even remind me of having been ripped out of a scrapbook.

Spending time in post-processing is often criticized by the purist, but I view it as an 'art' in and of itself. Like any creative 'work in progress', there is always an opportunity for revision and improvement. Working with a deadline, there will be an end product, but it's good to allow 'wiggle room' for evaluation, editing, and recreating - after all, we don't write that bestseller without the vital revision process! Cognac Dr, Ft Myers, FL

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


03.23.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

'The more you hide, the clearer the disguise.'

Heard something like that in lyrics to one of my running podcasts recently...and the 'contradiction' kept me pondering. Though plenty of personal examples could reveal themselves, I chuckled to think of an obvious one faced today - this one, like the photograph, in the literal I force myself to clean out 'junk' from a spare room (notice I'm procrastinating at this moment whilst attending to my 365!). :) In the more figurative sense, two quotes offer additional insight,
from the individual perspective:

But behavior in the human being is sometimes a defense, a way of concealing motives and thoughts, as language can be a way of hiding your thoughts and preventing communication.
~ Abraham Maslow

and when thinking of groups:

Society is a masked ball, where every one hides his real character, and reveals it by hiding.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ultimately, though, the layers of truth will reveal themselves. Now, off to deal with more 'truth' in many levels of disposable and recyclable items that can no longer remain disguised! Argh... Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


03.22.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Two thoughts as I photographed this young lady costumed as the Statue of Liberty with a billboard sign advertising a tax accounting agency: 1) marketing has definitely changed with the economic downturn as more and more businesses have been employing similar methods (though usually for 'out of business' sales) and 2) the countdown to getting my own taxes done is quickly approaching (yikes!!). Then, while uploading the image, I had a third and fourth thought - I should have invented those ubiquitous earbuds... and I wonder how soon this generation will start showing hearing loss! Pine Ridge Rd & Airport-Pulling Rd, Naples, FL

Monday, March 21, 2011


03.21.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Disappointingly, a travel day and a spent battery offered no photographs along the drive. Furthermore, the drain of driving zapped any inspiration for content, but the sky looked like it might lead to a colorful sunset. The scene was typically relaxing, but the only creative 'slant' I could create was the diagonal, not the aftermath of a tipsy endeavor, but simply a different look at the setting sun.

As many photographers would agree, the daily shots offer a chance to see life through different lenses...with considerable awe and wonder, both at the capture and the processing points. Its therapeutic nature has become an expectation, but sometimes the 'pressure' of providing a '365' becomes a bit routine and uninspired. Then, when you least expect it, the crazy and zany ideas take now looks a bit like a modern abstract painting to me. 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL

Sunday, March 20, 2011


03.20.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The straight edges of the side petals look as if they've been sliced, but in actuality the petal is curled back so that the triangular tapered end is hidden from view. Interesting that not even with the back light of the strong sun, there isn't a shadow showing?!? Despite the rather odd look (and the iPhone's limited capability), it still emanates a crimson beauty. Melbourne, FL

Saturday, March 19, 2011


03.19.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The classic and decorative architecture at the University of Tampa offers fascinating detail and variety. These columns are from what used to be McKay Auditorium and is now the College of Business on the small campus. Thankfully, the renovation did not compromise the architectural features on the exterior. Even with the 'face lift', its character remains. Funny - that can happen with human beings, as well! ;) University of Tampa, Tampa, FL


03.18.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

As in strong evidence here, the yellow tabebuias have started 'popping' all over town! These are definitely my favorite (I know I say that about all of the pretty flowering trees), but I love the tree bark and the random nature that the branches stretch out from the trunk...and then there is this burst of yellow trumpet clusters. Though they may look like they send out a powerful scent - they create none, so you'll just need to continue using your imagination! ;)

Technically, imagination may be focused on the visual sense , but it can easily extend into the other senses. Imagine, if you will, the kitchen of your grandmother as she bakes may 'see' her in that space, but do you also smell the incredible aroma? Can you hear the bustling and can you almost 'taste' that loaf before it's ready to be sliced? You may even touch that sense of nostalgia, love, and optimism! Ah, the power of imagination. If only we could tap into it more often! Golden Gate Pkwy & Goodlette-Frank Rd, Naples, FL

Thursday, March 17, 2011


03.17.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Using the "night vision" effect in Picnik on this shot seemed appropriate for St. Patrick's Day! This student was playing the role of the leprechaun who found the pot of 'gold' (well, some cash anyway!) at the end of the rainbow! :) All in fun during the lunch break in the media center.

Funny how various effects or filters impact our world...Facilitating a student group tonight reminded me how easy it is to forget that others may use a different lens to see the same object. Some see through 'rose colored glasses' while others view the situation with less optimism. Intellectually, we know that about each other...but when you are forced to collaborate, you often react from the impulsive 'gut' instead of the more rational thought process. That is especially true of content that evokes emotion and/or the added pressure of a timeline. Interestingly, this group worked purposely (and fairly successfully) to acknowledge and understand the various filters. Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


03.16.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Took the Photography Club to Naples Botanical Garden for a field trip after school. None had visited before and were awed by the sights around them - anxious to see their photographs! They were challenged with a scavenger hunt to keep them a bit focused on the learning experience - photographically, as well as environmentally and geographically (themed gardens for Caribbean, Brazil, Asia, and Florida). And, of course, there's the butterfly house!

Despite the bright and cheerful colors and sunny scenes, much of today, my heart remained with those in Japan. The chaos theory (the idea that no matter how random the data may seem, everything is related...with purpose and pattern) is often associated with the quote, "It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world." Perhaps the butterfly effect can have just as positive an impact. No matter my monetary donations to helping the recovery of the Land of the Rising Sun, my wish for the Japanese people to find and maintain hope is represented in the resilient wings of this butterfly. Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


03.15.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

New construction has definitely slowed down with economic issues, but there are certainly isolated projects going strong! A second floor is going up on this rather large residence - an unwelcome monstrosity to the neighborhood, but a 'shot in the arm' for these construction workers.

In the examination of the building process, there's much to gain about learning. From scaffolding to levels, from specialized expertise to reinforcement, from solid foundation to laddering steps - all have meaning in construction and in learning...interesting analysis of two seemingly different concepts. Bougainvillea & 7th Ave N, Naples, FL

Monday, March 14, 2011


03.14.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The gorgeous kapok tree flower is just as odd as it is beautiful sitting atop a bare branch! The trees are naked when they bloom, which is not atypical, but the trees are huge and the flowers are not clustered nor close together - it's like someone just painted them in to provide a pretty picture.

My first memory of this tree was, as a child, visiting the famous Kapok Tree Inn, Clearwater, FL. At the time, I was more concerned with the food than the tree, but the size of the tree did have an impact. Hilton Kean Jones' blog post has some interesting information and visuals, including one of the massive tree trunk. And, apparently some cultures have a spiritual connection with the tree, as well. Once again, the internet research brings about a wealth of knowledge and some fond memories (though a bit of unexpected time-sucking on this topic today!). 3rd Ave N & 6th St, Naples, FL

Sunday, March 13, 2011


03.13.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Shapes and textures help to define content, especially when color does not. This original image was rather monochromatic anyway, but the plaster ridges and the multiple circles (or anticipation of circular shapes!) determine the focal points.

Images in black and white often have a haunting quality, sometimes drawing you into a state of mesmerization. The state of disquiet has transferred into a troublesome one as we continue to watch the devastation in Japan. Our anxiety is not only for the survivors of the natural disasters, but the possibility of an industrial disaster...and the reality that such an event could happen anywhere at anytime. Our own personal issues are dwarfed when considering such catastrophes. Naples, FL

Saturday, March 12, 2011


03.12.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Patiently waiting (really no other choice when you are chained to a tree!) for its owner to reappear, this brightly colored bicycle caught my eye. Both the orange finish and the unusual placement made it stand out from the usual expectations.

In times of disaster, the 'usual' is often replaced by the atypical. Stories coming from Japan exemplify caring human behavior replaces the usual anonymous disconnect demonstrated in populated cities. On twitter, Kim Cofino retweeted a Google doc that shows translated Japanese tweets sharing stories of such concern and personal regard for strangers. Understandable, but shameful, that such attention needs a disaster. Hopefully, more global connectivity through social networking is also increasing the value of human relationships. 7th Ave N & 8th St, Naples, FL

Friday, March 11, 2011


03.11.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

The native Southern Blue Flag Irises show off their royal color in the bright sunshine, happily blooming after a nice drenching yesterday. It's amazing what even a small amount of much-needed rain can do for our natural environment. It also brought out the raccoons, birds, and new cypress tree growth.

Such a different look than the images halfway around the world in Japan, as a result of the earthquake/tsunami - an incredibly devastating act of nature. The exponential burst of energy and the long range effect across the Pacific Ocean continue to astound me. Just as quickly as the quake erupted, the social network moved to communicate and share personal accounts, photographs, and videos. The power of these networks are just as awesome - capturing and directing that power is certainly a worthwhile skill to include in our learning. Freedom Park, Naples, FL

Thursday, March 10, 2011


03.10.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

After a cloudy, rainy and stormy day, the sun tried to peek out near dusk. You can sense the intensity of the ball of fire, but the struggle to beat out the thick dark clouds is also evident. Given that it occurred at the end of the day, there really was no 'winner' since night fell...

The divisive nature of educational reform politics is reminiscent of this scene. Since there appears to be little honest conversation and communication between (and even sometimes, amongst) the opposing sides, I fear the proverbial 'night' will fall and none of us will win. What happened to the recognition and expectation of collaboration and cooperation? the value of multiple viewpoints? the spirit of moving forward in problem-solving? I hope to regain faith in this process...looking for night to start anew with daylight. Golden Gate Pkwy & US 41 E, Naples, FL

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


03.09.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Caesar salad with a side of roasted asparagus (and spicy black bean burger - not shown) was the fare tonight...and it hit the spot! Though it is not always the healthiest meal, due to excess cheese, croutons, and/or dressing, there is a nice balance of texture, flavor, and freshness. Food plays a fascinating role in our various cultures, individual and national alike. Besides its ability to fulfill required nutritional needs, food serves as a ritual base for spiritual ceremonies and offers psychological 'comfort' to our emotions. And, we can't forget the connections to the economy (agriculture), creativity (culinary), and global issues. Something to ponder when you are answering the question, "What's for dinner?" Naples, FL

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


03.08.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Celebrating International Women's Day 2011 with an old photo of my 89-year *young* mother (seriously, she still acts at least a couple of decades younger!). Surrounded by her parents, baby brother, maternal grandparents and aunts/uncles, she was a special girl...and she remains exceptional in every way! She was born too late to be a suffragette, but her contributions and actions were meaningful and she continues to leave a living legacy. Interestingly, she spent her childhood in Wyoming - the first state in which women were able to vote...setting the stage for an independent and confident young woman!

Another tribute to women is well written in Karenna Gore Schiff's Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America. The exemplified women are both relatively famous (i.e., Ida B Wells ) and lesser known but full of influence (i.e., Dolores Huera ). My absolute favorite (and whom I was not previously aware) is Septima Poinsette Clark, an educator and civil rights activist, who played a supportive role to Martin Luther King...but more importantly, provided 'hands-on' leadership in increasing literacy, and therefore, the opportunity to vote for the previously illiterate. Nine amazing stories that reflect similar activities in the daily lives of so many women in the modern world. It's a 'good read' - check it out! Naples, FL

Monday, March 7, 2011


03.07.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Profuse with blossoms, this orchid tree shows layers of depth and color. This is the first year in a long time that the trees have been so laden - this old tree even traded its leaves for flowers! As beautiful as those flowers are, the tree is, unfortunately, considered an invasive species in Florida. The non-native plant can displace native ones in the environment, thus disrupting the natural balance.

When considering what is 'native' or 'natural' in humanity, there are, seemingly, some common denominators. Dow Chemical's The Human Element is a cleverly designed and thought provoking video about the interrelationship between human and physical elements and the Periodic Chart of Human Elements further specifies the detailed list. But what really denotes the 'native-ness' of the human species? compassion? affiliation? peace? love? or something less optimistic? 1st Ave S & 4th St, Naples, FL

Sunday, March 6, 2011


03.06.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Spotted this old (maybe circa early '50's?) Chevy truck advertising an upholstery shop. The yellow color is bright enough to grab attention, but upon closer view, there were some great shots of this relic (even with rusty spots and shattered glass) - great character. Too bad they had to paint the commercial lettering on the side, but the reflected palms on the hood add a nice natural diversion.

Distractions can be interesting side trips in life's adventures...though they are often considered negative intrusions to accomplishing goals. So, do you surrender to those tempting digressions that divert you from your 'to do' list, but may offer unique and rewarding experiences...or do you stay the course and focus in on your target? ;) 1st Ave S & 8th St, Naples, FL

Saturday, March 5, 2011


03.05.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Looking up amongst the pine needles and cones to a glimpse of cloudy blue sky offers a feeling of peace and tranquility. It would be a great place for a hammock - a nice view to ponder daily meditations! The 'down time' of weekends have really turned into catch-ups ... still not caught up, but must indulge in a bit of nature and/or photography 'therapy'.

Writing has become therapeutic, as well. It provides a release of thoughts and reflections, with special connections to photographed images. Journaling, of sorts, allows thinking to take a unstructured path, without sequence. It is both a self-exploration tool and a framework for developing ideas. Sometimes the words flow easily, other days require additional contemplation - always worthwhile...Freedom Park, Naples, FL


03.04.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

Invited to play with the late afternoon light, streaming through the window and whitewashing all objects in its path...easy to comply! :) Light is such a powerful and enriching element!

Ralph Waldo Emerson captures it best:
From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware
that we are nothing, but the light is all.


03.03.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

For some reason, this sign intrigued me - and it definitely begged for some b/w/color effects. A couple of thoughts...
* this looks so discarded and devalued and, perhaps, defensive, as well - with all of the overgrown vegetation, the chain-link fence and the placement ...
* despite the differences, the pattern of the chain-link (especially in black and white) nicely balances the simple, but challenging, directive.
* conflict is evident between the fence and the No Trespassing sign - trying to keep people out or trying to keep then in or both? ;)

Lakewood Dr & US 41 E, Naples, FL

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


03.02.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

These holiday candles are on their last light...
and, so am I tonight!

I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.
~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Somethings are better to put off til tomorrow...

Naples, FL

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


03.01.11, originally uploaded by colemama.

It is always fun to catch a group of students enjoying their books in the media center! Our campus library serves students as young as toddlers (due to the Early Childhood center) and as old as, well, adults of every age in our adult education and postsecondary technical programs. High school students are an obvious core and this seating close to the graphic novels gets a fair amount of usage!

The popularity and acceptance of graphic novels has grown over the years. This semester, there is a great group of readers who continually make suggestions for expanding the collection...and I try very hard to oblige them. The use of pictures and diagrams is a natural in our visually literate world. The graphic novel taps into those non-text visuals, as well as the traditional plot, sequence, and characters. In addition, the graphic novel requires an "active participation in the text that is quite different from reading prose: the reader must make the connections between the images and the text and create the links between each panel and the page as a whole." (Brenner, 2006) Sounds a lot like the valuable learning we desire...Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL