Very excited to have spotted another weather vane - this time the favored dolphin, nicely weathered, too! :) It is always such a delight to discover something for which you are searching. I'm hoping I can share (and initiate) that same enthusiasm tomorrow when introducing the research process to ninth graders! ;) 3rd Ave S & 5th St, Naples, FL
Monday, January 30, 2012
A fallen sea grape leaf shows off its brilliant color - Florida beach's version of fall/winter, which brings drier and cooler temperatures. Subtle change...not evident in today's 80 degree temperatures...but change is often somewhat latent and, certainly, relative! Our changes don't have the same transformational qualities as those north of here - hmmm, sounds like the kind of 'change' our educational policies are claiming! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Silent, patient, stoic - the great egret is a beautiful bird, especially in this pose. Like most herons, it amazingly tolerant in its quest for food and will remain still for long periods of time - at least enough to get the lens focused! I can take a lesson in such endurance! Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Saturday, January 28, 2012
The gulls were skittish this evening - perhaps due to the changing weather, as evidenced by the turbulent waters and overcast skies. They would settle in and then fly up and back for a slightly repositioned location. The backdrop of muted sunset colors and occasional reflection of such in the sandy shoreline was a powerful draw - just another evening along the southwest coast of Florida...
Observing the bird's behavior is reminiscent of the change process, where people tentatively try something new, but then revert back to the ease and comfort of 'old'. Without that push and persistence, the change may not even occur, but it can be a very s-l-o-w process...as we certainly know in the world of education! 3rd Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Friday, January 27, 2012
Florida oranges ...likely on their way to a processing plant for juicing. Glad I just saw this one at the gas station instead of being stuck behind it on the two lane highway...not only are the trucks hard to pass, but they also send off a distinctive odor (scent of oranges + diesel = 'phewy')! Fortunately, I can juice my own oranges and grapefruit, but know that this agricultural product is an important one for our State.
Thinking of resources, I'm re-prioritizing 'self-initiated learning' as the most significant thing we can facilitate in our learners...no matter what age. At the conference, some one stated that there were approximately 100,000 educators who used twitter to some degree. Though not stated, I believe the assumption is that they use it in some way to increase their own learning. The number seems huge, but, of course, it is just a drop in the bucket of the millions of teachers in the world (Wolfgram Alpha indicates more than 50 million primary and secondary, so still missing postsecondary in that total). Are they using another resource for continued professional development? Is it even technologically oriented? How can teachers be relevant to their student's future if they are not learning themselves (and hopefully, modeling in 21st century way)? Okeechobee, FL
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Spanish moss was dripping from this live oak tree. Such an unusual plant! Although it may resemble a moss and have moss as part of its name, it is apparently from the bromeliad family - rather curious....and seemingly contradictory, as well.
Isn't it funny how some things can be both so easily understood and as 'clear as mud' simultaneously?!? My brain is churning with new thoughts and ideas after jam-packed conference days and exhibit wanderings. Just when I absorb the concept of something new, or even re-packaged, a diversion sends me in another direction. Heidi Hayes Jacobs mentioned the oft-heard mantra, "The focus should not be on the technology tools, but the learning." and then she noted that, in fact, the focus does need to be on the technology! Study the technology so deeply that one discovers the proper use for that tool as it relates to learning! So, I 'get' it and then I don't...the reflective state will continue to churn these things about! :) near Lake Poinsett, FL
Sunrise on the way to the first session of the day, Google's Eye Opener Keynote, at FETC...and with such a busy schedule at the Convention Center, that is all I saw of the sun today! With their recent announcement of the demise of Picnik, thought it was appropriate to try out some of the tools I never had a chance to use, even as a Pro user.
Michael Wesch was a highlight this morning as he shared his views, through his cultural anthropologist lenses, about the impact of media on our world, with the mantra of moving "from knowledgeable to knowledge-able" (i.e., be able to sort, analyze, criticize, etc). As he mentioned, though, we can't stop there, we need to create 'wonder' if we are to capitalize on the new media. Thought-provoking session with important, though unanswered, questions to ponder and act upon. Universal Blvd & Convention Way, Orlando, FL
A foggy dawn reveals a lonely railroad track heading towards the sun's light...but where is that exactly?
I like Henri Matisse's interpretation:
“Derive happiness in oneself from a good day's work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.”
Illumination from the fog is, after all, a major goal of those facilitating learning! :) Palmdale, FL
Monday, January 23, 2012
Politics have taken to the streets...in this case, waving for Newt - though I'm not sure the reason for the Uncle Sam costuming! :) The attention is on Florida for the Republican primary (and tonight's debate), so I guess they need to grab it while they can. The jockeying around for position has not been very impressive (though I don't get a vote) and I really resent the continued negative campaigning. Modeling such antagonistic and hostile behavior only deters from the important issues and the candidate's stance on them. 5th Ave S & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Sunday, January 22, 2012
A beach walk revealed some interesting debris today...along with a sandy gator and dewy sea oats. This piece of driftwood with a bit of seagrass was ignored by most passerbys, but the sunlight shone on its texture and sand particles caught my attention.
Looking for the unusual is easier after more than four years of shooting on a daily basis, but the experience is still awesome nonetheless. 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Got to Moonlight & Magnolias at the Sugden Theater last night and, though its review was mediocre at best, I enjoyed the production. The sets and costumes never seem to fail to set the stage. It was an intriguing look at the making of the movie, Gone With The Wind,, and it brought back memories of reading the book, a great southern classic with latent issues of race, romance, and restoration. The chuckles were frequent (though I'm not a huge fan of slapstick), so it was a nice end to another week! Naples, FL
Downtown Naples is still celebrating with lights on the trees and people packing the streets. It brings smiles to the merchants who must work extremely hard for 4 months in order to survive the remaining eight. So it's a good (if not crowded) time to be on 5th Ave, so y'all come on down! :) 5th Ave at Sugden Plaza, Naples, FL
Thursday, January 19, 2012
This lantern adorns the outside parking lot of a traditional and long standing restaurant in Naples - it is a nice contrast to the predominant modern architecture in our locale...and even an interesting difference to the power lines in the background.
We started to explore 'depth of field' and the 'foreground/background' concepts in Photography Club today - a stepping stone to bokeh. This shot portrays that visually as well as conceptually. I like when there is more 'depth' to photographs, but also to other creations, conversations, etc. I like when they make you think - even if there is no answer. And, I like when an image (however ordinary or ornate) makes a statement, thought it may be very personal, not universal. St. George & the Dragon, US 41 E, Naples, FL
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Preparing for tomorrow's protest by various websites against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) with a partial blackout - obviously it didn't last long or I wouldn't be posting this photo! But, tomorrow, if all goes according to plan, numerous websites will 'shut down' for the day or part of it to express solidarity against the bill.
The legislation sounds like it started out with fairly good intentions but quickly blossomed out of control. Part of the legislation is focused on strengthening copyright laws. Although I respect intellectual property, I think our copyright law needs an overhaul itself to reflect our collaborative and connected society. Of course, the direct impact on websites that host user content such as Flickr would be huge and totally unacceptable in my book. Living without some of those websites during tomorrow's blackout will likely leave a bad taste....and, hopefully, not a sign of things to come. Naples, FL
Monday, January 16, 2012
Cycles on a downtown sidewalk and shadows from a warming sun caught my eye this afternoon...The lack of designated bicycle parking in our town drove these riders to a fence for security lock-up. Perhaps if racks were more available, more would use this alternative form of transportation? Like so many questions, the answers are elusive without experimentation and action. Turning those 'wonderings' into knowledge and understanding is key to learning - a great platform for inquiry-based learning. The world really is our classroom and curiosity is the motivator - let's keep that in mind as we develop educational policy. 5th Ave S & 3rd St, Naples, FL
Sunday, January 15, 2012
While admiring the morning's sunrise, I noticed this contrail which spread across the entire sky. Its linear pattern divided the atmosphere between cloud and cloudless. Where was it headed? Where had it been? So much to linger on at a Sunday dawn... But little time as I hurry to stay ahead of my new online class of students - off to the computer for some content creation, but I'll come back to this! Golden Gate Pkwy & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Saturday, January 14, 2012
This is the only pink tabebuia in town that is blooming...and I'm not sure why, as blooming season is not for at least a couple months away. I'm so surprised that it survived last week's near-freezing temperatures and the ongoing dry conditions. But, it just goes to show you that you really never know what might happen...despite the statistics or the generalities.
We often need to look at the 'majority' or the expanse of the bell curve to draw conclusions and even make decisions, but we will really be remiss if we don't consider the non-norm, the graph tails, or the 'minority'. There are just too many considerations of individual nature to confine us to looking only at the 'average'. Allowing for personalization and the characteristics outside of the norm is more time-consuming and takes more energy as well, but the rewards provide a true human (and not robotic) perspective of our world. Banyan Blvd & Gulfshore Blvd, Naples, FL
Friday, January 13, 2012
Started taking 'chip shots' and then noticed the cool spoke light pattern....so the focus shifted a bit! :) The days are often filled with multi-tasking focal points. Some of the more important ones wait patiently for attention. Tuning in a bit more often...that's what it is all about! Naples, FL
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Not much in today's camera - just one of those days! The class I teach, Intro to Tech for Educators, at Edison State College started tonight....and I discovered this copper siding on the new Science Bldg. As you can tell from the palm's shadow, the sun was still pretty strong and thus various gradations of light reflected off the copper. It is strange to me - I've never seen copper siding on a building and it is only on one section. I will need to investigate it further, but for now just an image to remind me of a task.
As with every 'first' class, one usually does introductions and ice-breakers to start the creation of an interactive culture. This time I asked students to respond to some questions - fairly typical..but the twist was that instead of writing all of the answers, they had to provide a response via a drawing of some kind and could not use text to communicate. It turned out to be a great way to share more than one might think - i.e., right brain/left brain modalities, comfort level with something a bit out of the ordinary, and their unique perspective (when you think about it words are pretty ordinary, but drawings are more individual/personal). Ok - strange musings ... but that is what flowed from this photo! ;) Edison State College, Naples, FL
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Looks like the Muscovy ducks got this avocado before the humans could - they'll likely be back tomorrow to finish it off. It doesn't look too appetizing anymore, but the ducks aren't too picky! Avocados have an interesting etymology submission in Wikipedia and more culinary uses than I've ever considered, as well. Once again, taking a photograph led me to questions to research - what a great instigator for learning - totally spontaneous, too! How does that compare with our current status of educational institutions?! ;) Naples, FL
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Shadows, contrasts, light distortions, oh my! Have been eye-balling a similar shot for days as the sun comes through a faceted window and shines rays through a carved wooden screen to create this scene on a columned wall. You can see the plaster on the right side of the photo and these patterns alone often create an interesting view, especially given the age of the swirls and indentations. But they can't compete with this bold and surprising, if not permanent, 'painting' on the wall. Unfortunately, it extinguishes quickly as the sun falls below the horizon. Some moments are fairly fleeting - capture them while you can! :) Naples, FL
Monday, January 9, 2012
Double reflections in this shot...and the photographer wasn't seeing double! :) Seems like most of our mirrored buildings are banks and this one is no exception. I wonder what that says about these financial institutions....hmmm - they like looking out, but not allowing others to look in. Perhaps that is in line with the lack of transparency in the role they played to the decline of our economic situation. As an important institution in our society (after all, you wouldn't really want to hide all of that cash under the mattress, would you?), they must also respond to the mores and transformations occurring in our society...like it or not! :) Anchor Rode Dr & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Our cypress trees lose their 'green' for a couple of months in the winter - it is always a reminder that we really do have cyclical seasons in nature ... even in Florida! The deciduous characteristic of the bald cypress is not unique, but somewhat rare in our tropical climate. There appears to be some benefit, in terms of water management and less predation with the loss of color and, eventually, leaves. The spiders seem to take advantage of this season, as well!
Pruning our own habits and actions can also be beneficial, whether it comes about in a daily reflection or a New Year's resolution. And, if we don't provide that maintenance for ourselves, there may be a spider or two that will invade our space! ;) Freedom Park, Naples, FL
Saturday, January 7, 2012
So involved with a computer project today that I lost touch with the environment around me - one minute it was 2:00pm and I was thinking about a 3:00pm walk and the next minute it was dark, the sun was setting ...and the laundry was still waiting to be finished!!
As much as I hate missing out on my beach walk (and photo opportunities!), I do enjoy that feeling of intensity - involved so deep that you are somewhat suspended beyond reality...sort of like a drug-induced state, I suppose, except that the brain and the hands are at an ultimate state of productivity and creativity! I remember working on stained glass pieces many years ago with the same intensity...and it happens with photography, as well. I suppose it is the level you seek when you want to truly tap into your passion. I do wish we could transfer those moments into our learning environments a bit more...just think - students and teachers wouldn't want to go home! ;) Naples, FL
Friday, January 6, 2012
Sweet, seedless, and easy-to-eat clementines from Spain have taken over our produce aisle...and, though they are on sale, they are still a bit pricey! No matter - a just reward for this time of year!
Sometimes we take the high quality route even though it is more expensive up front (be it in money or time or energy) because the long term value makes it worthwhile. Taking quality time to plan a new project generally yields better results...at least in my experience. Unfortunately, deadlines (whether superficial or not) dictate the amount of time available, rather than meaningful goals and objectives. This is not to devalue the highly creative results that often occur when one's 'back is against the wall' - I have seen effective products when limited time (even due to procrastination!) is available. For me, though, quality planning is usually the key! Naples, FL
Thursday, January 5, 2012
While waiting for the next block of students to participate in the Geography geocaching project, this bench and shadow caught my eye. The symmetry and lines of the bench exude strength, but the curve and the seat allow for the necessary function and flexibility. In reality the bench is dark green, but the blue was applied in post-processing as it better reflects the cool temperatures (yes, I had many layers and even gloves on for our 40 degree morning!) at the time of the shot.
Shadows often carry a negative connotation as in this quote: "A friend is someone who dances with you in the sunlight, And walks with you in the shadows.” Photographically, shadows add dimension and depth, in addition to emphasizing the nature of light. I like this quote a bit more, a continuum-based model perhaps: “An optimist is a person who sees only the lights in the picture, whereas a pessimist sees only the shadows. An idealist, however, is one who sees the light and the shadows, but in addition sees something else: the possibility of changing the picture, of making the lights prevail over the shadows.” Lorenzo Walker campus, Naples, FL
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Not the usual shot of these beauties - birds of paradise, but couldn't resist the back-lighting nor the reminder of "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" movies (they leaves look like grass blades and the withered blossoms look like the ominous bugs...but I date myself...)
Looking at things from different perspectives can be disarming, but it certainly provides a new learning experience if we allow it. This may be particularly helpful in communication as we often have a singular viewpoint as either the sender or the receiver. I'm always fascinated at the various interpretations that people come away with from hearing/watching the same message - good to remember now...and I'm sure I'll need reminding! Davis Blvd & US 41 E, Naples, FL
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Cold front coming in and the winds churn up the normally glassy Gulf...ventured down to the pier where the surfers congregate for the rare chance to 'catch a wave' but it must have been too early for them. The gusty (and quite chilly!) winds are predicted for the entire day and tomorrow too so both the surfers and the kite runners will have their chance!
The front marks a change of weather and also an end to the holiday - work again tomorrow. Fortunately, the temperatures and conditions are expected to climb back to normalcy by the weekend....hmmm, just in time! In the meantime, I'm looking at my list of 'to do's' for the holiday and see a number of items to address before day's end, so I shall not tarry in my virtual space today! 4th Ave N & Gulf of Mexico, Naples, FL
Monday, January 2, 2012
Love when the light is captured in these grasses - used frequently in landscaping...in this case, the highway median. The white and purple feathery plumes are a showy, but natural contrast to the spiky green leaves...but all benefit from the stellar light.
Photography is all about light and how it is manipulated to create images. Despite my years of daily shots, I still seek the best natural light in various compositions and/or tweak the effect in post processing, but rarely take advantage of the camera's settings to experiment with light control. This year, I need to do more of that with dedicated learning and exploration....no need for that today, though! US 41 E, Naples, FL
Sunday, January 1, 2012
As a regular 'early bird', I often get to 'break dawn' on the way to work, but it is extra special to linger with the lazy wakening of the day as it happens over Naples Bay. Despite the late festivities last night, there were a few boaters headed out to the Gulf and an assortment of birds pondering breakfast...but, generally, it was a relatively quiet start to the first day of the new year.
I suppose there may be a time when I tire of the solitude of nature's morning...but, I sincerely hope not! It is a few moments like no other - difficult to replicate, hard to imagine, and seemingly unique in its daily routine. Too often, we take each day (and its beginning) for granted...but we can shift that perspective! Here's to the new dawn! City Dock at Naples Bay, Naples, FL