Saturday, July 31, 2010

Day 31 - Soaring

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

The sky was gloomy, but the birds were singing. I love watching birds soar through the air. Even with speeding up my camera, I find it hard to catch the moment of flight. The birds would take wing and be gone by the time I snapped a picture. Luckily I was able to capture this one. The birds rested easily on the phone wires. More birds landed and took flight as I watched. They didn't stay long, leaving behind a feeling of restlessness.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 30 - Photo Chasing

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

So, have you ever seen the beginnings of a beautiful sunset and then tried to find the perfect place to watch and capture it? Tonight I was headed home, and the sky was filled with color. The sun was not quite setting, but clouds gave the illusion, giving the sun places to hide and shine. The journey began. I started thinking about catching a few good shots of the sunset, but where to do it? I was traveling up a hill with no good stopping places and trying to head west to remove obstacles. I wandered a neighborhood trying to locate a clear perspective with no success. The colors were amazing including purple hues with the standard sunset colors. I could not find an unobstructed place to capture the vision before me. I continued driving towards home, which luckily had me westward bound. I thought I might have to give up as the colors started to fade, but, with a new thought, drove on. When I arrived at what I had hoped would be the perfect spot, the colors weren't there and the spot was not so ideal. At this point, I gave up. I made a quick stop for a snack. As I came out of the place, I looked up. The sky was filled with color, and I had a front row seat. I pulled out my camera and snapped a few pictures. I sat down to enjoy my snack and the view and continued taking pictures. Sometimes the search for the ideal ends up revealing a more precious prize.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 29 - Proof

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

I have proof! Rain will fall in Phoenix! The clouds have come and gone for several days with no drops on the ground. Today, the rain came. I heard the unusual sound as I was sitting at my computer. I jumped up and ran to the window and saw drops falling. The wind was blowing the rain towards my door, but camera in hand, I stood in the doorway to see, smell, hear, and feel the rain falling. Puddles formed, and drops fell. I loved every moment. I let the rain soak my clothes and fall on my head (protecting my camera of course). Large and small drops hit the ground, and at times sheets of rain flew by. The storm did not last long, leaving me wanting more but feeling grateful for every drop.

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 28 - Sky Watching

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

The monsoon season does not often let rain fall on the ground. But the moisture in the clouds and weather fronts that roll through provide amazing skies to watch. I sat and watched the colors change. The clouds morphed from one design to the next. Marveling at the majesty of nature, I take many pictures thankful for digital cameras. Looking back at the shots after the sun has set and clouds rolled by, make me smile anew.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 27 - Crystal Memories

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

I tried unsuccessfully to take a lovely picture of these glass chimes. The original broke during one of my moves, so I found these that are identical to the ones I had as a child. I have fond memories of the gentle tinkling of the glass and still enjoy the sound. After trying several times to get a picture, I realized that the glass was captured but the background was the challenge. So to correct that challenge, I took the photo to Gimp. I cut out the glass shots and overlaid them for the "photo" above. I will try again with some different approaches to catch the shot that I haven't seen. With photography, the journey is sometimes more satisfying than the photo itself.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 26 - Delicate Lighting

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Sitting in a restaurant awaiting dinner, I looked around the room. My mind was wandering, but my eyes spotted something interesting. The lighting in the room was soft but not dark. Looking closer at the light fixtures, I noticed the simple strands of beads. The effect, however, was not so simple. The gentle light shone through the fixture leaving a warm and cozy feeling that remained even after leaving the restaurant.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 25 - Patiently Waiting

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

I was challenged to get the exact shot that I wanted. I took a few pictures trying to get the board to display and the clouds to show. Experimenting with my camera and different settings did not yield the results I wanted. However, I ran out of time, since my friend's plane had arrived. I returned home to see if the pictures looked anything more like I wanted on a larger screen, but no luck. I had exactly what I wanted but not in the same picture. Using Gimp, I cut the clearly displayed board out of one picture and layered it into the picture with clear clouds. Sometimes a little magic is needed to get the results you want.

Day 24 - Worldwide Photo Walk

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

I participated in the Worldwide Photo Walk today. I had a great time exploring settings on my camera and playing with taking photos. We started early at 7am, but later would have been way too warm and too bright. I love trying to catch the light effect of taking a picture directly at the sun. I have tried many times, but this was my first truly successful shot. I have marked it as my favorite of the day and even submitted it as my contest entry for the day. I love the water and sunshine and feel this was a great chance to capture both. I recommend photo walks to everyone! I met new people and made new friends.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 23 - Chasing the Moon

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy
Chasing the Moon
by Laura Sheehy

The battle is on.
Night is coming but
Day is trying to hang on.
Clouds chasing the moon
Trying to reclaim the sky.
Not ready to let go
Loving the day and
Wanting to hang on.
Time will pass.
The battle lost.
To be started anew
Tomorrow is another day

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 22 - Day vs Night

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Day vs Night
by Laura Sheehy

Battling light
Darker and lighter
Day and night
One wins 
The other retires
Saving strength
To battle anew
Come dawn

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 21 - Time Lapse

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Clouds roll in and promise rain. Beautiful colors and water-filled clouds. Oddly enough, no rain falls, but that is not so unusual in the desert. These two pictures were taken about ten minutes apart. Amazing how such a short time can change the view so much.

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 20 - Looking Closely

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Have you ever looked closely at a palm tree? I was on my afternoon search for photo subjects, and my attention was captured by a palm tree. The tree wasn't very tall just coming to the top of the one-story building. The view drew me closer and closer. I snapped shots at different perspectives and distances. Finally I decided to see how close I could get. I zoomed as far as I could and still be able to focus. This shot reminds me more of a thatched hut than a close up of a palm tree.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 19 - Desert Blooms

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Early morning was the best time to capture the desert blooms at the resort. On my last day, I rose early to check out before our morning sessions. I miscalculated how long it would take to pack up and check out which turned out to be a lucky break. I spent almost an hour walking around taking pictures in the early hours. During the day and evening hours I never saw two of these plants bloom. I have a great shot of the purple plant from the evening, but loved being able to capture the morning bloom. I know the time of day changes the lighting of photos; however I need to remember to check out photo opportunities at different times of the day to see how the subjects change. This thought reminds me of zoos and their animals. Walking past animals provides different results depending on the time of day. Visiting the zoo on a hot day or during nap times will reduce the number of animals you will get to see.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 18 - Furry Pine

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Oddly enough I walked by this tree without noticing it for the first couple of days. During my training, the facilitator, Bryan, mentioned the tree as a photo opportunity. He told us that the trunk of the tree was covered with needles. Having never seen or heard of such a pine tree, it was my first stop when we were given time to explore. A towering pine in an overcoat demanded my attention. Needles everywhere and no sign of bark. I stood in awe. A sign at the foot of the tree gave the name. I thought about taking a picture, something I have done on other occasions, but decided not to do it. Now I wish I had, because I cannot remember what kind of tree it is. I know it was imported from out of the country, but that is all I can remember. My curiosity is compounded by wondering what this tree looks like in the winter. Does the bark show up? And, if it does, what does it look like? Hmmm... sounds like a road trip is in my future.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day 17 - Memory Flowers

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Two large, permanent, white, concrete flower vats (pots just doesn't seem large enough) sat on either side of a large honeysuckle hedge in front of the house where I grew up. These little flowers multiplied and dominated. The resort in Tucson has the same flowers growing here and there in the well-landscaped flowerbeds. I remember loving picking the dead pods after the blooms were gone. I would squish them in between my fingers releasing all of the tiny black seeds back into the dirt. Hmmm, I wonder if that is why the flowers were so prolific? Of course, the bees could have something to do with their growth as well.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 16 - Blooming Colors

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

I am amazed at the magnificent blooms that grow out of a cactus. How is it that a plant that is often not attractive and definitely painful to touch, can produce such delicate and colorful flowers? Contrast in nature is a frequent theme, and I love the beauty residing in this contradiction.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 15 - blub, blub, blub

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Fountains always fascinate me. I love watching the water travel up, around and through. As I photographed this one at the Westward Look Resort, I noticed that the water seemed to gel instead of flow. The longer I watched (and more pictures I took), the less real the water seemed. A couple of photos I snapped looking straight down at the spout did not remove the sensation. However, once the water crested the top, normal water-like features and flow resumed as the liquid continued down the structure.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 14 - Wet Flowers

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Daily beautiful flowers rested in square glass vases. I enjoyed snapping many pictures to capture the floating beauty. I particularly delighted in catching the wavering ceiling light caught at the photo's edge. Flowers were above and below the water line swimming a little whenever the table moved.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 13 - Flowery Stream

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

This small stream actually babbled! I could call it a babbling brook, but after looking up the definition, I am not sure how "natural" the flow is. So I will stay with a babbling stream. The small waterway wound a path in the midst of blooming flowers and growing trees: an oasis at the resort. A small patio with chairs rested nearby providing a relaxing moment in the midst of my busy learning excursion.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 12 - Desert Blooms

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

I learned a great deal at Arizona K-12 Center's Camp Plug and Play. I enjoyed experimenting with the various settings on my camera. I captured these cactus blooms with the macro setting. Regrettably I discovered that my camera does not have super macro, but for now, I believe this will do nicely.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 11 - Treasures

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

My mother handed down this china cabinet to me as it was handed down to her. I have fond memories of treasures resting on each shelf. I am looking forward to picking and choosing which items will be granted space in the treasure chest. On display, to be visited and revisited, holding memories within its glass walls.

Photos and Memories

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy
Created using Big Huge Labs

I awoke this morning with these pictures floating in my head. Along with them came thoughts of Mom. She passed away in November 2009; these pictures were taken in December. Below are the thoughts that streamed with my pictures...

Flower Tear Drops
by Laura Sheehy
The rain came down
     echoing my sadness.
Tears from heaven
     mourning my loss.
Flowers that she loved
     held the tears,
         crying for me.
Sensing my anguish
    buried deep within;
The heavens showered me,
    soaking me through
         Giving some comfort
             when much was needed.
The missing piece…
She could name
    every flower.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 10 - Peaceful Pampering

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Taking time out from a busy life is a good thing to do. A little pampering can brighten your mind and lighten your worries. I highly recommend taking a few moments for yourself. Whether you are getting a pedicure, reading a book, or stepping outside for a breath of fresh air, those moments relieve the pressures of the day giving you a moment to breath.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 9 - Colorful Night

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy
Smooth Sailing
by Laura Sheehy

Colors, beautiful and bright
Sunset shines
As the day ends
Signaling a successful day
And a peaceful night to come.
A familiar saying comes to mind -
"Red sky at night,
Sailor's delight."
An oft-repeated saying
Which forecasts
Fair weather and smooth sailing.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 8 - Water, Water, Smelly Water

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

Keeping grass green is a challenge in Phoenix. Drought conditions remain year after year in the desert. So, why is there so much water in this schoolyard? With a canal system, irrigation waters are used to water the yard. Grassy areas are built with a berm around them so that water can sit for 2-3 days to have a chance at absorption. The smell can leave a little bit to be desired; a small price to pay for a green yard.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 7 - Cloudy Days

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy
Cloudy Days
by Laura Sheehy

Clouds floating in a beautiful blue sky
Reminding us
Everything is temporary.
Joys and troubles
Float in and out of our lives.
The landscape may change
but the journey continues.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 6 - Clouds on the Mountains

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

What are those shadows on the land? A foreign concept creeps into this desert land. Clouds on the horizon flow over the sky. The clouds don't stay long in Phoenix, but they are a welcome sight. Sadly they provide little relief from the summer heat. I watch the play of shadows on the ground, as the fluffy white forms shift and float away. Clouds tease with the thought of rain, but little falls on this arid scene.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 5 - More than Words

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

This slide during the closing ISTE2010 keynote captured my fear. With the focus on accountability by test scores and the reluctance to move instruction into the digital age, I worry that today's teaching methods will remove curiosity and the desire to learn for learning's sake from our future leaders. If we do not allow students to use technology to explore, create, experiment, recreate, construct, deconstruct and reconstruct learning, where will they learn how? School is supposed to provide the framework that allows students to safely try, fail and try again. ALL learning cannot be tied to test results and measurements. The intangible "Aha" moments must be allowed to happen and encouraged.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 4 - Morning View

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

The Stone Garden was a fun sculpture to observe. Bright and early in the morning was the only time I could capture the piece without people. Typically as the day wore on, people perched, reclined and relaxed on various parts. An interesting concept to design art that is functional and appealing to the eye. I enjoyed watching how people settled on the various pieces throughout the day.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 3 - Old and New Together

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

The architecture in Denver fascinated me. Old and new buildings stood side-by-side with no concern. Lining the streets, each unique in its own way. Old styles and new did not collide or overshadow each other. Instead, a picturesque city revealed step-by-step as each corner was turned. My attendance at the conference kept me from exploring more. A return visit will be necessary with a few days of walking to explore this lovely city.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 2 - Art Appreciation

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

My first session on Monday was SIGML's Tour: Get Out on a Digitally Enhanced Tour of Denver Public Art. I enjoyed a self-paced tour supplemented by ScanLife. Using a borrowed cell phone, I was able to read the QR code and see additional information about the pieces I was viewing. QR codes are a handy way to have more information at your fingertips without paper. I even watched a video about one piece as I was standing in front of it. I had a hard time deciding which picture to post but selected this one because of the lighting and the history. The Smoky Hill Trail Monument marks the end of the trail. The original plan was to have a Native American figure on top of the monument. The people outcry was such that the top of the monument became a statue of Kit Carson. The monument also has a sculpture of mother and child honoring pioneer women of Colorado. If you would like to see more of the monument, watch my amateur video.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 1 - Everyone is having fun without me!

Uploaded by Laura Sheehy

I thought I would start my project at the beginning of the month of July. My recent trip to Denver and the ISTE 2010 Conference was the last 5 days of June. Once I get those posted, I will be posting a picture taken each day.

The conference started with EdubloggerCon, a wonderful event full of interesting conversations. The Big Blue Bear greeted me at the Colorado Convention Center. His presence highlighted for me the exciting learning journey I was beginning. He wanted desperately to join the fun inside. Regrettably he was unable to enter the hall, but his presence is felt throughout the building. Posters and signs carried his image down every hall and frequently into the rooms.