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Showing posts from July, 2011

Today's Flowers: Windswept

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From July 25, 2011 Whenever evil befalls us, we ought to ask ourselves, after the first suffering, how we can turn it into good. So shall we take occasion, from one bitter root, to raise perhaps many flowers. (Leigh Hunt) Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Uncomfortable

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From July 29, 2011 This downward turn Is the way to what I know, Have always known, Will always know: That diving in with everything, I find everything I need, Release what I don't, And come up Riding the current To it doesn't matter where; I have everything. When I dive, I write my name On the book of time. When you watch, You write yours. May we do it from the pure comfort Of my joy Perfected over millenia You don't know enough To imagine. From July 29, 2011 From July 29, 2011 I couldn't actually use the word "uncomfortable" in a poem, so I worked with the idea of it. One Single Impression

Book Review: Literacy Instruction for Today's Classroom

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Literacy Instruction for Today's Classroom by Susan Nelson Wood Literacy Instruction for Today's Classroom, Implementing Strategies Based on 20 Scholars and Their Ideas by Susan Nelson Wood, Sharilyn C. Steadman, and John S. Simmons is the answer to my prayers as a middle school remedial reading teacher looking for strategies to reach kids who resist engagement in the classroom. The book explains the theories of the scholars whose works have shaped literacy instruction for the past century and then provides cases that show how those theories are put into practice in the classroom to create exciting, interactive, engaging lessons that help student think more deeply about text and own their learning. Each of the chapters containing a theory and an example of the theory in practice is brief and practical. As I read, I could see myself employing these strategies in my classroom. As I reflected on my students of last year, I could also see how employing these strategies coul

Skywatch Friday: Off the Dunes

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I was coming home from a long walk on the beach, when this narrow view of the declining sun winked at me from behind a dune. I got as close as I could to get what I got, which wasn't much. But even a glimpse of these colors like melting sherbet delight me no end. I was out a bit later than usual last night because one of the turtle patrol folks had told me in the morning that there were three false crawls down the beach. I was out hoping again to see one of these beauties come ashore. No such luck! No loss, though, because there is always this: From July 26, 2011 Skywatch Friday

Header Challenge: Black and White

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From July 24, 2011 By the light of the room I'm in at the moment, this color photo could pass for black and white. I like when that happens.  The subject of the photo is what it is at the same time it is an abstraction of itself because the light says so.  Here the fisherman is in stark contrast with the radiant dawn light rolling in with the waves.  He is nothing, but he believes the ocean will bring him gifts if only he shows up and tries.  He is very likely correct. Please visit the other head bangers listed in the banner above!  They are excellent photographers whose work is well worth your time.

Wordless Wednesday: Beached

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From July 22, 2011 The blank eyeballs on this mermaid had me thinking she must have drunk the salt water.  Poor kid.  I shot this in the dark, and it's hard to tell she has multi-colored, multi-variety seaweed hair.  This work of someone's imagination and talented hands wore it well. Wordless Wednesday

Haiku Heights: Osprey

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From July 25, 2011 From her nest, osprey Dives at snowy egret, who Flaps wings, holds her ground. From July 25, 2011 This one is for Leo's meme, Haiku Heights . Please visit his site for some fine work.

My World Tuesday: It Never Gets Old

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From Jul 19, 2011 I'm being a bore. I know I've posted many times about Wilmington, North Carolina. I just love that city, and so does Adella, so it was fun to bring her friend down to explore with us. I enjoyed trying to look at the town through new eyes, to see things as I hadn't seen them before. From Jul 19, 2011 We did not go to the Battleship North Carolina, though this year marks its 50th anniversary.  I am thinking of going down the road again and making a visit.  That a handful of people thought that thing up and got a whole bunch of other people to give shape to their idea boggles my mind.  That they did it pretty much on the fly to jump into World War II and made the thing go and went on to win the war also boggles my mind.  I am no fan of war, but I totally respect the power of a people to turn the world around through the sheer force of its will.  In fact, I love that. From Jul 19, 2011 Here's the Coast Guard cutter Diligence.  This baby and its

Today's Flowers: Framed

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From Jul 19, 2011 Down in Wilmington the other day, I came across this lanceleaf coreopsis and a couple of hundred of her best friends transforming a crumbling wall into a wilderness. Mother Nature just doing her thing where she pleases. Gotta love her! Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Need

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From July 21, 2011 Follow your dreams, The neighbor says. Do all you can And leave it alone, And it will happen In its own time, Not yours. Says the neighbor, And I hear: Dreaming is not the art of hunger, Of making a virtue of lacking what you need, A cold, righteous making do with what is. Dreaming is writing love letters To every breath in every moment; It is opening the door To the new day, Confident That what is right there on the other side Is exactly what you need. Love it well, And your dreams will find you. Note:  Often I turn to the Online Etymology Dictionary for some elucidation on an OSI prompt.  The history of a word is a beautiful thing, a history of thought and feeling and language.  I love that.  This week was no help, though. Too much to choose from!  Have a look: need (n.) O.E. nied (W.Saxon), ned (Mercian) "necessity, compulsion, duty," originally "violence, force," from P.Gmc. *nauthis (cf. O.N. nauĂ°r, O.Fri

Book Review: Thunder Below!

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Thunder Below!: The USS *Barb* Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II by Eugene B. Fluckey I would not have thought a naval history book could make me cry any more than I would have expected it to inspire me as a reading teacher--but cry and learn I did as I turned the pages of Thunder Below!, Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey's history of the USS Barb 's patrols in the Pacific under his command during World War II. It is a book my mother's uncle--our Uncle Bud--drove to Alabama to buy copies of for himself and for his siblings in 1994. Admiral Fluckey's submarine had been part of a wolfpack that had included my mother's Uncle Laurence's boat, the USS Herring . Before his 21st birthday, Uncle Laurence died in combat off the Kurile Islands. Pearl Harbor had gotten to Uncle Laurence's young heart; he was too young to sign up when he did; he went and he never came back. All his life, Uncle Bud sought information from veterans about his brother's

Skywatch Friday: Something Like Hope

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From Jul 20, 2011 Skywatch Friday

Shot in the Head

“It was honestly a really good day – minus the fact that I got shot in the head.” So said Petty Officer 2nd Class Jacob Emmott on July 14, when he was presented with his Silver Star award for “gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States.” This is the third highest award for valor in the US armed forces. Emmott was shot in the head after “providing medical treatment for two Marines who were shot during a firefight in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2010,” according to the Marine Corps press release . Emmott, a corpsman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, has me rethinking my idea of a tough day.

Wordless Wednesday: Out of the Blue

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From Jul 18, 2011 I was reading Thunder Below! on the front porch this morning, when ol' mama osprey caught my eye as she made her way back to the nest to check on the kiddos. From Jul 18, 2011 Mama was busy, so the young ones just chilled out, watched, and waited, seemingly unimpressed by the shiny showoff who came on by just a few minutes after mama left. From Jul 18, 2011 Anyway, what's impressive about a copycat--especially if you're copying the critters who've been around since the dinosaurs. The skies around here amaze and impress me. Life is good. Just open the door, step outside, and give it a whirl. Wordless Wednesday

My World Tuesday: Snead's Ferry

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From Jul 14, 2011 Sneads Ferry shares a zip code with North Topsail Beach.  We're just on the other side of the bridge, which  is across the Intracoastal, which is to say on the other side of the New River.  There's water all over the place around here, and it all has a name. Shrimping is a big part of life at Snead's Ferry.  There are days I head for the beach to find five or six shrimp boats hard at work beyond the breakers.  I hope they are kind to the sea turtles.   From Jul 14, 2011 Tourists are a nuisance, but they feed the local economy, that's for sure.   From Jul 14, 2011 I liked this place for the graffiti-style advertising on the wall.  Fun stuff. From Jul 14, 2011 I tried to convince my daughter we should have a dog at the antique bus thing.  We will.  Did I mention I love it here? My World Tuesday

Today's Flowers: How Does Your Garden Grow?

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From Jul 12, 2011 This part of North Carolina is very interesting for the contrasts it offers. On the main roads--the ones with numbers for names--are the strip malls and the comfort zones that let people know that as far away from home as they might be, they are not. It's a strange illusion, a variation on "mi casa es tu casa." That is, my box-store, packaged life is your box-store packaged life. We have all emerged from the same cookie cutter. Step off those roads, though, and you find--the same wildflowers you find at home. Like this one--Queen Anne's Lace of wild carrot, depending on your point of view and how you feel about Queen Anne or carrots.  From Jul 12, 2011 Around that same corner is that marvelous grain we love so much not quite thriving this hot, dry summer. That is corn. In those fields whose farmers can't affort to irrigate, this is the sight. It is a ruined crop and a significant financial loss. It is a common sight that sits a

One Single Impression: Phantom

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Go, Phantom. Do not slip away Without a word When I am not looking, But Go: Put on your climbing shoes and go And climb And by all means keep climbing Until you find in yourself A substantial thing I can call by name, Even if it takes you forever. And then come home. One Single Impression One Single Impression

Skywatch Friday: She is Here

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From Jul 13, 2011 The forest fire at Holly Shelter just a few miles away continues to drift smoke into the sunrises, making them feel like eerie primordial events.  Even though the light is soft, it's nice to wear sunglasses that filter the smoke and show more of the light. From Jul 13, 2011 Despite the fire, life goes on, as these turtle tracks attest.  On Wednesday, these tracks led the way to a false crawl, where a mama sea turtle attempted to create a nest but could not.  She'll be back.  From Jul 13, 2011 On Thursday morning, I met one after another Turtle Patrol person also looking for evidence of her return.  It is a loving vigil. From Jul 8, 2011 Just a few days before, another mama successfully laid her eggs very near this false crawl.  The turtle folks moved it because this big ol' yellow house is where the TV show One Tree Hill is filmed, and the posse of people who come to make the show couldn't care less about the turtles.  The house is near a

Wordless Wednesday: Sandy Beings

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From Jul 6, 2011 (Her face made me think of George Washington!) From Jul 6, 2011 Note this turtle's cracked shell.  He made me think of Oceans 11, a female  loggerhead at the sea turtle hospital whose shell was mended with 12 steel plates after she was rescued a few years ago.  She was smashed up by a boat.  This is a danger when turtles come up for air.  Note all the junk the sculptors left out for the night--another danger for the females who come ashore to lay their eggs.   Wordless Wednesday

Header Challenge: Below Water Level

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Turtle:  The Incredible Journey should be required viewing for anybody who plans to spend any time at all on the beach this summer.  It is the story of a loggerhead turtle who hatches on a Florida beach; makes it past countless hungry predators and into the Atlantic; and swims to maturity following the Gulf Stream and other currents that take her along the edge of the ocean and home again, two decades later, to lay eggs and continue the 12-million-year-old turtle cycle of life.  (If you are a vacationer with a $150 sun shelter from Wal-Mart that you plan to leave on the beach for the duration of your stay, come on down and see just how in the way you are.) Thanks to whatever technology and cameras SeaWorld and company used to make the 80-minute movie, we travel with the turtle, surviving in the sargassum until a freight ship comes along to destroy it, pukes oil onto the water, generally makes a life-threatening disaster of things, and leaves the turtle to her own devices. The tur

My World Tuesday: Sometimes it Stinks

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Sometimes it stinks to be my kid. Really. Take Saturday, for a few hours that day, being my daughter stunk to the high heavens. That's when we helped out with the beach clean-up on North Topsail Beach that was part of the Earth and Surf Festival . From Jul 9, 2011 The clean-up was on a part of the beach we don't regularly visit, and I must say the trash wasn't nearly as interesting there as it is right here. In addition to the two perfectly good pair of men's Ray-Bans, the 5-lb. hammer, the just about new fishing lure, and don't let me tell you how many sand toys I have found on our beach, I came across this message in a bottle the very day of the clean-up.  From Jul 9, 2011 Down the road, though, we garbage pickers didn't do much better than roofing shingles, cigarette butts galore, a Styrofoam cooler (good if you don't mind green slippery things hob-knobbing with your lunch), and every kind of junk food wrapper. From Jul 9, 2011 It just

Today's Flowers: Lush and Beautiful at the Burgwin-Wright House

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From Jul 8, 2011 For a long time, Adella and I had been unsuccessful in visiting the Burgwin-Wright House in Wilmington, North Carolina. Whenever we were in town, it was the wrong day or the wrong hour for that historic site. This year, though, we did our homework, and paid a visit on the right day. We were a few minutes late for one tour, so we waited an hour in the gardens, where we and our cameras got pretty wet. This was a good thing because things around here have been pretty dry--and you don't get lush gardens with gorgeous pomegranate trees without a few showers now and again. From Jul 8, 2011 I think roses at every stage of their coming and going are very beautiful. This faded blossom was no exception. Today's Flowers

One Single Impression: Respect

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I looked again At a bit of what I thought Was fluff Blowing across the hard sand After a night of rain At the edge of the Atlantic And found it was a crab Easily caught in the wind and cast about (And this, I presumed, was a good thing) Until it landed very near my feet And the open eye of my camera And I froze, Wondering how much life I take from the Earth with every step. I stood as still as the crab Who sensed and therefore feared me. I must move, I thought.  So I did. And I wondered: How much life does the Earth give me With every step, And where do I take it?

Skywatch Friday: Like any Other, a New Morning

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From Jul 6, 2011 After finding my camera--after several minutes of running around looking for it and marveling how one person--me--could forget about the location of this one piece of equipment that is very much like a left arm to me, I found it. In the time it took me to do three or four laps around my parents' home in North Carolina, the sunrise changed shape, oh, a thousand times. Nevertheless, I got what I got when I got it. I was not disappointed. I never am. Life is good and fun once you wake up. And it's even better than that once your hands are on the right equipment. Live well. Be well. Enjoy. Skywatch Friday

Header Challenge: Every Day

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I suggested the theme of "every day" for this week's header challenge.  What is every-day is ordinary.  For me this summer, what is ordinary is extraordinary for its beauty and strength and very intense heat. What is ordinary for me are the fabulous sunrises over the Seaview Pier on North Topsail Beach, North Carolina.  They are strange and different from sunrises of previous years because they are clouded and thickened by the smoke of nearby forest fires.  Day becomes night, yet the sun burns through and the breezes clear away the muck in the air before too long.  It's good and it's strange. Something else that is every day for me is picking up the litter on the beach.  So much of it is pure crud that I can't wait to get rid of it.  Other times, there are treasures.  So far, I have accumulated two footballs, two pair of Ray-Ban sunglasses, and countless sand toys. Today there was the kite I couldn't get to because it would have meant climbing the dunes,