My best friend from childhood is getting married today in St. Paul. Richard and I are here to celebrate with Francene and Mark as they begin their new life together. Here are some photos from the first day.
Here’s Francene with two nieces in the background.
Francene’s mother, Katie, with granddaughter, Bre.
Melba, a friend from New York who will be maid of honor.
Marvin, a friend of Mark’s. The men had a serious game of dominoes going at the back table.
Robert, who is Francene’s sister Niecy’s fiance.
NaVondyl, who is Francene’s brother. And our sometimes nemesis from days gone by.
Vonda and Richard talking about housing, credit, deals in Mississippi, etc. In other words, shop.
I’ve been hard at work on the work-in-progress. And, the work is hard. I’m wrestling text and images and graphics into place, staring down a deadline. In the last two days, I’ve made really good progress. There’s nothing like having Richard available to produce the graphics I need when I need them. I wish he were my full-time office companion.
After two long days, I need to let some things settle a bit so I have time for a quick blog post. I was in San Antonio last weekend for the National Science Teachers Association annual convention.
I was one of nine authors (Terry Jennings (Gopher to the Rescue), Darcy Pattison (Desert Baths), Elizabeth Rusch (The Mighty Mars Rover), Melissa Stewart (Under the Snow), Catherine Thimmesh (Team Moon), Peggy Thomas (Farmer George Plants a Nation), and Sallie Wolf (The Robin Makes a Laughing Sound) who participated in a workshop titled: “Integrating Science and Literacy: A Journey, Not a Destination.” Each of us was paired with a professor of education. My partner was Dr. Amy Broemmel from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She helped me share the educational materials I’ve developed for Wolfsnail and Growing Patterns with four groups of teachers who rotated through our table. She took these photographs.
In my second session, “The Power of Scientists’ Stories in Teaching NGSS Methods and Practices,” I teamed up with Dr. Kristin Rearden, who also teachers at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and Andy Boyles, science editor at Highlights.
Once again, it was my job to share ideas with teachers for using my books in classrooms to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
I led the group in making a Fibonacci Folding Book, and talked about the Fibonacci Puzzle, the Wolfsnail On The Move book, and the instant book.
Here is Kristin talking about bringing pinecones into the classroom to have students look for the Fibonacci sequence in the spirals on the bottom.
We had lunch after our session to talk about what we might do for future conferences. Presenting at national conferences is always a wonderful experience because it brings me into dialogue with the people who use my books in classrooms and libraries with kids. I always learn things, and I always have fun.
Check out a new blog called Perfect Pairings: Linking Science and Literacy written by Kristin and Amy. You’ll find great trade picture books to use in your classrooms.
Richard and I got up early this morning to photograph trees with fractal branching patterns. We drove up the Natchez Trace Parkway a few miles north of Jackson. Here’s some of what we found.
Mom and I have been looking through the books of negatives, again, because we’re doing another Christmas present photo panel. (I’m not saying who will get it and I’m not saying what the theme is. And, no, you can’t guess by looking at these photographs.)
This one of me at the mirror jumped out at me. And then, I saw the one below. Yikes! What is that growing out of my head?
I have no idea what possessed me to do that particular style with my hair. (Mom thinks I was doing something celebratory for my sister Emilye’s 13th birthday.) Joining us that summer (1978) — as he did for many years — was Tarik Higgins. Our honorary brother.
The negatives show that we also lit fireworks that day and played a pretty fierce game of basketball. By the time of the basketball game, I had shed the apron. There wasn’t much bun left either.
Look at Emilye using her left hand. And, yes, we did live in the middle of the woods!
For those of you who are interested in these kinds of things, I am scanning black and white negatives using an Epson V600, importing into Adobe Lightroom, and editing (cropping and using a healing brush to remove dirt and scratches) in Adobe Photoshop. I love having a darkroom on my desk!!
I’ve spent hours today going through my photo files. I am deleting duplicates. There was a time not too long ago when the first thing I did after transferring my photographs from the camera card to my computer was batch processing in Adobe Photoshop to create a photoshop document for each image. That means I have hundreds of .psd files that duplicate .nef files. Sometimes, I batch processed a whole set of .jpgs at the same time. More needless duplication.
I am also finding photographs in my main Chronological Photos file that belong in other files, such as the Photos By Others file. I just moved three sets of photographs that I was given by another parent when we did the Faces of Chastain quilt project in 2007. Today I still remember that they were taken by Susan, but who knows how long I would have remembered. It is so much easier to go through hundreds, nay thousands, of photographs in digital form than as prints, or negatives. I know this from the organizational project I am helping my mother with.
I am learning more about how to use Adobe Lightroom’s organizational tools, including search functions and collections. The fun part of doing this is I am seeing lots and lots of photographs. I took these two photographs in October and November 2011. (They aren’t my kids and they’ve grown up a lot since then.)
Here’s my favorite of the photographs we took while we were doing video. This is a garden snail I found under the leaf litter in my butterfly garden. It was just after cold weather had zapped my busy lizzies (impatiens) and the snails were all tucked in around the slimy stems.
Today I want to take video of a wolfsnail settled into a cool spot (on a brick). I filled a plastic container with bricks and I am hoping it will find a cool brick the best surface to settle onto. We’ll see.
You can see from the above photograph that I have decided I should be watermarking the photographs I post on the blog. Adobe Lightroom makes it very easy to watermark photographs during the Export process. One of my goals this coming year is to take more advantage of the organizational tools in Lightroom. As you might imagine from the number of photographs I share on the blog, we take and store a ton of photographs. We need to do a better job of clearing off the ones we’ll never use. I am going back through about 6 years worth of images stored on my external hard drive array and deleting anything that is clearly unusable (out of focus, awful exposure, etc.) As I do this, I am tagging the photographs with names, events, etc. Ultimately I hope it will make it easier to find photographs.
I’m planning to share some of the photographs I uncover as I go through.