Adobe Lightroom

Seeing fractals everywhere

One of our dill plants is flowering. Richard and I walked by it for days, and talked about wanting to photograph it. Today, we made the time.

dill 1

dill 2

dill2 close

Action from The Cypher

This is my final installment of photographs from The Cypher’s video shoot. Richard and Rod (Red Squared Productions) spent some time last night on post production. Everybody’s learning new things.


Dolla spitting
Dolla Black

Slimm spitting
Slimm Pusha

The Audience
An Audience

The Cypher Video Shoot-0019
Jordan lays the tape.


TLewis scratching.

Jessica Simien recording the PSA for Parents for Public Schools of Jackson.

Jordan cameraman
Jordan shooting.

mercedes shooting

Mercedes Lott.


The Cypher group, including from left: Dolla Black, IG, J. Skyy, Hollywood Luck, Slimm Pusha, Kamikaze, and TLewis.

Rod picked up my camera while I was working. He took these last few.

Sarah with Pusha

Sarah running lines with Slimm Pusha.

Sarah with cue cards
Shooting PSA with J. Skyy. Sarah holding cue cards.

Faces from The Cypher

Here are some of the people involved in The Cypher project, a first-time-ever-in Mississippi project featuring Hip-Hop artists raising awareness and money for increasing the arts in public schools. See my previous post for information on organizers and partners.

Jordan Red

Roderick Red Jr
Roderick Red Jr.

Jessica Simien
Jessica Simien

Mercedes Lott

Jared Moering
J. Skyy

Brandon Howard
Dolla Black

Donnie Sanders


Slimm Pusha
Slimm Pusha


My First Hip-Hop Video Shoot

For more than a year now, I’ve been working with Roderick S. Red Jr. on a number of different projects. Some have been for Hope Credit Union (see post here). Others have been for The Clarion-Ledger’s Voices blog project. The latest, which is called The Cypher: The Mississippi Edition is the biggest, hardest, and in lots of ways, the most satisfying. First of all, it’s Rod’s baby. He had the idea, he gathered partners ( and me), he convinced stakeholders (Parents for Public Schools of Jackson, Kamikaze), he raised money, and he’s pulling it off — with style. On Saturday, I helped shoot the video.

rod with jib
Rod is adjusting the jib.
Explaining the concept.
consulting with the crew
Giving notes to his brother Jordan, the most experienced among the crew.
checking the shot
Checking the shot.
checking mercedes shot
Checking the straight-on camera, operated by Mercedes.
notes to Dolla Black
Giving notes to Dolla Black.
Rod directing J Skyy
Giving notes to J.Skyy.
still shot
Getting the still shot, after “It’s a wrap.”
rod and slimm
Showing images to Slimm Pusha.

Queen Anne’s Lace Again

Richard was feeling in an artistic mood after visiting the Mississippi Museum of Art’s exhibit Old Masters to Monet. He noticed how nice the Queen Anne’s Lace looked in the late afternoon light with water from the sprinkler. So, he grabbed the camera. It’s so nice to have the right equipment at hand. He did some quick edits with Adobe Lightroom.
Art Lace

Art lace 2

art lace 3

art lace 4

art lace 5

A Wedding in St. Paul

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.
Bre and Katie
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
Vonda and Richard talking about housing, credit, deals in Mississippi, etc. In other words, shop.

Two Sessions at NSTA 2013

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.

Sarah at NSTA13

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.

the backstoriesIn 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).

teaching looking at snail on move book

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.

Kristin Rearden

Here is Kristin talking about bringing pinecones into the classroom to have students look for the Fibonacci sequence in the spirals on the bottom.

three presentersWe 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.

Leaf Macro

I collected a few leaves on yesterday’s walk and one on today’s. I’ve got fractal patterns on my mind. I love the veining structures in these leaves.

tight leaf vein pattern

big breaking down

breaking down tight

Murrah Mustangs versus McLaurin Attendance Center

Richard spent Saturday on the sidelines taking shots of the Murrah Mustangs soccer teams, in games against McLaurin Attendance Center. He shot 455 images. Here are a few:

j bringing the ball down

D in crash

A in defense


j in goal

e up front

g in defense

s goal


A mid shot





Fractal Broccoli with a Macro Lens

broccoli macro

We went back today to get the broccoli using our macro lens. We weren’t happy with the focus on the head. But now we are. You can see yesterday’s image here.