Sharing Early Literacy Learning Journeys

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

This entry is later than expected because I had an unexpected computer glitch!

The marvels of daily life are exciting; no movie director can arrange the unexpected that you find in your street (Robert Doisneau).

So, with camera in hand, we attempt to capture the unexpected – if the unexpected happens like…

??????????????????????a snapping turtle trundling across our lawn one sunny Saturday afternoon
– fortunately, photos were possible because it was slow as a …

Turtle on dock

and a midland painted turtle clambering on the dock
– with the bonus of an unexpectedly clear reflection.

??????????????????????After leaving the gym, we never expected to see
a giant stick insect resting on the car.

Joy and bliss can come from the little and most unexpected thing if only we program our mind to enjoy these little things (Unknown), like….

Tulips at  old fence

these pink-orange tulips unexpectedly bright against
green grass and an old grey fence of a farmer’s field.

Life is full of surprises… or expect the unexpected …
Tilted lifeguard hut 2

but a tilting lifeguard hut, devoid of a solid base,
was an unexpected sight on a morning beach walk…

Lifeguard hutand even more unexpected, was the same lifeguard
hut swinging from a crane as it was gingerly placed
on the back of a big truck late in the afternoon.

The sea is galloping…

I feel like Christopher at the beach today,
in A.A.Milne’s ‘Sand-between-the-toes’…

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with the shouting sea…

and the galloping sea…

with sand in the hair…

and sand between the toes…

and nobody else is out!

It is a super dooper poem to read with children
and with thanks to All Poetry, here it is:

Sand-between-the-toes

I went down to the shouting sea,
Taking Christopher down with me,
For Nurse had given us sixpence each-
And down we went to the beach.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of
Sand-between-the-toes.

The sea was galloping grey and white;
Christopher clutched his sixpence tight;
We clambered over the humping sand-
And Christopher held my hand.

We had sand in the eyes and the ears and the nose,
And sand in the hair, and sand-between-the-toes.
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is certain of
Sand-between-the-toes.

There was a roaring in the sky;
The sea-gulls cried as they blew by;
We tried to talk, but had to shout-
Nobody else was out.

When we got home, we had sand in the hair,
In the eyes and the ears and everywhere;
Whenever a good nor’wester blows,
Christopher is found with
Sand-between-the-toes.

© A.A. Milne.  All rights reserved

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

These ‘layers’ are opposites in so many ways…
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The badlands of North Dakota

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A flower in a tropical garden…
but I couldn’t find its name – can you help?

Revisiting the tropics… no. 3: Birds

Poor indeed is the garden in which birds find no homes (Abram Urban) and being surrounded by trees, gardens and birds is a joy for me.

Amazingly, as I write these words, a yellow breasted hummingbird whirrs to my window. Suddenly s/he flies through the open door and hovers and hums in front of me. It’s only a few seconds. I smile happily and stare. As suddenly as s/he enters, s/he exits. Flits out, over the balcony, into the palms and paper barks… and then to who knows where?

Smiling again, I think of the variety of birds I see and hear each day.
Like colours and the tropics, birds and the tropics also belong together.

Wake early to the shrill, eerie, wailing of stone birds (or curlews) as they stroll through gardens and warily cross streets looking for quiet, shady hiding places to spend the day.

??????????????????????????????? Stone bird
Bush Stone-curlew

Walk to the beach to shrieking, squawking sulpher-crested cockatoos as they fly from tree to tree, calling and squabbling with their mates over breakfast.

??????????????????????????????? Sulpher-crested cockatoo

Pass a wary, silent, snow-white Torres Strait pigeon diligently pecking in the grass on a vacant block.

???????????????????????????????Torres Strait pigeon

Hear, but cannot see, doves cooing quietly in the paperbark leaves.

Walk along the beach and admire striking black, white and orange terns as they dig for pipis in the sand.

??????????????????????????????? Tern

Suddenly the confident, raucous ‘laugh’ of a kookaburra rings out. A distinctive sound. A happy sound. A chuckle… that is a warning to other birds to steer clear. Reminds me of Ibsen’s words, “Each bird must sing with his own throat.”

Revisiting the tropics… no. 2: Colours

Colours

If  colours are the smiles of nature, as Leigh Hunt said,
then the tropics are all smiles.

Cool colours.
Greens and blues of plants and skies.

Warm colours.
Reds, pinks, yellows and oranges.

???????????????????????????????Bright reds of ‘flame’ trees

PicMonkey CollageHot pinks of hibiscus combine with delicate ivory underneath

???????????????????????????????Smiling, sunny yellows of yellow bells

???????????????????????????????and fiery orange heliconia sassy.

Earth colours.
Light browns, dark browns
and every hue in between.

Then there are whites…
Stark whites (I daren’t say snow white!)
of buildings,
??????????????????????????????? a cool, calm frangipanni
??????????????????????????????? and gentle, ivory whites of variegated leaves
behind a bold, bright hibiscus.

Lots of smiles in the tropics…

Revisiting the tropics… no. 1: Getting there

Getting there…

I try to sleep. But can’t sleep.
Even in cool, clean, cream-coloured sheets.
Left USA thirty hours ago.
Mid afternoon now. I should be sleeping.

Nap briefly on the plane across the Pacific and doze lightly on the plane across the South China Sea.
Land in Cairns early morning. Revisit the tropics.
Feel warm air and high humidity.
Strange, after cool, crisp mornings and dry, sunny days of  a northern hemisphere ‘fall’.
Mid afternoon. I should be sleeping.

Intend to sleep. Pull dark blue curtains across light white sheers for darkness.
Relax. Rest. But no sleep.
Mind whirring. Jot thoughts in notebook beside the bed.
Ideas. Possibilities. Plans.
Mid afternoon. I should be sleeping.

Suddenly. Get up. Throw on capris and t-shirt. Grab camera. Race out the door.
To the beach. To the beach.
Like a hatchling in Lynley Dodd’s, The Smallest Turtle.

Gentle waves roll in. Leave white, lacy foam on the sand.
Horizon of blue-green sea and blue, blue sky.
Take it all in.
Enjoy now.
Sleep later…

???????????????????????????????To the beach, to the beach…

???????????????????????????????with recent images and feelings still fresh and clear.

Travel: explore, embrace, learn and live

Good Grief! Where has Mrs Goose gone?

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Saturday, June 1st: A Canada Goose sits on her eggs
on a thin, log ‘island’ in the river.
How long has she been there?
… through wind and rain and ‘a terrible storm’.

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Friday, June 7th: Mr. Gander stands on guard whilst Mrs. Goose sits …

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and sits and sits and sits…
just like Horton, in Dr Suess’ Horton the Elephant.

Monday, June 10th: Good grief! Mrs. Goose has gone…
Where are the geese and their goslings?
I hope they are safe…

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One egg is left.
Is it The Ugly Duckling?
Will she be shunned by her brothers and sisters?
Will she become a beautiful swan?


Children’s books:

Horton Hatches the Egg, Dr Suess, 1962, London: Collins Clear-Type Press
The Ugly Duckling, Fairy Tale, Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark. First published, Nov 11th, 1843

Weekly Photo Challenge: The sign says it all…

In different locations, the sign says it all…

Tower 1
Three girls suggested this sign and
wrote their names beneath the precise instruction

Picture and text sign
Are the pictures enough or are the words necessary?

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