Friday, September 13, 2013

A Favorite Jeanne Marie Post, Monarchs, and International Dot Day!

I’m so happy to be back in the Teaching Authors fold—I’ve missed you guys! As other TAs have been doing, I’m sharing one of my favorite Jeanne Marie posts, from January of this year. What I most enjoy about this post is the sense of optimism despite an accumulation of obstacles. What I can identify with (like so many writers I know) are the hurdles of family and work obligations. No one has all the time in the world to write, but we just keep trying, don’t we? (Go, JM!)

Yes, I can identify. As I write this, I’m baking homemade granola (and oh, does it smell good! I substituted almond extract for the vanilla called for in the recipe), keeping one ear tuned to the dog in the backyard, and periodically looking for migrating hummingbirds on the feeder outside the window in front of me—all positive endeavors, a refreshing change from winter and spring!

After spending much of my summer observing, photographing, and writing about monarch eggs, caterpillars, and butterflies, today I released the last butterfly, which popped out of its chrysalis inside the protective mosquito net tent in our backyard. In its honor, I’ve written a new monarch poem.

Fragile wings unfold—
orange petals opening.
Blooming butterfly!

The old monarch tent, tattered and holey from some unknown attacker, has probably reached the end of its usefulness. Although I hate to toss it, I think it’s time.

And so we move on.

Today feels like autumn: cool weather has finally returned to Wisconsin (look at those clouds!), fall classes are in full swing, and I’m working on several promising manuscripts while outlining a new nonfiction educational series. I detect a sense of determination in the air. Wish me luck!

September 15 is International Dot Day! The celebration began four years ago when a teacher read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds to his students. In this gentle picture book, a teacher who cares helps a student find her own way to be creative. More than a million people are registered to celebrate International Dot Day this year. Read all about it:
Then go make your mark!

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is at Teach Mentor Texts.


Unknown said...

Lovely picture and poem! We raise Monarchs every year, but this year we've only found two caterpillars all summer, and no eggs. We're very worried about the population.

Carmela Martino said...

Great to have you back, JA! And I love both the picture and poem, too.

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Thank you, Marti and Sheila Ruth! Yes, I'm worried about monarchs, too. We seem to see fewer each year. A great site for tons of monarch info is Enjoy!

GatheringBooks said...

I'm happy to hear about the sense of determination in the air. I like that despite the multiple roles and obligations, there is the smell of granola, the sight of hummingbird, and poetry to keep you company. :)

Keri said...

Each season has its own rhythms and I think one of the hardest things for me is taking time for what I know I need to keep me grounded. Thanks for the reminder to look at the details!

Kenda Turner said...

Enjoyed the poem on monarchs :-) A subject special to me because my daughter once visited the monarch sanctuary in Mexico where the beauties migrate. She described them as flying in great orange swarms. Nice post...

BJ Lee said...

I enjoyed your poem and picture of the monarch. that must be so amazing - to see them turn from caterpillar to butterfly. Simply amazing! Thanks for the information on Dot Day as well!
~ BJ

JoAnn Early Macken said...

Myra from GatheringBooks, yes, I'm happy to be in such good company!

Keri, I'm with you! Making time to get outside every day is becoming more of a priority each year.

Kenda, thanks! How I'd love to see more of the monarch migration someday!

BJ, thanks to you, too! I agree, the monarch transformation is an amazing sight to see! I'm glad we had at least a few to watch this year.