A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Have you ever looked at a photograph that evokes memories of a particular place or time? It can be interesting to see what responses one can get from the same image.

As an assignment, Enders Road (Manlius) elementary school teacher Carrie Neveldine presented a photo she had taken of her St. Bernard NoVa to her class of first graders. Carrie was lying in the grass with her camera in hand when NoVa began sniffing a dandelion. She quickly snapped several shots. As part of a writing assignment, she instructed her students to write down memories the photo recalled.

It was interesting to read the responses from all the students. Here is a small selection of them.

Sometimes I like to do something in the summer that anyone can do. I go to Green Lakes, and I bring my dog Rooney! Every time I go there in the summertime, I see this amazing bird. It’s a hawk. A black hawk. Mom, dad and I bring binoculars. If you want to see this bird, you need to be quiet!

There’s a lake and sand where you can just get time to cool off. I saw the hawk, and he was sitting on the tip of Lifeguard Larry’s chair. I looked in my binoculars and saw the hawk just sitting there looking content. Then Rooney started barking and the hawk flew away. I said to Rooney, “Bad dog!”

Just then, I spotted ice cream and it looked so good when somebody got theirs! I said to mom, “Can we get one?” Mom said, “Okay … but do you like that? I said a very loud, “YES!” I got it, and I took a bite of the chocolate ice cream. Mom said, “So, do you like it?” I told her it was mouthwatering.

I was walking out of Green Lakes eating my ice cream and we got in the car. We started driving away and I saw the hawk following us! When we got home, I saw a hawk outside my window and I wondered if it was the same one.

– Gabi C.
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I love going to Owasco Lake! I go every year during the summer with my sisters Claire and Lily and my mom and dad. It’s hot there, but you can jump into the nice cool lake. It’s really fun when we all have a squirt gun fight in the lake. Then I get hit in the face with the water that my sisters toss at me! What I love to do when I get there is do a cannonball into the water! One time my dad threw a Frisbee and my dog, Murray, jumped in the lake and caught the Frisbee!

You should go to Owasco Lake. You would love the campfire and s’mores! The s’mores are gooey and delicious. I feel really nice, warm and cozy near the campfire. The lake is perfect for tubing, swimming and fishing! Also at Owasco Lake, on the television there are free movies. Owasco is the best Finger Lake ever!

When we have to go home, Murray always smells like a lump of fish! I get sad when we have to leave because it’s really fun at the lake.

–Henry G.
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I like going to my neighbor’s house to watch their dog Jack. Jack is a cute yellow dog. I play fetch with him with a little ball. If he does well he gets a biscuit. We also play ball around the house, up the hill and behind the house.

In the evenings of the summer, I go outside after dinner to play with my neighbor Ally. We like playing ball and soccer, but Jack always tries to get the ball! Once, at the end of summer, Jack chewed my shoe and threw it in the bushes!

On the first day of school, Jack was walking toward the bus and barking loudly because he wanted to come on the bus! I like Jack a lot. But I really want my own dog, a white dog to play with.

–Vincent L.
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“NoVa is a playful and mischievous 3-year-old St. Bernard,” says Carrie Neveldine. “His favorite romping ground is Green Lakes State Park, where he trots around the lakes nudging the passersby with his 180-pound frame, hoping for a scratch behind his ear. Those who oblige receive a slobbery kiss in return. NoVa also loves long baths in the cool lake, although he clears the area when he gets out and shakes off the excess water. NoVa is the subject of many funny stories that I tell my first graders.”


by Phillip Bonn and Carrie Neveldine