A Most Peculiar Puzzle Piece

If I were a puzzle piece and you were looking for the puzzle where my piece would fit you would probably have a hard time finding it.



  1. Different to what is normal or expected; strange.

“He gave her some very peculiar looks”

strange, unusual, odd, funny, curious, bizarre, weird, uncanny, queer, unexpected,
unfamiliar, abnormal, atypical, anomalous, untypical, different, out of the ordinary, out of the way
  1. Particular; special.

“Any attempt to explicate the theme is bound to run into peculiar difficulties”

distinctive, characteristic, distinct, different, individual, individualistic, distinguishing,
typical, special, specific, representative, unique, idiosyncratic, personal, private,
essential, natural

distinctive, characteristic, distinct, different, individual, individualistic, distinguishing,
typical, special, specific, representative, unique, idiosyncratic, personal, private,
essential, natural

But I do seem to have found a place where my peculiar piece of the puzzle will fit!
I am moving to Poatina Village in Tasmania
Poatina is 40 minutes’ drive from Launceston on the edge of the Great Lakes country and nestled by the majestic heritage listed Western Tiers.
When the Poatina Power Station was built in the late 1950’s, Poatina Village was constructed nearby to house the workforce. Hydro Tasmania sold the entire Village to Fusion Australia in 1995.

I spent two months in Poatina earlier this year as an Artist in Residence. Poatina has a strong emphasis on all forms of the arts and is home to the Alethea Mountain Retreat Arts Centre and Glass Studio.
It is home to Faith and the Arts Summer School

So my storytelling writing and drawing fitted in.

Also at Poatina is Capstone College http://www.capstone.tas.edu.au/  which redefines education for students who have become disengaged from traditional schooling.
The curriculum includes a mixture of literary and numerical study, together with practical, hands-on life skills in areas like Sustainable Farming, Commercial Enterprise, Artistic Expression, the Natural Environment, Community and Historical importance. Some of these students are gifted or 2E twice exceptional.
And there are several homeschooling families in the village and the surrounding area.
So all the experience and resources I have gathered or created over the years for my family and Gifted Resources and the Church school programs I have written will be useful to the community.

Poatina is interested in stewardship, permaculture, sustainability and waste reduction and at present are working on a Permaculture Appreciative Enquiry which will be leading to and contributing to a Permaculture Design Certificate.
Poatina encourages all the residents to be life-long learners and there are so many opportunities to study and learn and discover within the village or via the universities or online.
So all the people in the village are regarded as unique and treasured assets.

The scenery is beautiful and the sunrise, sunset and rainbow draped skies are beautiful. There are many animal and bird visitors. Wallabies, paddymelons and wombats come right up to the houses at dusk.
So I will be busy happily recording memories with my camera.

And also, most importantly, I will enjoy participating in the life, activities and devotional times of the community.

1 Peter 2:9 King James Version (KJV)
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light



A puzzle 5

While Imaginational was thinking about how he could cheer up little Thinks He’s an Alien Black Dog by taking him for a ride on the flowery hover-board, he was also still thinking about solving the puzzle. He was convinced that there was something important about the point where the two lines of flowers intersected and that the butterflies probably knew the answer.
Maybe the intersection of the lines of flowers marked the location of a treasure!
Imaginational put the picnic basket on the spot so he could find it again even if Intellectual removed the ribbons.

Parfait was debating with Intellectual about the equations for the lines. “One of those equations needs to have a negative gradient and where is your Point 0, 0? Don’t just assume the lines meet at 0, 0 – that point could be anywhere on the x, y axis and it could be anywhere in terms of latitude and longitude. You need a GPS.”

“Thank you!” said Intellectual “You have enlarged my cogitations considerably!”
In point of fact that point needs to be described more accurately. I was reading about such things in Doctor Jeff’s article The Address of a Self- important World http://blogontheuniverse.org/2010/05/03/the-address-of-a-self-important-world/

Imaginational was still thinking about the butterflies.
“What type of butterfly is that one that is sitting on your book, Intellectual?” he asked. “Because one of the same kind just landed on the flower where the lines intersect”

Intellectual consulted Lepidoptery 101 in his book. “It is a Fulvous Pied” he declared.

“Where is your report, Psycho Motor?” Intellectual demanded.

“Well!” barked Psycho Motor, bouncing from flower to flower in pursuit of a butterfly, “PIED (bounce) is like Pi D (bounce) which is the circumference of a circle and these flowers are circles (bounce) and here is a picnic basket with a PIE in it.
Puzzle solved – Let’s eat!”

A puzzle 4

Intellectual’s first approach to the problem was a mathematical one.
He counted the strange flowers and found that there were 13 of them.

“(Mean, mean 13!)” Imaginational muttered.

And furthermore, if they were grouped suitably, he could see groups or lines of the prime numbers and Fibonacci numbers up to 13. He put red ribbons joining the flowers to show what he meant.

“But they are not perfectly lined up to show both of those” interrupted Parfait “you have to move the one with the blue butterfly on it into the line of six to make the 7 for the prime numbers but then you would not have the prime number 11 you get when you add the line of six and the line of five”

“Picky, picky!” grumbled Intellectual. But he had to concede that Parfait was correct and therefore the puzzle was probably not related to prime numbers.

It did not help that Intellectual was not sure what he WAS trying to prove.

He wondered whether the arrangement of the flowers was a code of some kind

He visited the Codes for Kids page on The Republic of Mathematics blog to search for clues


Then he decided that he would be able to solve the puzzle by solving the simultaneous equations for the two lines of flowers and produced this

The answer must be 42

(because the answer to everything is 42
eg How many swans-a-swimming and geese-a-laying had the true love received by the 12th day of Christmas?)

There are 13 flowers


13x = 42


x = 3

(And that is correct because there are 3 flowers separate from the lines which form a triangle when you join them)


5x + a = 42


6x + b = 42

(Because the answer is always 42)


15 + a = 42

a = 27


18 + b = 42

b = 24

“What is that supposed to prove?” asked Parfait.
“I don’t know. But it is VERY INTERESTING and deeply significant!” claimed Intellectual

A puzzle 3

First to bring their reports about the puzzle were Sensual and Emotional.

Sensual: From a distance it looked like a field of flowers with butterflies flitting around in it. I wanted to go and roll in the grass.
But when I went right into the field, although the grass looked and smelled like ordinary grass and made me itchy and sneezy after rolling in it, the flowers were not like ordinary flowers!
Each flower looked and felt (and tasted) as if it were made out of metal and each flower had five petals – one blue, one red, one green, one gold and one violet.
I could hear a humming noise in the field but I could not tell what it was.
Oh, and I could smell a pie too!

Emotional: It was all so beautiful and so mysterious that I felt elated and misty-sad and puzzled all at once.

Intellectual: Well that wasn’t much help.

Imaginational: I think the flowers could be hover boards. I think they are used by aliens from the Milky Way to create crop circles. I think it would be great fun to ride on them and chase butterflies! Oh, I smelled pie too!

A puzzle 2

We have had some great suggestions about the nature of the puzzle and its solution.
Mary St George said the answer would be 42 because according to The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 42 is the answer to everything!

The Dabrowski Dogs are taking an immersion learning approach to the puzzle. They are getting right into the picture.
Intellectual has elected himself as the team leader and tried to allocate tasks.
P’est Pour Parfait, the Perfectionist Poodle, although not a Dabrowski dog, has joined in to offer unwelcome criticism.

Here is the discussion I overheard.

Intellectual: Obviously the items in the picture are Blooms. This means we need to apply the six levels of thinking (remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, and creating) to solving the problem.

Parfait: They only have five petals so obviously they are NOT Bloom’s blooms.

Intellectual: It depends which version you are using. The current education model has six levels – remembering, understanding, applying, analysing, evaluating, and creating.
You can see great examples of that on Kathleen Morris’ blog at http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2009/08/13/blooms-taxonomy-in-the-digital-age/
and also on Kelly Tenkely’s iLearn Technology blog at  http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=2973
The traditional version also has six levels – Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis Synthesis Evaluation See Julia Cornwell’s Successful Teaching blog post at http://juliaec.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/blooms-taxonomy-encouraging-higher-cognitive-thinking-in-primary-school-classrooms/

But anyway, remembering knowledge is vital to all the other levels so it goes in the centre of these Bloom’s blooms.

There are 3 Domains Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor.
Naturally I will focus on Cognitive.
Sensual and Emotional can tackle Affective and Psycho Motor can report on Psychomotor.

Imaginational: What do you want me to do?

Intellectual: I don’t know! Do that airy fairy, outside the recognised academia, stream of consciousness type of thinking that you do. You might stumble onto something useful!

Intellectual: Psycho Motor, do you know what you are supposed to be doing?

Psycho Motor: Sorry, I wasn’t listening all the time. I was watching the butterflies.

A puzzle

What are we to make of this?

Please let me know your thoughts about this picture on the lobby table by leaving a comment.
The Dabrowski dogs are working on the puzzle and I will bring you their evaluations shortly.

Holiday reading

Today I spent some time adding to my Shelfari http://www.shelfari.com/  bookshelf.
I have several books to read during the holidays.

Youngest son gave me Letters and numbers Word and number puzzles from the SBS TV show for Christmas; as we have been enjoying playing along with the TV show.

Bill Zimmerman of http://www.makebeliefscomix.com  and http://www.billztreasurechest.com  sent me a copy of his new book Your life in comics : 100 things for guys to write and draw http://www.billztreasurechest.com/life_in_comics.html

The book features cartooning exercises and prompts that get boys thinking and writing about important subjects in their lives, including family, friends, school, health, and the future.  Web extensions point the way to additional fun and interactive resources online.  You can also download some of the pages from the book.

Bill invites you to blog and comment with him and offers writers’ prompts on his blog at http://www.billztreasurechest.com/blog/
I have two books on the I Plan to Read section of my Shelfari shelf. I do not have a copy of either of these books yet but am looking forward to reading them.

 Twice exceptional gifted children by Beverly Trail Ed D was released in November 2010.

It can be purchased online at http://www.qbd.com.au/product/9781593634896-Twice-exceptional_Gifted_Children_by_Trail_Beverly_A_.htm  and I think it may be available in Australia from Borders or Dymocks. I will search for it soon.

101 Success secrets for gifted kids by Christine Fonseca from Prufrock Press will be released in May 2011 and Sprite’s Site will participate in the excitement of the launch.  You can read about it here. http://christinefonseca.wordpress.com/books/