December 31, 2010

Behind the Scenes

One last photo featuring Christmas decorations!   This is what you'll see behind the Christmas tree on St. Armands --- Discobolus tossing out 2010 and preparing to ring in the New Year.   

December 30, 2010

Little Green Shoots

One unexpected outcome from our recent near freezing temperatures is that two of my outdoor plants are thriving --- because I brought them inside.  Apparently, the pseudo-furnance I use to heat my Florida abode was pumping out enough warm air to create a greenhouse effect of sorts.  After the first night, this plant sprouted two little green leaves.   Now, there are four.   And, my little palm tree has never looked better!  Unfortunately, I had to break the news to them last night that they are outdoor plants.  They'll be under close observation for awhile.

December 29, 2010

F-f-f-frosty Morn

As far as the eye could see, there was frost on the ground yesterday morning.  In the dozen years I've lived in Florida, I don't recall seeing this much frost.  Ever.  Even though the sun was up, it was 34 degrees when I snapped this shot.  I know that's not cold for my northern blogger friends....but, it sure is for Sarasota.  Let's hope it warms up soon.  People are descending upon Florida for sun, fun, bowl games --- and warmth!

December 28, 2010

Hittin' the Town

Ever since Southeastern Guide Dogs set up shop on Main Street a few months ago, I see adorable pooches like this one going for walks around downtown all the time.  Make no mistake --- this isn't a joy walk.  It's work.  From what I can gather, they walk a four block path and along the way they stop and practice commands (and receive lots of positive reinforcement).  I'm sure this guy is going to make a great companion for someone.  Click here to see some of the other cute canines in the program.

December 27, 2010


Don't you look at me!  I cannot believe you brought me to this place.  You said it would be warm in Sarasota!  Yes, my feathers are ruffled! (It's supposed to get down to 29 degrees inland tonight.) 

December 26, 2010

Caffeine Infusion

For many, the day after Christmas means rushing back to stores to take advantage of marked down merchandise and to return and/or exchange presents.  Of course, that requires energy.  A venti pumpkin spice latte (with whip cream) should do it!  By the way, you're looking at a picture of what very well could be one of the smallest Starbucks stores.  It's on St. Armands Circle and is approximately the size of a shoebox.  And, yet their pumpkin spice lattes are just as delicious as the ones at a regular sized store.

December 25, 2010

Away in a Manger

Merry Christmas!
This beautiful manger scene is outside St. Armands Key Lutheran Church.

December 24, 2010

Dash Away, Dash Away

Watch out!  Last minute shoppers are dashing to and fro...including on St. Armands Circle.

December 23, 2010


This jolly old elf was spotted on St. Armands Circle.  He didn't seem stressed at all about having to load up his sleigh and eight tiny reindeer tomorrow night and deliver presents around the world.  He's one cool dude!

December 22, 2010

Festive Influence

When I strolled by this storefront window on St. Armands Circle, I couldn't help but think of Virginia's post a couple of weeks ago on Birmingham Alabama Daily Photo!  I was greeted by one of the store owners, Sam, who mentioned she was inspired to design the window display after seeing something similar in New York.  I love it...although, I don't know if I could pull off the hat and skirt together.  The store, called Influence, is a trendy boutique.  Sam and her younger sister opened it in March and so far she says business is doing well.  They certainly know how to attract window shoppers.  Here's to influencing a festive season on the Circle!

December 21, 2010

Palm Presents

Twas four days 'til Christmas
and all through Blogger land

Busy fingers type
Hoping to live up to the hype

Photos to be taken
To the butcher for bacon

Stockings to be stuffed
Shoes to be buffed

Grab your loot
And, of course, your point n shoot

Little ones on Santa's lap
Shoppers needing a nap 

Oh, the photo opps to be had 
Sans camera surely you'll be sad 

Merry Christmas to all
And to all happy shooting

December 20, 2010

Kress Christmas

The Kress building in downtown Sarasota used to be a five and dime store way back in the day.  Now, it houses offices and is registered as an historic building.  The storefront windows are large an curved and decked out for the holidays.   If you view this photo in large you can see snow falling from the top of the tree and landing in the upside down umbrella serving as a tree skirt.  Sure conveys the feeling of a good old fashioned Christmas to me!

December 19, 2010

Sunset Landing

Two sandhill cranes coming in for a landing at the celery fields in Sarasota County.  If you look closely, to the lower right of the birds just above the tree line, you can see five more in the distance making their approach.  I never tire of seeing this!

December 18, 2010

Glowing Goodies

Extra large Christmas goodies for all the extra good boys and girls in Bloggerland.

December 17, 2010

Guard Duty

A soldier watches over a giant stocking, which was hung with great care, next to the Zenith building in downtown Sarasota.

December 16, 2010

Fowl Eviction

The last time I updated you on the rebuilding of Ed Smith Stadium, the new spring training home of the Baltimore Orioles, the Florida State Supreme Court was preparing to hear a case about whether back room deals were brokered between local government and the ball club, without the public's knowledge. The high court ruled favorably for the local government.  Construction continued --- and the stadium really started looking incredible.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, news broke that two bald eagles, which are a protected species, suddenly took up residency in the right field lights.  There was talk about what would happen to the construction site.  The birds didn't mind the construction -- they showed up during the drilling, pounding, beeping and other loud building noises.  A Florida Fish & Wildlife official said they would monitor the situation, but they weren't too concerned because the birds were a good distance from the actual construction.   It was speculated if the eagles had chicks, there just wouldn't be any night games at the stadium.  So, when I snapped this shot of one watching over the construction workers at sunset, I thought he looked like he was having the last laugh.  Not so fast.  Within two weeks, Florida Fish & Wildlife suddenly moved the eagles' two eggs to Tennessee for incubation --- and, destroyed the nest.  A wildlife official was quoted as saying the birds are upset, of course, but it's in their best interest not to nest in such an urban area.      

December 15, 2010

Under Cover

Meteorologists are forecasting a hard freeze this morning in rural Sarasota.  That means temperatures are expected to stay at 27 degrees (or lower) for at least 3 hours.  That's enough to damage or kill many of the tropical plants, which can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.  So, when Mother Nature gets like this, many Floridians go on the offensive and cover their plants and trees with sheets and blankets -- anything to protect them from the direct cold.  I spotted these plants already covered at lunchtime in downtown.  Hopefully, it'll be enough to protect them.

December 14, 2010

Frozen Like a Statue

Facing plummeting temperatures without their winter attire, they huddled for warmth under the Christmas lights on St. Armands Circle.

December 13, 2010

Florida Freeze

Weather forecasts are calling for possible freezing temperatures in Sarasota tonight.  The last time it snowed in the Tampa Bay area, as I recall, was in 1977.  These decorations might have some competition with the real thing!

December 12, 2010

Palm Present

A gift wrapped palm tree under sunny blue Sarasota skies for my blogger friends in colder climates to enjoy.

December 11, 2010

Up On The Rooftop

If Santa is delayed, check the chimney!  

The entire SDP staff is pleased to report all is back to normal with posting.  No more cell phone pics.  The staff member responsible for the snafu has been counseled and is concerned about the possibility of receiving a lump of coal in their stocking.

December 10, 2010

Perched Poinsettias

No other flower says 'Christmas' like the poinsettia.  These are perched in the lobby of city hall.   Those things that look like floating ice cubes in the background are part of a permanent art display ---  kinda cool, especially next to the poinsettias.   It seems like a wintery scene up north.   By the way, it's warming up quite nicely here.  High of 70 today.  But, another cold front is heading this way next week.  In the meantime, here's something to daydream about.

December 9, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

My mother will start to worry...Beautiful, what's your hurry
My father will be pacing the floor....Listen to the fireplace roar
So really I'd better scurry...Beautiful, please don't hurry
Well maybe just a half a drink more...Put some music on while I pour

No fireplace roaring or toddies being poured when I snapped this pic (with my phone).  When I pulled out of the garage, the temperature in my car registered a pleasant 63 degrees.  Within minutes of driving down the road, it plummeted to 39 -- that's unusually cold for Sarasota this time of year.  I like the chilly weather for Christmas shopping but....let's bump it up a bit. 

December 8, 2010

Captain Frosty

Frosty looks so happy captaining this boat along the bayfront.   I spotted him last night with my cell phone  -- **(sigh)** -- at Marina Jack.  The annual boat parade is this Saturday.    People decorate their boats with lights and cruise Sarasota Bay playing Christmas music.  It's lot of fun.  So far this week, the overnight lows have been in the high 30s.  If those temps stay for the weekend, it certainly will look and feel like Christmas.  

December 7, 2010

Pub, Grub & Nativity

Ya gotta love a pub with a nativity scene!  This is Lynche's Pub on St. Armands Circle.  Shopping might be a a little more relaxed after a stop here for some Christmas cheer. 

December 6, 2010

Go Green

This ornament was spotted on someone's tree in Sarasota. Coincidentally, college football bowl selections were announced last night.  #7 Michigan State University will head to the Sunshine State for the Capital One Bowl right down the road in Orlando on New Year's Day to take on Alabama.  The Spartan nation and love for Sparty extends around the globe including right here at SDP.   It's anticipated the entire SDP staff will be given the day off to partake in the Spartan festivities.  Go Green!  

Editor's Note:  Due to forgetful SDP staff leaving a key piece of computer equipment  80 miles away, this photo was taken with a primitive cell phone.  Darn.  The Quality Control Division of SDP is launching a full investigation into matter.  Meanwhile, efforts are underway to minimize the impact on the CDP community.  

December 5, 2010

Griswold House?

Sparky Griswold, are you in there???  'Christmas Vacation' is one of my holiday favorites along with 'A Christmas Carol' and 'It's a Wonderful Life'.  I love the scene when Sparky Griswold, who is desperately trying to have the ultimate Norman Rockwell Christmas with his family, lights up the exterior lights on his house.  Aah, the fun, frivolity and laughs ensue!  With that in mind, I look forward to seeing this house in Sarasota every year.  There's so much to take in:  gingerbread men, reindeer, toy soldiers, candy canes --- and, of course, Santa.  I live about a half-mile away and I think I can almost see the glow lighting up the evening sky.  I love their enthusiasm and over the top Christmas spirit.

December 4, 2010

Abominably Adorable

When I first drove by this display I wasn't sure what it was.  Then, when I looked closer, it quickly became one of my favorite Christmas displays so far this year.  It's the Abominable Snowman  stuck in a tree snarling with a cute pooch standing guard below.  Homeowner Mike was assembling other decorations when I was there.  He says by the time he's done he'll put up about 15,000 lights.  This one display is great.  How cute is that Abominable Snowman?!

December 3, 2010

What's in the Box?

I give a gold star to the festive folks who wrapped this present in front of their condo.  They were particularly creative because unwrapped..... looks like this:  an aesthetically challenged utility box.   The cheery Christmas makeover is perfect!  Although, I wonder what the Florida Power and Light crew would think if they had to unwrap their box to get into it.

December 2, 2010

Christmas Catwalk

Is it me or does this look like a Christmas catwalk?  I can almost see Santa and Mrs. Claus sashaying down the walkway draped in this season's North Pole haute couture. This festive display is lighting up  the neighborhood just minutes from home.  Oh, it's going to be a holly jolly SDP season!

December 1, 2010

Theme Day: Time

This clock has been located at Five Points in downtown Sarasota for a very, very long time.  So, for today's theme day, I thought it would be fun at dusk to use a slower shutter speed to give the illusion of the sports car zipping by while time is standing still.   City Daily Photo bloggers from around the world are participating in today's theme day.  Click here to view thumbnails for all participants