October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

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Gotta love the Headless Horseman on Halloween! Isn't this a terrific yard display? Can you imagine being a kid and approaching this house trick-or-tricking?! Have a safe and fun Halloween, and remember: Halloween is nothing to lose your head over. ((Boo-ooh-aaaah-aaaah))

October 30, 2011

Whatcha Doin'?

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Seeing this happy, inquisitive face at the gas station made filling up a little less mundane. What a cute fuzzy mug. Looks like he's livin' the good life!

October 29, 2011

Modelin' in Downtown

I'm used to seeing some interesting vehicles around downtown Sarasota. For example, earlier in the day, I saw a Rolls Royce cruisin' around the City Hall parking lot and a Ferrari zippin' down Second Street. But, it was this little old Ford parked along Main Street, pretty as you please, which grabbed my attention. Someone on Flickr speculated it's a 1928 or '29 Model A.  Very cool.
This tote bag was hanging inside, with little American flags that were so faded and weathered they could have been vintage with the car. I love it! Definitely something out of the norm here.  By the way, for the record, I also encounter a lot of Smart cars, buses and scooters downtown.

October 28, 2011

Majestic From Afar

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At first glance, there really isn't much to see here. Or is there???? See the dark blob sitting atop the pole to the right...???  (Lean in close to your screen.)  And there's an even teensier blob on the pole to the left.  With my long lens and ISO bumped up to 1600 at dusk, I was able to capture this guy....
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...a bald eagle!  Two nights ago, I was stunned to see two eagles sitting side by side atop a cell tower next to Fruitville Road, a bustling roadway.  I was thrilled when I returned last night and found them again --- albeit very far away.   As I was contemplating hopping a cattle fence to get a closer view, a rancher pulled up in a truck and gave me what can only be described as a grim stink eye.  Even when I pointed to my camera and excitedly declared 'Shooting the bald eagle!' he gave me one last look before leaving without a word.  I got the hint...and stayed put.  Anyway, I'm very, very excited about the two eagles living so close to an urban area.  And, I can't wait to watch them and capture even better pics.

October 27, 2011


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Entitled 'Sharing', this statue depicts two parents sharing a book with a little boy. It was commissioned in 2002 by the Selby Foundation and created by an artist named Bruno Lucchesi. It sits near the Selby Library in downtown, which is rather appropo. I wonder how this piece would look with an iPad or a Kindle instead of a book...

October 26, 2011

Claws Galore

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There are a handful of dates I look forward to every year, including October 15th. That's the start of stone crab claw season. As luck would have it this year, that was the Saturday of my Big, Big Weekend. On the 15th, I was in Spartan Stadium watching the good guys in green defeat the Michigan Wolverines for the fourth consecutive year. So, alas, I missed opening day of stone crab claw season. (Sacrifices...sacrifices.)  I made it to Phillipi Creek Restaurant and Oyster Bar last weekend, though -- and, I wasn't  disappointed. YUM! Sorry about the quality of the photo, which is the result of:  a) warm butter smeared on my phone camera during the feeding frenzy or b) my archaic cell phone preparing to croak. By the way, stone crab claw season lasts until May 15th. (But, they taste best in October!)

October 25, 2011

This One, Mom!

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Marion's son, Griffin, spotted the perfect pumpkin at Whole Foods in downtown Sarasota, and couldn't resist scaling to the top of the stack to pick it out. Then, he found another one, which was even larger. Having captured this photo, and seeing that Griffin was attempting to lift a sizeable orange squash nearly his own weight, SDP staff set aside their camera long enough to help Griffin and his mom hoist Perfect Pumpkin #2 from the 'patch'. For the record...Griffin can pick big pumpkins. Happy carving!

October 23, 2011

Yo Yo'ing Prices

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Over the past month, gas prices have been like a yo yo, going up and up. First, they dropped 13-cents...and, then went back up a dime. So, bottom line, prices are down 3-cents from September  --- and still well over $3.00/gallon.

In other news...Gleeful shouts were heard throughout a Sarasota neighborhood last night as the Michigan State Spartans defeated the Wisconsin Badgers in what can only be described as a miracle finish and an instant classic. The 'ol "Hail Mary-bounce-off-the-face-mask-into-the-arms-of-a-Spartan-receiver-to-break-the-plane-in-the-end-zone-with-the-score-tied-and-no-time-left-in-regulation" worked magnificantly.  The entire game was unbelievable.  Go Green!

October 22, 2011

Putterin' Around

This adorable little fellow is Putter, the famous prairie dog. He became famous after he was spotted living in the wild at Bobby Jones Golf Club several months ago and was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. A local radio station held a name-the-prairie-dog contest --- and, voila -- here's Putter! Putter's living arrangement at the course was a bit problematic, though.  Besides burrowing his way around part of the course (a la 'Caddy Shack'), he was in harm's way with the local (hungry) hawks, eagles and gators (not to mention flying golf balls). So, the city teamed up with a local animal attraction, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, to relocate him. He's now safe and sound and sharing his quarters with two other prairie dogs: Porkchop and Bob.
It seems Putter is ready for his close up!  By the way, prairie dogs are not indigenous to Florida. It's thought he was someone's pet and, unfortunately, was released into the wild. He's livin' the good life now, though!  

October 20, 2011

Rainbows and Dreams

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It appears the Cal Ripken youth baseball field was at the end of this rainbow the other night. I wonder how many of the little boys on this field were daydreaming about hitting the game winning home run in the bottom of ninth in the World Series. I also wonder how many of them were be able to stay up late enough to watch Game 1 last night.

October 19, 2011

Green Heron

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Spotted this cute little green heron near a retention pond between U.S. 41 and Sarasota Bay in downtown. I love his markings, although I'm not sure how it got its name. I see brown, black, yellow and white. No green. One of the Mother Nature's mysteries.

In other news..SDP officially has some competition! I was contacted by Sarasota Daily Photo Splash, which is now part of the City Daily Photo community. Welcome SDPS!
This should be interesting! I wonder how many other cities have multiple blogs affiliated with CDP?

October 18, 2011

Winds of Victory

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It was a wee bit breezy in East Lansing, MI for the Michigan-Michigan State game. With winds steady at 28 MPH and gusts up to 50, one of the lanyards holding the American and Michigan flags broke. (I was a smidge worried the nearby Spartan flagpole was going to snap and skewer a Wolverine.) Heck, I didn't encounter that much wind during hurricane season in Florida.  In spite of the chilly whipping wind, a good time was had by all Spartans, as we celebrated our fourth straight victory over U-M.  Back to Sarasota posts tomorrow!

October 14, 2011

Big, Big Weekend

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I took the day off to begin a big, big weekend.  So big it's starting on Friday.  Today marks 9-years I've been cancer-free. (Both hands in air -- yes!) Tomorrow is the Michigan-Michigan State football game in East Lansing, MI.  I predict a Sarasotan will be on hand to witness an impressive Spartan victory over the Wolverines.  Mmmm...wolverine....tastes like chicken! (Both hands in air -- yes!) And, Sunday is my birthday (alrighty, then...both hands in air -- yes!) Yep, buckle up...it's going to be a fun filled weekend.

October 13, 2011

Golden Rays

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It was cloudy when I arrived at the celery fields. And, then...just like that...the sun was shining upon Sarasota.

October 11, 2011


Some folks in the neighborhood are in the Halloween spirit already. Is it me or does it look like Mr. Jack O'Lantern is amused by the hand from the grave?

October 8, 2011

Hiding in Plain Sight


Do you see it?  I probably wouldn't have...except I watched it land. By the way, that's a red shouldered hawk hiding in plain sight.

October 7, 2011

Roadside Sighting

You never know what you'll see....


...alongside the road in Sarasota. For quite some time, I've seen this peacock on my drive to and from work. At last, I spotted it at a time when I could stop and stalk it for awhile. Believe it or not, its colors were even more vibrant in person.

October 5, 2011

Heat Lightning

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The other night, Mother Nature was putting on an impressive light show. No lightning bolts...just light flashing and glowing through a stack of cumulous clouds. We used to call this heat lightning when I was growing up in Michigan. Although it was an awesome sight, a swarm of mosquitoes (with a biting capacity which could rival a bull shark) prevented me from lingering. So, I stayed just long enough to nab a couple shots -- and endure at least a couple dozen mosquito bites. I wish we had heat lightning here more often (sans ferocious bugs).

October 1, 2011

Theme Day: Mystery Object

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In the City Daily Photo community, it's theme day! And, this month's theme is 'mystery object'. This is Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays mascot. Similar to the Phillie Phanatic, no one really knows what Raymond is. He's a large, fuzzy, cute, blue mystery. For those of you who follow Major League Baseball, you'll notice Raymond is sporting the classic Rays jersey from years gone by when the team was known as the Devil Rays. Well, the 'Devil' was dropped...the manta ray disappeared...and now the 'Rays' are implied to be rays of sunshine. And, the Rays certainly have shined upon the Tampa Bay area this year with a storybook finish on the last day of the regular season to become a wild card in the playoffs. Raymond the blue mystery blob certainly has something to cheer about. Go Rays!  Click here to view thumbnails for all participants