December 26, 2011


SDP 12-26-11
We're enjoying holiday leftovers here at SDP! I showed you two portions of this display before Christmas: sailboats and blue and green scullers. For our encore presentation, the SDP staff presents red scullers and a sailboat heading to shore. The entire display includes three sculling boats (all of which are animated -- very cool!) and two sailboats.  Hands down, this is the best non-residential display I spotted this season.  By the way, I agree with Jack at Hartford Daily Photo: the Christmas season continues for several more days!

December 25, 2011

Joy to the World

SDP 25-11
I spotted this nice nativity scene in front of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Ft. Myers.  I hope everyone is enjoying a peaceful day with family and friends.   Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2011

'Zat You Santa Claus?

SDP  12-24-11
The low lighting on yesterday's Santa photo may have been what prompted several people to comment that he looked a bit creepy. This one, on the other hand, looks like a member of the paparazzi caught the Big Guy having a jolly 'ol time on someone's balcony, waving to revelers below. I sure hope Santa is well rested for tonight!

December 23, 2011

Special Guest

SDP  12-23-11
Imagine driving down the street and seeing a life-size Santa standing on a front porch.   I did a double take when I spotted this jolly guy.  He's quite realistic at a glance.  Ho ho ho!  Is everyone ready for Christmas?

December 22, 2011

Still Dropping

SDP  12-22-11
Well, this isn't a very festive photo (although there's plenty of red and a hint of green), but I'm committed to posting a picture every month showing prices at the same gas station in Sarasota.  During the past month, we nudged downward a smidge more  -- 4 cents -- to $3.27.  Santa, I'd like $2.49/gallon gas. (Please?!)  To see gas price trends over the past ten months, click here.

December 21, 2011

Colorful White

SDP  12-21-11
Who doesn't like a splash of color on a white picket fence this time of year?

December 20, 2011

Captiva-ting Santa

SDP  12-20-11
If you're on the west coast of Florida this time of year, a must-stop is Captiva island. It's located less than one hour from  Ft. Myers with not a lot to do but relax -- and enjoy the Christmas decorations. They usually go up by Thanksgiving and I'm always excited to see Santa scaling this palm tree next to Tween Waters resort. I'm never quite sure what Santa is up to: picking fresh coconuts for a tropical drink...conducting reconnaisance in search of chimneys...or scanning the Gulf of Mexico for frolicking dolphins. Whatever he's up to, I love this jolly 'ol elf!

December 19, 2011

Lighten Up!

SDP  12-19-11
I spotted this message at some tennis courts in Punta Gorda, just south of Sarasota, and had to return with my camera to snap a pic. When I saw it, I immediately thought of a few less than friendly drivers I had recently encountered on the roads. Sheesh! 6 days 'til Christmas...enjoy!

December 15, 2011

Palms & Presents

SDP  12-15-11
Back to Christmas decorations! These palms and presents are situated in the middle of a roundabout at a retail development near me. Actually, it's the same development that has the really cool Christmas rowers and sailboats, but this display is across the road.  Anyway, all the decorations are new this year.  Traffic was heavy going in and out of the mall when I was out shooting this picture last night.  Maybe all the festive lights are putting people in the shopping mood.

December 14, 2011

Indy Hardware

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Sarasotans like independently owned businesses. Off the top of my head, I can think of five independently owned bookstores. And, then there's this business: Sarasota Hardware. Located on Main Street in the heart of downtown, it's been part of Sarasota since 1934 -- that's 77 years! Quite impressive for any business! With regard to this photo, I like the reflection of the parked car. It just seems to add to the small town feel of the scene.

December 13, 2011

Rowing into Christmas

SDP  12-13-11
Row, row, row...and, ho ho ho! This Christmas display of scullers rowing presents to their destination, while very cool by itself, probably is better understood and appreciated with a little backstory. It's located at a retail area created by Benderson Development. (On the same retention pond where I showed you this sailboat with gifts.)  Across the road is a relatively new park called Nathan Benderson Park, which has been hosting popular rowing events.  Sarasota County recently agreed to invest $19.5 million in tourism funds to help transform the park into a world class rowing venue for tournaments.   Row, row, row!

December 12, 2011

When Gators Fly

SDP  12-12-11
Without question, this is one of my favorite Christmas displays in Florida: a team of five alligators pulling a sleigh between palm trees. (Gosh, I wish the fronds were lit!) It's so clever...only a Florida Gator would think of it! Truth be told, this display is down the road in Ft. Myers. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing it every year. Dash away...dash away...dash away Gators!

December 11, 2011

Fast Life...Fast Controversy

SDP  12-11-11
What do you think of this mural? It has become a bit of a controversy in Sarasota. As part of the Chalk Festival, an international artist, simply known as MTO, agreed to do some work elsewhere, including on this building where the Tube Dude company is based. It happens to be located in a transitional part of town and many people immediately were incensed with the message 'Fast Life' and the hands displaying what appear to be a gang symbol. To make it more palatable, a local artist connected with the festival added the words "It's A ..... Let Love Express It'. Well, that seemed to attract even more attention (and controversy). So, the building owner announced that in the spirit of not offending the community, he would paint over the mural within 72 hours. And....that's when the other side came forward and pleaded for it to stay.  According to news reports, the owner now says it will remain for the next month as he tries to figure out how to make it acceptable for all.  I'll keep you posted.

December 9, 2011

Lighting the Way

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These beautiful Royal Palm trees are lighting the way to lots of retails stores. (Wouldn't want Christmas shoppers to get lost, would we?!) The trees are so pretty lit up, I wouldn't mind seeing them like this year-round.

December 8, 2011

Sail into Christmas

SDP  12-8-11
A shopping development down the road from me really kicked it up a few notches this year with Christmas decorations, like this sailboat in a retention pond. It faces a major highway, so it attracts a lot of attention with passersby. It sure grabbed my attention! And, I wasn't the only one to stop for a photo opp. Who doesn't like to see Christmas presents loaded up on a festive, glowing sailboat?!

December 7, 2011

And The Winner Is...

SDP  12-7-11
The City of Sarasota is now the proud owner of this sculpture, known as 'Fractured Migration'. It was created by local artist Dennis Kowal and was one of 12 sculptures in a popular public art campaign. The intent was to display the pieces for one year and then purchase one for the city's permanent public art collection --  and this piece was selected as the winner. It's particularly popular at night when it resembles an ice sculpture. (Click here to see 'Fractured Migration' in the daytime during the kick-off event.)  It will remain right where it Selby Five Points Park (where all the cool colorful lights are).

December 2, 2011


SDP  12-2-11's what's for dinner! Upon further review (thanks to my neighbor and fellow blogger Ernie), I have determined this fisherman (shown plunging yesterday) is a little blue heron sporting its breeding colors.  an unknown bird.  But it is a bird!  Honestly, there are so many different herons and egrets here...I give up trying to identify this one.   On a different note, for those of you who like Christmas music, I encourage you to visit Ernie's blog ErnieNotBert. He collects old vinyl Christmas records throughout the year, then rips them, scans the covers and shares them on his blog. It's a great way to find little known renditions of holiday classics.  One of my favorite shares from last year is an album of Christmas songs from an Irish pub. Good stuff!

December 1, 2011

Theme Day: Action Shot

SDP  12-1-11
I believe this is a tri-colored heron on a fishing expedition in Sarasota Bay next to Ken Thompson Park. I had just bumped up the shutter speed in hopes of capturing the bird popping up with a flailing fish. Turns out, I really like the water drops frozen in mid-air, which depict the quick force of the bird shoving its beak into the water. It also shows action...and, that's today's theme in the City Daily Photo community. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.  And...check in tomorrow to see what the heron caught for dinner!