April 30, 2012

Bumpy Ride

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It was quite a bumpy ride for gas prices this past month. In early April, prices shot up every day. Regular unleaded at this station reached $3.99/gallon for one week but never broke the $4 mark. Then, prices suddenly started dropping. Now, regular unleaded is $3.77/gallon which is 16-cents cheaper than one month ago. I wonder what Memorial Day weekend will bring.   Reminder:  One more day of voting for the 2nd anniversary SDP photo then the poll will close.  Look to the right and cast your vote now! 

April 27, 2012


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This was quite a sight yesterday along the bayfront in Sarasota. A driver passed out, hopped a median, and crossed two lanes of traffic (miraculously without hitting any vehicles) before crashing into this 26-foot-tall statue entitled "Unconditional Surrender".  Somehow the driver wasn't seriously injured.  The statue was created by world renowned artist J. Seward Johnson in 2005 and was modeled after Alfred Jorgensen's famous V-J Day photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square.  The statue is on loan to the city from the owner and the Sarasota Arts Foundation.  And, it's quite a popular attraction.  It's common to see people having their photo taken next to the statue as they re-enact "the kiss". So, how much damage was done to the statue?
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This shattered leg is just a portion.  There are so many fractures running up the sailor and nurse, a crane was called in to lower the statue to the ground.  It'll be up to the owner and the Arts Foundation to decide how to proceed to repair it.  To see pre-accident photos of the statue, click here.   Don't forget to vote in the SDP poll!

April 26, 2012

Car Park

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This lifelike mural is on the side of a condo building in Burns Square in downtown.   The first time I saw it, I did a double take.   It's approximately 25-30 feet tall and the detail is amazing.  I wish I knew how the artist, a Brazilian named Eduardo Kobra, created it.  Last fall, immediately after the Chalk Festival, a community art campaign was launched called "Going Vertical" and this is part of it.  Pretty cool.  In other news, Sarasota Daily Photo will celebrate its 2nd anniversary very soon.  So, the staff whipped up a poll to find out what you'd like to see on the big day.  Look to the right (just below the banner) to find the poll...and vote!

April 24, 2012


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Henry and Henrietta have two babies!  Imagine my surprise.  One baby appeared to be all alone in the nest riding out a turbulent wind storm last night. When it calmed down for a moment, he made the most pathetic call to his mama and papa who were nowhere in my line of sight.  Within a couple of minutes, though, he perked up and Henrietta landed in the nest.  And, that's when the other little one showed himself!   How exciting.  Although I was tucked 30 yards away behind a palm tree, when Henrietta stared directly at me in a bone chilling kind of way that a mama hawk can pull off so well, I decided it was time to leave.  (This photo is really cropped so you can see both of the little ones.)  After waiting for so long, I was thrilled that one baby arrived -- let alone two.  What a nice hawk family:  Henry, Henrietta and the H.J.s

April 22, 2012

Dead On

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Invariably, the only time the entire SDP staff agrees to opt for black and white is when the image involves a dead tree. It always seems appropriate. Although this tree at Urfer Family Park appears to be dead, there's a lot of life on it. It must be crawling with bugs, because a woodpecker is pecking away at it incessantly whenever I visit Henry and Henrietta (the red shouldered hawks) in the evening. If you view this photo closer, you'll see Woody in the upper left hand corner sitting at the top of the limb blending in quite nicely.

April 20, 2012

Tumblin' Down

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Demolition of the old Sarasota Police building is underway. What a sight to see the walls tumblin' down! A technique known as wet demolition is being used.  That means a worker sprays water on the demolition area to keep the dust down.  The building was over 50 years old and by the time it closed in 2010 it was rather antiquated. The new police headquarters (which I showed here) can be seen in the background with the greenish-blue windows.

April 18, 2012

What's Not To Like?

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This is the last piece we'll show from the Embracing Our Differences cultural art event, and it happens to be my favorite. It's a trompe l'oeil. Look closely. See anything within the makeup of all those different people?
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It's a baby!  This clever piece is entitled "What's Not To Like?" and was created by Jelena Meeks from Lochem, The Netherlands.  Interestingly, the hands and eyes were especially noticeable when I looked through my camera lens.  And, that concludes our tour of Embracing Our Differences. The SDP editorial staff is meeting right now to determine what subject to post next.  More art?  Wildlife?  Scenery?   Decisions.  Decisions.

April 17, 2012


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We're returning to our tour of the Embracing Our Differences art display in Bayfront Park. This one, entitled "Words", is interesting in that it combines two popular trends: tattooing and texting. The message being texted reads, 'You r such a LOSER'.  It was created by two 14-year-olds from North Port High School in Sarasota County: Adam Parisi and Emily Quigley.  Rather creative from such young minds.

April 16, 2012

New Arrival

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Breaking News:   We're interrupting our series on Embracing Our Differences for a much anticipated announcement.  Henry and Henrietta, the red shouldered hawks, are proud parents of one fluffy little chick.
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When I took these pics, he had the nest all to himself and appeared to be splitting his time between sudden naps (imagine him slowly slumping over) and introducing himself to the world.  We think he's approximately one week old.   Knowing how protective red shouldered hawks can be, I was especially careful with all my movements while taking these photos.
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Because Henry and Henrietta never seem to be too far away.   This is Henrietta, looking like a proud mama,  perched on a limb about 15 feet up and over from the nest.  I'm so happy the little one finally arrived!  Bravo.

April 15, 2012

Will To Win

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This piece at the Embracing Our Differences art display entitled "Will To Win" was created by Zoltan Balogh from Budapest, Hungary. I really like the title. This is one of those pictures that's worth a thousand words.  

April 14, 2012

Be A Friend

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As I watched these three ladies admire this canvas entitled "Be A Friend" at the Embracing Our Differences art display, I had a sneaking suspicion one of them had a close tie to the piece. Besides artwork, Embracing Our Differences also accepts quotation submittals which are displayed at the bottom of each canvas. Well, the author of the quotation on this piece was standing right there admiring her work with her family.
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Meet 14-year-old Daniela Martinez, 8th grade student at Sarasota Middle School and now celebrated author. Out of the 4,500 submissions of artwork and quotations from 53 countries, Daniela's quotation was selected to be part of the Embracing Our Differences display. She told me she felt really good about the honor. That bright smile says it all. What a terrific, outgoing and polite young lady. Congratulations, Daniela!

April 13, 2012

I Tip My Hat To You

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Continuing with our tour through the art display Embracing our Differences, this one is entitled "I Tip My Hat To You" and features eight people, each wearing a different hat from their culture. I tip my hat to the artist Tavernelle from Santa Cruz, Trinidad and Tobago for coming up with a unique way to accomplish the Embracing Our Differences mission --- to celebrate diversity.  To learn more about Embracing Our Differences click here.

April 12, 2012


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We begin our tour of the Embracing Our Differences outdoor art display with this adorable submission by Beatric Davies from Acquapendente, Italy entitled "Expecting". When I first saw it, I was so enamored with the giraffe and pachyderm cuddling and the heart floating above them, believe it or not, I didn't even notice the egg. This is too adorable.  To learn more about Embracing Our Differences and the program's goal of educating people about the value of diversity click here.

April 11, 2012

Embracing Our Differences

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Welcome to Bayfront Park in Sarasota where the annual Embracing Our Differences international outdoor art display is underway. The event is intended to create awareness about the value of diversity through the use of art. Dozens of oversized canvasses contain artwork and messages submitted by children and adults from around the world. According to the Embracing Our Differences website, this was a record setting year for submissions, with over 4,500 pieces of artwork and quotations coming in from 53 countries. That's impressive. Bayfront Park is a terrific venue for the event with lots of visitors and plenty of space right on Sarasota Bay and the marina. Over the next few days, we'll take a walk around the park and explore some of the exhibits which will be here through May.

April 10, 2012

Bond. The Restaurant Bond.

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This delightful structure is the old Herald Building located at the apex of Pineapple Avenue and Orange Avenue. A new restaurant, called Bond, recently opened there with outdoor seating and charming  bright umbrellas near a fountain.  They were preparing for dinner when I snapped this pic. I haven't eaten there but based on the menu and the inviting ambiance it looks good.  Plus, I read they're going to offer gluten-free bread.  Excellent!  On a side note, the entire SDP staff would like to extend a hearty thank you to our faithful follower Clamco for bestowing us with a Leibster  Blog Award.   Find out what it is by visiting her blog which features her family's journey toward moving to the Sunshine State and her adventures in acquiring unique items to sell on e-Bay.   Happy Tuesday!

April 8, 2012

Happy Easter


Spotted this sign in rural Sarasota County.   Hope everyone has a nice Easter!

April 6, 2012


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I caught Eddie cruising by as the sea fog was rolling into Sarasota early one morning. He's so majestic. Isn't he beautiful?  In other eagle news, I discovered a live eagle cam in Iowa which is showing a pair of nesting eagles with three babies.  It's  rather special because eagles usually have just one or two eaglets.  The video resolution is awesome, plus there's terrific sound.  The other evening I watched for about 30 minutes and saw one eagle swoop into the nest with a fish and the apparent mama feed the little ones ever so gently.  It's very cool.   Check it out here.

April 5, 2012


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The SDP staff received a request for a jacaranda post from our favorite Miamian turned (temporary) Texan.  How could we deny such a request?  Voila!  I don't know if it's due to the unusually warm weather, but this year the jacaranda flowers seem to be blooming early. 

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Typically, I see jacaranda trees in their  full spectacular lavender bloom in mid-May.  But, already, I've spotted trees that are one-third in bloom or one-fourth etc. Nevertheless, what's in bloom is gorgeous.  Spring has definitely arrived in Sarasota when the pendulous blooms of the jacaranda tree arrive.  Perhaps there will be a second round of  blooms next month!

April 4, 2012

Hawk Swoop

Well, I'm starting to wonder what's going on at the hawk household. I've stopped by several times recently and haven't seen or heard any little hawks.  Not a peep.  I'm close to being concerned.  Maybe the white fuzz I saw plastered to the nest wasn't baby hawk fuzz after all.  That being said, both Henry and Henrietta seem to be doing okay.  Henrietta isn't leaving the nest anymore (at least not when I'm around).  As for this pic, that's Henry soaring out of the nest.  I was thrilled when I realized Henrietta was in the shot watching her man taking off to hunt for dinner.   A nice family portrait.  (Now, we just need some baby hawks.)

April 3, 2012

Field of Dreams

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I encountered this low lying fog early one morning at a field which is used for parking for the Baltimore Orioles spring training baseball games.  Believe it or not, the last spring training game for the year will be played this afternoon.   Then, the major leaguers will head to Baltimore for the season home opener on Friday.  I wonder how many childhood dreams will be coming true soon.

April 1, 2012

Theme Day: Cobblestone

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It's not quite cobblestone, but this was the best I could find in Sarasota for today's theme day.  One block of Rawls Street in downtown Sarasota is covered with these bricks. Turns out, this is how the street looked way back in the day.   There was a time, though, when it was in vogue to pave over brick streets with asphalt. (Brick streets became unpopular due to the bumpy, uneven ride.) As I recall, a couple of years ago, residents near Rawls requested the street be restored to its original appearance. So, a weekend before Christmas, residents, with the help of city workers, laid the bricks.  To me, this small portion of brick street makes a cute neighborhood even more charming.  To see other participants in today's theme day click here.