July 31, 2010

Reaching for the Sun

I was pleasantly surprised to see these sunflowers along Lockwood Ridge Rd. in Sarasota because I don't recall seeing many here in the Sunshine State.  These are located next to a landscape nursery, but unfortunately, there isn't a place to safely pullover nearby.  I thought about cruising by, but the combination of brilliant flowers, bright blue sky and that delightful puffy cloud was just too much to resist.  The block I hoofed in heels in the 92 degree heat was worth it. 

July 30, 2010

Lady in Red

I couldn't help but notice the Lady in Red standing at the stern of this sailboat as she frantically waved at someone in Sarasota Bay approaching the dock.  Or so it appeared.  She twirled a white towel over her head, flicked it by her side and and snapped it in front of her for minutes on end.  I was really intrigued because no one was there.  Not a soul.  She then hopped onto the dock, danced (imagine long fluid, twirling moves) to the nearest trash receptacle where she deposited something which clearly had to be thrown away that instant, then pranced back to the boat.  Oh...and this all happened during a rain shower.  Perhaps that's why the boat is called "Luna Sea".

July 29, 2010

Library Buddies

This is the view looking out from the entrance of the Selby Public Library in downtown Sarasota.  I love statue that sits on a bench just outside the door.  It's called "Best Friends" by Chris Navarro -- a little boy reading a book to his dog.

July 28, 2010

Watery Wednesday - No Oil

Perfect day to enjoy the bright blue sky and sugary white sand at Siesta Key beach.  Still no oil here, even after Tropical Storm Bonnie buzzed through last Friday.  I'm growing more confident with every day that we might just avoid it.  **(fingers crossed)**  To view Water Wednesday captures from around the globe click here.

July 27, 2010

Rosemary Court Pathway

Several businesses are run out of this house at the end of the brick pathway at Rosemary Court, including an organic vegetable co-op, yoga instruction and massage therapy.  It's a very interesting property, located a few blocks north of downtown Sarasota in an eclectic neighborhood known as the Rosemary District.  I seem to have problems photographing this area due to lighting issues because of the time of day I can get there.  It's always fun, though, just to wander around and I'll look forward to my next adventure there.  Previously, I've posted the entrance to Rosemary Court here; and a harrowing experience I had with a snake and a cat here.  

July 26, 2010

Chop House

I love the entrance of the First Street Chop House in downtown Sarasota, with the ivy covered wall, white trimmed windows and old fashioned lighting.  It opened about six months ago and I  haven't eaten there yet, but the menu and ambiance look great.  It's definitely on the list to check out.

July 25, 2010

Round 'n Round

Sarasota is taking on a European flair with...roundabouts.  Several are in the planning stages and this one, under construction right in the heart of downtown, should be finished by Labor Day.  This area is known as Five Points, where three streets converge, creating a five pointed intersection.  Both as a motorist and a pedestrian, I've always found the traffic patterns here a bit confusing.  So, hopefully, the roundabout will make it easier for everyone to navigate.  Round 'n round we shall go!  Standby for photos of the finished product. 

July 24, 2010

Caution: Bird Crossing

I could pose the question, "Why did the sandhill crane cross the road?"  Fortunately, when this one crossed University Boulevard in rural Sarasota there weren't any oncoming cars.

It's awesome to see these creatures just standing in the median.

They're amazing.  (And loud.)

July 23, 2010


Aimez-vous patiner?  The City Commission approved a proposal by downtown business owners to shut down this portion of First Street for.......an ice skating rink!  It'll be right here on the street during the holidays.  The company which owns the rink guarantees the ice will be 4-degrees --  even outside in sunny, warm Florida.  Sounds like fun!  Standby for ice skating pics.

July 22, 2010

Happy Day

I spotted this happy creature stopped at a traffic light at Tuttle Ave. and 12th Street in Sarasota.   He sure looked like he was having a great time going for a ride! 

July 21, 2010

Watery Wednesday - No Oil

A sea anemone in the Gulf of Mexico washes onto S. Lido Key beach.  The water, thankfully, is still pristine.  The week prior to the Deep Horizon oil well being capped, NOAA predicted there was less than a 1% chance of oil hitting Sarasota.  Let's hope that's true!  Click here to see more Watery Wednesday photos from around the world.

July 20, 2010

Dead End Sunset

Dusk can be really interesting in the summer, when the rain holds off and the sky is still filled with puffy clouds.  I encountered this scene in rural Sarasota.

July 19, 2010

Stars, Stripes and Construction

Construction of the new fire station on Fourth Street, near downtown Sarasota, is nearing completion.  What grabbed my attention about this scene, as I was driving by, was the American flag temporarily planted in a plastic green bucket, awaiting the arrival of a permanent flap pole.  I love this creative way of flying the flag.  The city actually has not had a fire department since the 1990's when it was consolidated with Sarasota County.  This station has been in the works for years and is expected to open in September.  

July 18, 2010

Mable's Garden

This statue is located in the Mable Ringling rose garden on the grounds of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.  Yes, Ringling....as in Ringling Circus.  Sarasota has a long, colorful history surrounding the circus, including the city being the winter home for John Ringling and his wife.  (More on that in a future post.)  The rose garden is one of three accredited public rose gardens in the State of Florida.  Few people realize this, but the grounds are free and open to the public, including the statue filled gardens and the beautiful tree lined grounds leading to the Ca d'Zan (the Ringling mansion) situated right on Sarasota Bay.  The art museum, which John Ringling built to house his personal collection, is a must-see and requires admission.  There's also a fairly new circus museum, which I haven't visited yet.

July 17, 2010

Coolin' Off

92 degrees in Sarasota at 6 p.m.  This is one way to cool off!  

July 16, 2010

Sanctuary Shadows

It was early evening and the sun was shining brilliantly through the stained glass windows, warming the pews in the sanctuary of Church of the Redeemer Episcopalian Church in downtown Sarasota, when I took this photo.   The first time I ventured inside the church, a few weeks ago, I captured this photo in the vestibule.   At the time, an evening service was taking place, thwarting my plans of checking out the sanctuary.  So, I vowed to return --- and I'm glad I did so soon.  It's quaint and serene with a small second floor gallery where I snapped this shot.  For those who saw yesterday's post, this church is located directly across the street from Dolphin Tower, the condo high rise which is now vacant due to a structural failure.

July 15, 2010


These barricades are erected outside Dolphin Tower, a condominium complex along the bayfront, to prevent anyone from getting too close to the structure, after a structural failure was discovered last month in the 15 story building.  Significant cracks were found on the fourth floor....so significant, that the city posted a notice to vacate, officially giving residents 24 hours to evacuate.  Private structural engineers for Dolphin Tower are working to stabilize the structure, but the 38-year-old building is still shifting and unsafe to inhabit.  No one has ever heard of something like this happening in Sarasota and the community is pulling together for those who live in the 117 condos, with some nearby hotels are offering discounts to residents.  Right now, though, it's unclear how long they might have to stay away -- could be months.  Can you imagine?

July 14, 2010

Goodbye My Friend

Through all of life's ups and downs, one of the only constants in the life over the past 14 years was my basenji, Mulligan.  I watched him grow from a cute, mischievous puppy to a handsome mischievous hound.  And, he saw me through countless significant human events:  buying and selling houses, the start and end of relationships, changing careers, the diagnosis and treatment of serious health issues,  and the relocation to Florida.  Mulligan was always there.  When he was diagnosed with cancer three and a half years ago, we were fortunate to learn that one of the premier canine oncologists in the nation, Dr. Heidi Ward, is located here in Sarasota.  He responded wonderfully to the treatments.  But, the problem with cancer in dogs is that it always seems to reoccur.  Mulligan beat it three times.  Each time, you never would have known he was sick.  This photo was taken at the Paw Park in April, a few months before the cancer returned for a fourth time.  At the age of 14 1/2 Mulligan couldn't fight anymore and I said goodbye yesterday.  It never ceased to amaze me how many people, particularly in Sarasota, would stop us on walks, in the park or while we were driving to comment on Mulligan's regal, handsome demeanor.  He  was very special.  I will miss him very much.

July 13, 2010

Courthouse Cafe

The Courthouse Cafe is located...(surprise!)...near the Sarasota County courthouse in downtown Sarasota.  They recently started flying a new American flag and setting out this cute little bistro set.  I haven't been there for lunch in years -- but this is so appealing it makes me want to stop in there soon. 

July 12, 2010

Play Ball!

Construction for the Baltimore Orioles spring training facility will continue -- at least for now.  A Sarasota County judged ruled last week that there was no intentional violation of Sunshine Laws by County Commissioners when they negotiated a $32 million deal with the baseball team to move to Sarasota from Ft. Lauderdale.  Is this the end to the baseball stadium saga?  We'll see.  If the citizens group which filed the lawsuit appeals the judge's decision, the case will go straight to the Florida Supreme Court.  In the meantime, the renovation goes on.  When I took this photo at lunchtime, workers were taking turns in the 91-degree heat swinging a sledgehammer to break the concrete wall on the second floor.  That's intense.  This is how the stadium looked when the demolition started a few weeks ago. 

July 11, 2010

Sunset Stretch

Sunset silhouetting an old cypress tree (I think that's what it is) near the Sarasota Polo Club.  Beautiful night!

July 10, 2010

Grazin' in the Grass

This is the other side of Sarasota!  Driving along University Parkway at dusk, I had a feeling I was going to see something photo-worthy.  Sure enough...I spotted light brown out of the corner of my eye --- three deer enjoying dinner in a grassy meadow.  I later discovered the next road a block away is called Deer Drive.

July 9, 2010

Kickin' Up Her Heels

Imagine driving along a busy road and seeing this image:  a pair of lady's legs, bound, and hoisted in the air.  Yep, "Unconditional Surrender" is back along the bayfront!  It's a statue created by J. Seward Johnson and modeled after Alfred Jorgensen's famous V-J Day photo of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square. These are the nurse's legs pointed skyward as the 9,000 pound, 25 foot tall statue was about to be lifted onto a permanent base next to Sarasota Bay near downtown.  When it was temporarily taken down a few weeks ago for refurbishment, I posted a photo of the moving process here.  And, this is what the statue looks like when it's standing properly.  

July 8, 2010

Oui, we have Wii

This isn't the best quality photo, because it was taken with my cell phone which is lacking when it comes to camera technology.   Typically, I do not take my Canon into the library, which is where I was when I encountered this scene:  two boys playing Wii basketball in the juvenile book section. I've never visited this particular Sarasota County library branch before and was surprised to hear loud, exuberant young voices when I was wandering around.  This is what was causing the excitement.  Library staff told me a Wii station has been there for three years.  Hmmm...back in my day...

July 7, 2010

Watery Wednesday: No Oil

This white ibis was hunting in the early evening along the pristine shore of Sarasota Bay at South Lido Park.  Not only is its beak impressive, so is its claw.  What a goofy looking bird, yet so photogenic!  Still no oil sightings in Sarasota, thank goodness.  Visit Watery Wednesday to see more images from around the world.

July 6, 2010

Beach Combers

Beach combers leaning against a lifeguard tower on Lido Key beach, along the Gulf of Mexico.  No signs of the riders.  Whoever rode them here in this heat probably jumped in the water immediately to try to cool off.

July 5, 2010

Clumsy Heron

This great blue heron at the Saprito Fishing Pier had been sitting quite agilely, with its large claws wrapped around the aluminum railing, watching over Sarasota Bay with an air of regal authority -- until this young fisherman approached.  The bird was so startled that it lost its balance and nearly fell right off its perch.  The boy's expression was priceless:  "You're a bird.  What are you doing?!"

July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July!  God bless America.

July 3, 2010

Emergency Jump Rope?

This just struck me funny.  In the Siesta Key beach parking lot, where most people are loading and unloading their blankets, coolers and other beach sundries, this guy was jumping rope -- with his driver's side door open.  It was as if he was driving and randomly decided to stop and jump rope.  The more plausible (and less interesting) explanation is that he was just finishing his workout.  I never had the chance to find out.  Moments after this shot was taken, he drove off.

July 2, 2010

Flyin' Over the Hills

After posting close ups of BMXers training, I thought I'd show you a portion of the course.  As you can see, it has some pretty good sized hills.  And the riders can get some good air.  

July 1, 2010

Theme Day: Reflections

This is what you see when you enter the vestibule of Church of the Redeemer Episcopalian Church in downtown Sarasota.  I was a bit surprised to hear an early evening service going on, since it wasn't indicated on the the marquee outside.  So, I quietly snapped a couple of photos before tiptoeing away.  I'm looking forward to returning and seeing the sanctuary.  This is part of the City Daily Photo theme day "Reflections".    Click here to view thumbnails for all participants