October 31, 2010

Chalk Festival

As promised, I returned to the Sarasota Chalk Festival yesterday.  What a fun event!  Both professional and amateur street artists participated and their creations were amazing.  This top picture is a 3D version of the board game "Mousetrap" as it was being created by California artist Tracy Lee Stum and her four person crew.  Looking to the left, you can see the red bathtub which appears to be hovering over the pavement and above that is the metal ball for the game.  The purple chalk represents the "Mousetrap" mechanics (still in design) beneath the board game.  I'll post more festival pictures on my Flickr site later tonight.  In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite captures from Day 1:

Unfortunately, I don't know anything about this artist.  I must have been too busy being wow'd by her work to engage her in conversation.

Lots of passersby were talking about this piece because of its life-like depiction.  The artist is Leon Keer from the Netherlands.  He told me this was his first time creating street art in the U.S. and he was enjoying it.  He definitely was a wonderful addition to the festival.

I watched as artist Cecelia Linayao, from San Diego, added white chalk to the lips on her piece to give the appearance they're glistening.   It was just a couple of quick chalk strokes -- that simple.  For those of us who lack artist ability with regard to drawing, it was very cool to see.  One of the neat aspects of street art is that the artists like to interact with passersby.  I don't know how Cecelia had completed as much of this piece as she had.  She was so friendly, taking lots of breaks to chat with people.

It's so impressive to see these creations emerge from the ground.  In this shot, an artist's chalk covered hand dangles over his piece while he assesses his progress.

This is my friend Chris who was participating as an amateur artist.  This was his first time creating street art.  By day he's an office worker, by night and weekend he's a talented artist.  Check out his photography blog.

There may have been as many dogs as artists at the festival.  These two adorable shelties came down from St. Pete with my friends and arrived in their Halloween costumes:  Florida Gator cheerleaders, of course.

At first I thought Pepper, a chihuahua, was being carried in a pouch and wearing sunglasses just to be cool.  As it turns he's 16-years-old and has cataracts.   He was very sweet. 

October 30, 2010

Two Birds on a High Wire

I was near downtown taking a photo of something completely different when I heard a loud incessant squawking.  Really loud.  It was a small of flock of wild parrots.  Then, the chased ensued.  I moved here and there...hither and thither...tripod and camera in hand trying to track down the chatty birds.  All the while, passersby were craning their necks, wondering what the crazy lady with the camera was possibly photographing.  This was the result.

October 29, 2010


Whoever the prankster is, they made me laugh.  I spotted this pumpkin-head version of Dionysus heading into St. Armands Circle.  Actually, several statues along the circle were sporting pumpkins.  Now that's getting into the Halloween spirit in a unique way!  You know you want to smile...

October 28, 2010

Preview of Coming Attractions

World renown street artist Edgar Mueller is in Sarasota as the featured attraction in this weekend's Chalk Festival in Burns Square.  That's Edgar contemplating his laptop.  On Monday, with Pineapple Ave. closed to traffic, he set up shop in the street and started creating one of his mind boggling 3D pieces, which you can see taking form on the pavement.  I was a bit surprised when he told me, in between puffs on a Marlboro red, that he doesn't have a working title for the piece --- just that it's going to be about love and hate.  Pineapple Ave. will be filled with professional and amateur Madonnaris (street painters) this weekend including five Italian artists who are being sponsored by Ferrari.  Oooh, start your engines.....this is going to be fun!  Check back in on Sunday --- I'll post a shot of Edgar's final product.

October 27, 2010


It's a first!  I've been summoned by the Sarasota County Clerk of Courts for jury duty.  And, just like that...I've been excused.  The notice indicated that I should call the courthouse the night before to learn if my services were still needed.   Well...they weren't.   That's unfortunate.  I was looking forward to it.  I'm told, though, that once you're summoned it happens frequently.  We shall see.

October 26, 2010

One Scoop or Two

Interesting juxtapositioning here at St. Armands Circle.  If you feast at the ice cream shop in the background is it possible to have a svelte body like the guy in the foreground?

October 25, 2010


In preparation for returning to work, the entire SDP staff ventured out to the celery fields yesterday morning.  While taking photos of a variety of water fowl, a fellow photographer (toting a telephoto lens to die for) casually nodded his head skyward and said, 'Oh, and there's a bald eagle".  For me, there's nothing ho-hum about seeing such a majestic creature soaring effortlessly through the sky.  What a treat!  As fast as  it appeared, it was gone.  I really, really like the celery fields!

October 16, 2010

Red Shoes, Orange Squash

Who doesn't wear red glittery shoes to pick out that perfect pumpkin?!  I was preparing to take a picture of the festive display outside Whole Foods in downtown Sarasota when this mother and daughter walked right into my shot.  What's a photographer to do?!  On a different note, the entire staff at SDP will be on hiatus for awhile.  The chairman of the board has ordered mandatory furloughs -- but with the same pay we always receive at SDP.  Happy blogging!    

October 15, 2010

Up, Up...and Stuck

This is something I've never understood.  A perfectly good pair of sneakers flung high over a utility line.  What really caught my eye about this pair was that it was in the middle of nowhere Sarasota.  I wonder how the owner explained to his parents that he no longer has his shoes.

October 14, 2010

8 Years...and Counting

Today marks eight years that I've been cancer free.   No, big thoughts...except to point out that I'm tremendously blessed.   Over the years, I've accumulated quite an assortment of breast cancer pins.  So, I'm pondering which one to sport on my jacket lapel as a quiet celebration at work today.  Right now, my mood is leaning toward the pink boxing gloves.  But, we'll see how the morning plays out.

October 13, 2010

Watery Wednesday: Celery Fields II

Usually, I don't post back-to-back photos on the same subject.  But, I'm making an exception!  I returned to the celery fields last night and enjoyed watching and listening to many sandhill cranes.  In response to a few queries about the name:  the celery fields, I've discovered, are so named because celery was grown in the area dating back to the mid-1920s.  From what I understand, socialite/pioneer Bertha Palmer first planted celery here.  It just so happens, the celery fields are located off Palmer Road.  (As a side note, Bertha was such an influential pioneer, this year has been declared the Bertha Palmer Centennial in Sarasota County, marking 100 years since she moved from Chicago to Sarasota.)  So, the old celery fields are now a watershed -- and the Sarasota Audubon Society has big plans for the area.  It seems everyone is in agreement the fields are a treasure and need to be preserved. 

October 12, 2010

Celery Fields

I was thrilled to find this place last night after looking for it off and on for months.  It's known as the celery fields and it's a haven for birds in eastern Sarasota County.   Not only was the sunset gorgeous, the birds were spectacular.    While I was setting up my tripod (I also was thrilled it was stashed in my car), sandhill cranes and geese glided silently 25-feet right over my head before landing.  This is the spot I was referring to a couple of days ago when I mentioned that the Audubon Society is hoping to turn into a park for ornithologists.    

October 11, 2010

Columbus Day

It's Columbus Day.  That means the U.S. Post Office is closed...but, of course, St. Armands Circle is open, and that's where you'll find this statue of Christopher Columbus keeping watch over the traffic circle and shops.  

October 10, 2010

Towles Restaurant

Towles Court comprises one block, at most.  Recently, I've posted a couple of shots showing the galleries which comprise this little artist colony.  Well, snuggled in with all the artists are several restaurants including this one, Lavanda, which is located inside an old two story house.  I just love the colorful shutters and long, wide porch.  I haven't made it there for lunch or dinner yet, but the menu looks wonderful.

October 9, 2010


When I attended the Sarasota 5000 rowing regatta last weekend, I encountered this handsome guy  named Guthrie.  At first glance, I didn't notice that he's missing a front leg.  Guthrie's owner, a friendly young man, told me he just adopted Guthrie.  He was hit by a car two months ago, as luck would have it, in front of a vet clinic.  Although Guthrie was getting around well, my heart pinged for him...and then I saw him hop over a guardrail with the agility of a four legged hound.  Way to go, Guthrie!  Here's to a long, healthy, pampered life.

October 8, 2010

Bird's Eye View

I haven't posted a bird picture for at least a couple of weeks....so, here we go!  Here's a Great Blue Heron hanging out, looking for dinner in the distance.  I really do love the birds here in Sarasota.  I hear an effort is underway by the local Audubon Society chapter to turn an old vegetable field into a County park because exotic birds migrate there.  Sounds like a pretty cool idea.

October 7, 2010

Towles Gallery

Who wouldn't be inspired in a cool relaxing setting like this?!   I could almost hear the creative juices percolating as I snapped this photo of the Katherine Butler Gallery in Towles Court, a little artist colony in downtown Sarasota, which I first showed you here a few weeks ago.  Towles Court is a heavenly slice of paradise right in the city.  Expect to see more of this hidden gem!

October 6, 2010

Take Five

These ladies were an inspiration participating in the Sarasota 5000 last weekend.  So much mental and physical energy is required to row 3 miles in the intercoastal...especially with a young whippersnapper coxman yelping to row harder and faster.  Shortly after I snapped this shot (and realized the gals might be stagnating in the water) I really wanted to toss a line and tow them back to shore.  Fortunately, that wasn't necessary.  More power to 'em!

October 5, 2010

Scootin' Nowhere

This scene really doesn't strike me as Sarasota...and yet it is!  I spotted this Vespa parked outside a little clothing store which has apartments above.  And, based on the inch of dust coating the seat, I think it's been sitting here in Burns Square for awhile.

October 4, 2010

3 Day Fun

I stumbled across a cool event where this big shoe was running around.  New Balance in Sarasota held a  rally in their parking lot for people participating in the Komen 3 Day Walk for the Cure at the end of the month.  As walkers finished an 18 mile training walk, they were greeted by this cute ginormous tennis shoe and a party, including a d.j. and a yummy looking spread donated by a local restaurant and brewery.  During the 3 Day, people walk 60 miles over three days to raise money for breast cancer research. To learn more about 3 Day events all over the country visit www.the3day.org.

October 3, 2010

Sarasota 5000

The second annual Sarasota 5000 rowing event was held yesterday at Blackburn Point on the intercoastal.  90 boats, with teams primarily from Florida, participated in what's called head races.  Each boat, whether it's a one-person or 8, rows 5,000 meters (approximately 3 miles) against a clock.  Rowing is gaining in popularity in Sarasota and it was fun to see everyone, from middle schoolers to masters, on the water.  I'd like to give a big thank you to Tony V. who literally was pulling away from the dock on his boat and stopped to take me out so I could get this shot...and a few others.

October 2, 2010

Lady Herald

This mural just pops off the old Herald Building in Burns Square.  The building dates back to the 1920's and at one point housed the Sarasota Herald newspaper.  After a significant renovation several years ago, it's now home to many shops, some apartments and a restaurant.  One of the things I really like is that it's triangular.  To see the building from a different vantage point click here.

October 1, 2010

Theme Day: Graffiti

I'm pleased to report I had to search and search to find a photo opp. for today's theme.  The only tags you'll find nowadays are on metal utility boxes, like this one, because apparently it takes longer to remove them.  Since graffiti is known to encourage gang activity, the city initiated a community  program years ago whereby businesses donate paint and volunteers paint over the graffiti as soon as it's  reported.   That's a little tougher when the tag is on metal.  Lots of folks in the City Daily Photo world are participating in today's theme day.  Click here to view thumbnails for all participants