March 25, 2011


SDP management has ordered the entire staff to unplug for a bit. We'll be back soon!  In the meantime, enjoy the new banner.  (I couldn't resist one last Pug Parade picture.  That's Paddington behind those cool shades.)  

March 24, 2011

'Lil Angler

Well,  it was a good run with the Pug Parade pictures.  But, it's time to move on to other pressing the size of the Ringling Bridge, which spans Sarasota Bay.  This shot provides a pretty good perspective.  Check out the itty bitty fisherman in red bending over near one of the columns.

March 23, 2011

Grand Marshal

Yes, the grand marshal of the Pug Parade was of the equine variety not canine.  This is Rodney, a miniature horse.   And he was a show stopper!  Everywhere he went, he attracted a large crowd of kids and adults (with and without cameras).  The attention didn't bother him at all.  In fact, he was very well behaved and gentle with everyone  --- including all  the pugs.  As an aside, recently, management here at SDP has received one or two inquiries as to whether photos posted on the blog can be purchased.  And, the answer is...yes!  Yes, they can be purchased.

Check out my website:   You can download a high resolution jpeg, or order a print (or if you're really, really in love with a SDP pic you can have it printed on a mug or a t-shirt.)  Downloading a jpeg is really simple.  Just click 'buy'...then 'downloads'.  Presto! 

March 22, 2011

Miss Congeniality

Isn't Lily perfect?!  She graciously accepted her title of 'Miss Congeniality' at the 14th annual Pug Parade this past weekend. Between that sweet smile and those oversized pink flower petals, she was a real charmer.  Lily was one of about 40 pugs who wiggled around St. Armands Circle to raise money for the local Humane Society.  Like any proper parade, the Pug Parade had a grand marshal.  I'll introduce you to Rodney tomorrow.  (I'll tell you now...he's not what you think!)  

March 21, 2011

King Toby

Toby was crowned 'Best in Show' at the Pug Parade over the weekend.  What a crowd pleaser!  He was so regal in his Radio Flyer wagon, sporting a faux fur lined crown and cape while lounging atop a plush pillow.  Would you believe just five months ago this adorable creature didn't have a home?!  He was adopted just before Thanksgiving, and I say he hit the royal jackpot.  Way to go, Toby!   Tomorrow:  Miss Congeniality!

March 20, 2011

Pug Parade

When I heard about the annual Pug Parade, I imagined their cute, wrinkled little fuzzy faces wiggling around St. Armands Circle and I knew I had to check it out.  And, the event did not disappoint!  This was the 14th annual Pug Parade to raise money for the Sarasota County Humane Society, and it was billed as 'St. Pug-trick's' Day' continued.  There were old pugs and young pugs; pugs wearing over-the-top sequined costumes and others who were au naturale.  About 40 contestants sashayed down the, impressing the judges and wowing the crowd as they competed for such prized titles as 'Miss Congeniality', 'Most Original Costume' and 'Best in Show'.  I'll reveal 'Best in Show' to you tomorrow.  (He made a fabulous royal impression.)  But, first, let me introduce you to Tug, a handsome 3-year-old Pug from south Sarasota County who donned his best Irish attire for the event and then proceeded to size up the competition.  

March 19, 2011

Beasts in Boats #2

I just love to see a dog on a boat sporting a life jacket.  This handsome german shepherd looked like he was having a great time at Phillippi Creek with his family as they headed out to the Gulf of Mexico.  This is the second post in my new series, "Beasts in Boats".  I'm looking forward to installment number three, if I must say so myself.   

March 18, 2011

Ever Feel Like...

...someone's watching you?  I took this shot at McKechnie Field during the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training game I attended last weekend.  I was so focused trying to get this shot, I never even noticed what the owl on the billboard was advertising.  Btw, this post is for you, Birdman.  

March 17, 2011

St. Patty's Day = Go Green!

How fortuitous the green machine plays in the second round of the NCAA basketball tourney on St. Patrick's Day just up the road in Tampa!  This sporty Michigan State University garden flag was spotted at an undisclosed location in Sarasota.  You have to support the green team on St. Patty's Day, right?  Go Green!

March 16, 2011

Watery Wednesday: Perfect Day

So, four seagulls, one egret and a pelican were all hanging out on the roof of the fish filleting station at New Pass.   Sounds like the start of a joke, doesn't it?  They were waiting for fresh fish.  I was waiting for this shot.  **snap**  Picture perfect day.  Click here to see other Watery Wednesday photos from around the world. 

March 15, 2011

3 Games...One Sunset

After being on the go, hitting three baseball games in three days, during the 2011 spring training tour, it was nice to have a few minutes to enjoy a sunset on Siesta Key.  Even though the temperature was dropping, my friend from Detroit enjoyed dipping his toes in the Gulf of Mexico before heading back to the frigid temps in the mitten state.  (The way the weather is up north this year, who knows when those legs will see sunshine again!)  

March 14, 2011

Spring Training Tour - Day 3

Yesterday's game took us to the newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium, in Sarasota, to see the Baltimore Orioles play the Detroit Tigers in front of a sellout crowd.  The new stadium is beautiful!  Some of the play on the field early in the game...not so much.  There's a reason why it's spring training.  There was this error in short right field.
And, this blunder in foul territory near the Orioles' dugout.
But, the atmosphere at the ballpark (not to mention the weather) was absolutely wonderful.  The Orioles' mascot was really cute working the crowd, giving high fives to fans and stopping for photo opps.  Although the Orioles lost 9-1, it was a great time and I'm looking forward to hitting the park again.  And, that concludes the 2011 whirlwind spring training tour!  

March 13, 2011

More Spring Fun - Florida Style

Yesterday's spring training weekend tour included a trip a few minutes north to Bradenton to see the Pittsburgh Pirates play the Philadephia Phillies at McKenchie Field.  It was a lopsided game, with the Pirates blown out 11-4.  In between innings, there were festivities on the field including the Pirates mascot, Parrot, wearing boxing gloves and shorts and duking it out with a young fan.  Hilarity ensued when the little boy pulled down Parrot's shorts.  I love that the Pirates' catcher is oblivious to what's going on.
McKenchie Field is rather small and media photographers are allowed to stand behind home plate in the walkway.  So, I sidled up next to a photog and acted like I was supposed to be there.  Imagine my surprise when a stadium attendant approached me, and rather than telling me to leave, he suggested that I walk down five rows all the way to the front and crouch down to take some shots.  Wow!  I didn't want to overstay my welcome, but I captured this shot of Brandon Moss at the plate.   A big thanks to that friendly attendant.
After the game, we noticed a little boy running on the field with a baseball heading into right field.   A short time later, two police officers were trying to get his attention to stop.  Naturally, the little boy thought it was a fun game and started running around the entire warning track....with one of the officers in pursuit.  It was pure entertainment!  By the end, it appeared the little one was the son of a Phillies player.  The player and the officer shook hands and that was the end of that fun, unexpected chase scene.

March 12, 2011

The Boys of Spring

This is my kind of March Madness!  Every year, a friend comes down from Detroit and we hit several spring training games.  Unfortunately, due to Mother Nature's fickleness, snow caused him to miss his flight --- and this Yankee-Braves game yesterday at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.  In this shot, Yankees outfielder Andruw Jones is sliding safely into home plate.  My friend then arrived safely in SRQ.  The spring training tour continues today with a Pirates game in nearby Bradenton.  Play ball!  

March 11, 2011


I really didn't expect to be posting this photo.  And, yet, here it is.  There's nothing like an election recount in Florida!  On Tuesday, three Sarasota city commission district races were held.  One was decided.  One will have a runoff in May.  And, one will have a recount this morning.  In the recount race, just 14 votes separate the two candidates.  By state law, there has to be a recount if there's less than one-half of one percentage point between the top vote, the recount is on.  Don't expect to hear about dangling chads, hanging chads or pregnant chads, though.  Punch ballots cards are no longer used here. 

March 10, 2011

Heron, Party of One

I spotted this great blue heron standing guard near a drainage fence and pipe at the celery fields.  He was very intent on staring at the water, although it didn't seem like the best place for a fishing expedition.     A couple of times, he wandered a few yards away, only to return several minutes later and resume staring at the water once again.  Perhaps he was aware of something I wasn't.   While observing this somewhat agonizing process, I just kept thinking, 'I'm glad I don't have to hunt for my dinner tonight.'

March 9, 2011

Watery Wednesday: By Air and Sea

We're "in season" here in Sarasota.  That's what we call this time of year when everyone battling cabin fever in the north descends upon the area to enjoy the gorgeous warm weather and environs.   I was taking a photo of this sailboat cruising under the Ringling Bridge when I noticed an airplane descending into SRQ (that's the airport code for Sarasota which I explained further in this post last June).   Yep, they're traveling by air and by sea to be in Sarasota.  (And one or two might be arriving via automobile.) By the way, this is post #300 for SDP -- whoop!  Click here to see other Watery Wednesday pics.

March 8, 2011

GF 'Za

Not only is this a gluten free pizza, it's a delicious GF margherita pizza.  A locally owned Italian restaurant, Cosimo's, has an extensive GF menu (including beer), and for those of us who are involuntarily on a GF diet, this is...well...a slice of heaven.  I just discovered that they're offering online ordering, so thus today's photo.  Fellow blogger Kat from The Land that Ugly Forgot first posted pics of GF pizza complete with critiques.  Previously, I've intended to do the same, but, alas, my hunger has always won until now.  (At least there's only one slice missing in this pic.)   As for my critique, the crust (by far the most critical element of any pizza and definitely the most difficult to replicate in GF form) is tasty with a good texture.  It's light, crisp and perhaps even buttery.  Although it's smaller than a regular pizza (per the usual), it's still large enough for leftovers --- yes!

March 7, 2011

Goin' Up

I'm not one to pay close attention to gas prices regularly, but who isn't nowadays?  Prices here have jumped about 30 cents in the past few weeks, including one day when they spiked 10 cents between breakfast and lunch.  What are prices like where you live?

March 6, 2011

Got Life Jackets?

As the weather gets nicer and more boaters hit the waterways, the U.S. Coast Guard is out on patrol. This Coast Guard crew pulled over a recreational boat at New Pass, with a family onboard.   Usually, the U.S.C.G. is checking boat safety, including to see if there are enough life jackets on board for each passenger.  There were so many guys on the U.S.C.G. boat, though, it could have been a training exercise as well.

March 5, 2011

Little Hunter

Birds seem to really like the weather right now.  I'm seeing all kinds of them out and about, singing and chirping and hopping and flying.  This little egret, though, wasn't doing any of that.  He was hunting insects.  Imagine wearing your whitest whites on a hunting expedition!  I captured this shot when he was kind enough to strike a pose (although I think he was still in hunting mode).

March 4, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

One more photo from Ski-A-Rees.  This one, though, is about some spectators not the show.  These young ladies, in their colorful dresses, caught my eye.  Since Sarasota has an Amish community, I naturally thought they live here.  So, when I saw one of them with a DSLR camera, I struck up a conversation -- and learned a lot!  They're all 18 and 19 years old and they were visiting the Sarasota area for a week from Lancaster, Pennsylvania --- by themselves.  And, they drove here.  (Who knew?!)   One had visited Sarasota before and they all were looking forward to hitting the beach.  I happily tipped them off to the best beach in town and suggested a couple of other sites.  (They had no idea they were chatting with SRQ!)  Before leaving, I gave each of them a SDP business card so they could find the blog.   Hope you had a fun adventure!

March 3, 2011

Willie Randolph

It was fun to capture this photo of Willie Randolph mingling with fans and signing autographs, particularly since I grew up collecting baseball cards of him.  Imagine that!  Willie was an All-Star second baseman for the New York Yankees and now is a bench coach for the Baltimore Orioles.  He was quite pleasant interacting with fans, which was really nice to see  (He kept saying, 'Okay, last one', referring to autographing memorabilia, and then he'd sign more.)  One of the nice aspects of living and working so close to Ed Smith Stadium, is that I can buzz by during lunch and check out what's going on.  The Orioles constructed a new viewing area for fans to watch the players practice.  So, last week, I parked and strolled to the new area (it's quite nice), snapped a few shots of Willie and left in less than ten minutes.  Sweet.  By the way, from what I hear, the home opener earlier this week went really well.  

March 2, 2011

Watery Wednesday: New Pass Bait Shop

Here it is!  Exactly 180 degrees from where I took yesterday's photo is the New Pass Grill & Bait Shop.  The sign above the umbrellas reads "Grub * Soft Drinks * Ice Cream * Cold Beer * Ice".  Perfect!   This is a slice of 'Old Florida', as we say.  Good food.  Good drinks.  Great view.  As simple as that.  Click here to see other Watery Wednesday photos from around the world.

March 1, 2011

Theme Day: Favorite Part of Town

It's the first day of the month and in the City Daily Photo world that means it's theme day.  This assignment was a smidge challenging since I have many favorite parts of Sarasota.  That being said, this is one of my favorite views:  sitting on the dock at the New Pass Bait Shop watching the boats cruise across the azure water of Sarasota Bay (usually with a refreshing beverage).  Over the months, I've only shown bits and pieces of the bait shop.  So, tomorrow I'll actually reveal it.  Click here to view photos for all participants in this theme day