August 30, 2011


SDP  8-30-11
In the summer here, chances are pretty good it will rain every day in the afternoon. Recently, we've been having severe thunderstorms. In fact, I think the building where I work was struck by lightning last week. With the fire alarm piercing, we were forced outside near the driving rain where more lightning was streaking across the sky. No damage to the building; no injuries....and, I went on to take this photo of a different storm the following day as I navigated my way home through a curtain of rain.   As I sat at this traffic light watching the rain pelt the windshield, I was so excited (and appreciative) knowing I was just minutes from pulling into a (dry) attached garage.

August 28, 2011

Roadside Message

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Spotted this sign in rural Sarasota. I was racing by so fast, I almost didn't see it. Happy Sunday!

August 26, 2011

Hunter and Hunted

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Per the usual, there's a story behind this photo. I spotted this red shouldered hawk last night and noticed it was acting peculiar, standing on a wire over a ditch filled with water from the recent rains. What I didn't know was that it was in hunting mode. As I watched the bird for about 10 minutes, I had a creepy feeling there was a snake nearby. Suddenly, the hawk dropped down from its perch and snatched some soggy grass in its talons. As I snapped pictures, I realized the bird was clutching more than just grass. It had a squirming snake too! What an impressive hunter. The hawk sat on this fence post and displayed its prize for a short while was dinner time. What a cool experience. And, this all happened along a busy road in Sarasota.

August 24, 2011

Wadin' & Waddlin'

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That's Wadin' on the left...Waddlin' on the right. I spotted 'em mid-afternoon in the blazing hot sun. Two sandpipers who, I guess, needed to leave their problems behind and cool off.

August 21, 2011

Wheels Galore

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I spotted this bicycle, tricycle and moped outside a Goodwill store in Sarasota. Ever since it opened about a year ago, I have difficulty finding a parking space to go to my dry cleaner next door. With the economy the way it is, Goodwill has become a very popular store --- no matter how you arrive.

August 19, 2011

Red Shoulder or Red Tail?

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I was so excited to spot this hawk and set up my camera right as the sun was casting a beautiful ray of golden light, that I did not take note of the bird's shoulder...or its tail, for that matter. Now, I'm left wondering: is this a red-shouldered hawk or a red-tailed hawk? The Birds of Florida field guide, unfortunately, really isn't much help this time. So, once again, the SDP staff is at odds over a bird photo. As Editor-in-Chief, I'm leaning toward red-tailed hawk.  It just looks different than a red-shouldered hawk.  Whatever it was, it sure had an impressive stature.    

August 17, 2011

Going Down

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I've been so busy lately (unfortunately with everything but photography), I forgot to post my monthly gas price pic. I remembered when I drove by the gas station yesterday afternoon and noticed prices had plummeted 7-cents over the past couple of days.   So, since I snapped this pic in July, we've seen an 8-cent decrease and stand at $3.51.  Remember earlier this summer when the political pundits were prognosticating gas prices falling below $3.50...and beyond?  For an interesting review of where we've been since I started this project in March, click the gas prices label below.

August 15, 2011

Stop! Thief!!

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We suspected a furry thief was on the loose when we discovered an unripe mango still hanging from the vine -- with distinct nibble marks around it. Someone had enjoyed a furtive fruity feast (which was a smidge annoying to learn since fresh mango plucked from a tree is such a delicious treat to this human). But, who was the thief? And, how did he possibly reach the mango? After all, the fruit in question was dangling high above the ground on a pencil thin vine. Who possessed the dexterity, the agility, and (perhaps most importantly) the sheer nerve to pull off such a daring feat? The answer arrived when, right in front of me, this squirrel scaled down the vine and streeeetched its itty bitty body as far as it could in order to sink its teeth into the juicy pulp. I could almost hear the 'Mission Impossible' theme music playing. Little dickens with a belly full of filched mango!

August 13, 2011

Breaking News

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After a grand total of approximately 100 raindrops fell, the taillights on southbound I-75 turned bright red and traffic slowed to a crawl for this: what appears to be a single vehicle wreck without serious injuries. I mention the precipitation because without fail as soon as it starts to rain, drivers in Florida seem to forget how to drive, which is especially interesting since it rains almost every day in the summer. The lack of driving prowess during inclement weather probably has something to do with the fact that so many vehicles here are rolling around with bald tires. Of course, without traction if you hit a slick're off the road and in the ditch. I'm glad no one seemed to be hurt in this crash -- and, I wasn't stuck in traffic too long.

August 11, 2011

Look Up!

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If you look up, you never know what you might, this red shouldered hawk roosting atop a streetlight drying its feathers following an afternoon thunderstorm. That being said, I spotted it not by looking up, but over. I glanced through my passenger window and saw it flapping its wings on a fence before it took off and landed here. Bottom line: always be on the look out, whether it's up or over.

August 9, 2011

Little Blue Heron

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It's been raining quite regularly here for the past week. As soon as the rain dissipates, the birds meander out of their hiding places, like this little blue heron, which I spotted wading through a marsh area hunting for lunch. (It was successful, nabbing some type of worm.) Because of the daily thunderstorms (and the heat), all the plants are turning bright green. Some days I think we have our own little rainforest here.

August 7, 2011

Christmas in August

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The above photo was taken yesterday, August 6th. If only I had stumbled across it a few weeks ago for Christmas in July! Maybe the homeowner is getting an early jump on the holidays?

August 5, 2011


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This sculpture, entitled 'Standing Bow', is located outside an office building in downtown Sarasota. If it looks a bit familiar it's because I posted a much different angle of it here. I kinda like this perspective.  Onward and upward!

August 3, 2011

How Hot Is It?

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Well, this is something I've never seen before: an osprey standing on a sandbar cooling its talons. That's how hot it is! Typically, ospreys like to roost up high where they have a great view of fish and small prey. But, this guy sacrificed his hunting time for a cool down. That's one hot bird.

August 1, 2011

Theme Day: Postcard-Worthy

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It's theme day for all of us in the City Daily Photo world. Today's theme is 'postcard-worthy'. Well, SDP staff is very fortunate to have lots of postcard-worthy photo opps here, including the beach, seashells and the Gulf of Mexico. This is Turtle Beach on Siesta Key. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants