One of the key attractions to Sarasota County is the 35 miles of barrier islands that lure beachgoers with wide, white beaches and majestic sunsets. In fact, Siesta Key was voted the No.1 beach in the United States in 2011 by “Dr. Beach” (a.k.a coastal scientist Stephan Leatherman) because of its fine quartz sand characterized by a brilliant white color and soft powdery feel.
|Inside the courtyard of the Ringling Museum of Art.|
|Gallery with paintings by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (c. 1625).|
|One of the many freshwater streams and lakes to paddle in.|
|At Myakka State Park you can rent canoes, kayaks and bikes.|
|Foggy Christmas morning hike.|
|The showy flowers of the orchid are more than just pretty to look at...they serve the important|
role of attracting pollinators.
|The Conservatory at the Marie Selby Gardens is full of flowering plants which are constantly being rotated.|
|St. Armands Circle - the place for trendy shops, great restaurants, and where to be "seen."|
|Spirit making friends.|
|Spirit is somewhere in this mix|
|Typical lab loving the water.|
If you are still looking for activities, take an afternoon and tour the Mote Aquarium and Save Our Seabirds, Inc. Rehabilitation facility located on City Island near Longboat Key. Mote is well known for their marine research and has been leading shark research since 19… I first heard of Save Our Seabirds (a non-profit agency dedicated to rehabilitating and releasing injured birds) while working on a brown pelican banding project in Louisiana with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. A few of our birds wound up at their facility for various reasons including being tangled in fishing gear, broken body parts, and being oiled.
Before leaving the area, we felt the obligation to visit a citrus grove. At Mixon Fruit Farm we sampled tangelos, tangerines, pink grapefruit, honeybell, and various other citrus. The highlight was definitely the orange swirl ice cream but we couldn’t resist buying some fresh squeezed orange juice for our New Year’s Day mimosas.
|Mixon Fruit Farms sorts their citrus in three categories based on how it looks - the "good," "bad," and the "ugly."|
Only the "good" is sold to the public the rest is used for juice and cow feed.
|One of my favorites kumquats. You pop the whole thing in your mouth, peel and all.|
|Mixon Fruit Farms offers a free self-guided tour.|
Happy New Year!
|Sarasota National Cemetery.|
|Eye-catching sculpture in dowtown Sarasota.|
|Spirit leading her friend "Ivy" down one of her favorite trails.|
|Despite her long hike, Spirit still had more energy in her.|
|Sorry Ivy, Spirit is not done yet.|
|Finally no more spirit left in Spirit. Thanks to our friend Bonnie for bringing Ivy over and the play|
dates at the dog beach.