52 week's of Marie's Life

52 weeks captured through photos


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43. Single Tree (Week 16)

 “To climb a tree is for a child to discover a new world.”  Froebel

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One of Sarasota’s best kept secrets is the “living” museum at the John Ringling Museum.  The John Ringling Museum of Art and Ca d ’Zan (the home he built for his wife on Sarasota Bay) is the legacy that John and Mable Ringling left behind, but among the 66-acre garden of exotic trees and plants at the estate,  are 14 Banyan trees which is the largest collection in Florida.  Banyan trees represent some of the world’s largest tree girths and the unique growth pattern of their aerial roots and support trunks can cause them to cover an acre of ground in less that a century.  I am not certain if the banyan I have pictured here is one or more!

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We stumbled on this on a Monday visit to the museum and found that there is a wonderful children’s playground and picnic area that had been built just a few years ago  for the children of Sarasota to enjoy for free.  And aside from the man-made playground, the children enjoy climbing in the trees nearby, as well.

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The Ringling Banyan was cited in the Millennium Landmark Tree Project.  The following text about the project is from the America the Beautiful Fund Website:

“America the Beautiful Fund initiated the Millennium Landmark Tree project in the year 2000, with the goal of designating one historic tree in each of the 50 states for preservation in the new Millennium.

This program was supported by a grant from the US Forest Service as part of the White House Millennium Green Initiative. Individuals and their communities were encouraged to seek out the history of the trees in their area, and send a letter describing the type of tree they would like to nominate as well as any historical information pertaining to the tree.

The program was extremely successful in awakening public interest in preserving and protecting these Landmark Trees, which have stood witness to the historic growth of our country.

The Banyan Tree at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, Florida was honored at the National Arbor Day Celebration on April 2000. The tree was given as a gift from Thomas Edison to Harvey Firestone, who gave it to John and Mable Ringling for their Florida garden to see if rubber could be produced in America.”


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34. OMG (Week 6)

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.”  ~ Anonymous ~

Two-way traffic had shifted to the south side of the street as the Bee Ridge Road widening project has been underway.  The project began July 2014 and expects to be completed in 2016.  This fire hydrant on the south side is a clue (OMG) on how much dirt must be brought in to raise up this side of the road to match the nearly finished north side.  It appears that the road shift for traffic to the north side will be in September – right around the corner (pun intended!)

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44. Someone Working (Week 52)

“Government is the people’s business and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid.”  ~ Ronald Reagan ~

“Our tax dollars at work” is evident in Sarasota.  Revenue from a penny surtax approved by voters in 2007 has enabled Sarasota County to complete capital improvement projects without raising property taxes.  This sales tax is collected from year-round residents, seasonal residents, and tourists.

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The infrastructure tax  is a one-cent sales tax that funds many capital improvement projects for Sarasota County to make it a better place to live, work, and visit.  Aside from road improvements, past projects have included street tree landscaping, the new North Port Police station, North Port High School, new fire stations, bike trails, waterway improvements, and improvements to the Venice pier parking lot.
The penny was first approved by voters in 1989.  An extension was approved by voters in 1999.  In 2007 Sarasota County voters were swayed again to approve a 15-year renewal of the 1 percent sales tax.  Sarasota County Commissioners agreed to dedicate 50% of the revenues for transportation projects.
I took this photo from my car east of I-75 on Bee Ridge Road in Sarasota.  The purpose of the Bee Ridge Road Project is to widen the road from two lanes to four.  The project includes sidewalks, bike trails, street lighting, landscaped medians, and four roundabouts.
This is in my neighborhood, so I am having to endure the trials of road construction now as I travel to and from work five days a week.  And should I mention that I travel north on I-75 to University Parkway each day to get to work?  Locals know that the I-75 / University Parkway Interchange Road Project is to begin August 3rd.  Oh joy!


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43. Solitary (Week 51)

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” ~ Chinese Proverb ~

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My husband Greg’s favorite thing to do is to go fishing. This can be a solitary sport. As for me, when I go with him, I read while he fishes. To each his own solitude!

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48. Sun Flare (Week 47)

“Your husband called – He said buy anything you want.”  ~ amusing sign I’ve found in dressing rooms ~

Gazing up through the skylight in The Mall at University Town Center, I was lucky to catch this sun flare for my blog.

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