'Tis the season in Sarasota — well, almost.
The signs that the snowbirds have started their southern flight into the region are beginning to surface on Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key and in downtown Sarasota. Traffic is starting to get tense and the lights are coming on in the windows of condominium complexes.
Here are five signs that season is starting in Sarasota:
+ Car carriers return to Longboat Key
Part-time Longboat Key residents aren't keen on racking up mileage on their sedans during a drive from up north. So when the hulking vehicle transportation trucks start to share the roadway on Gulf of Mexico Drive, you know season is around the corner.
+ People start talking about "the weather"
According to weather.com, it was in the low 70s this morning in Sarasota County. To people in most other states this is mild or even hot weather. But, to Sarasotans it means two things: Time to break out the cardigan and strike up random conversations about this "cool weather," and that season will soon begin in Sarasota.
+ Neighborhood association meeting attendance swells
Season means part-time residents return to Sarasota, which means neighborhood association meetings get more interesting. It can sometimes be difficult for organizations to reach a quorom during the summer, but when the weather gets cooler, neighborhood association meetings heat up.
+ Traffic gets tense
The flow of vehicles on the stretch of Fruitville Road from U.S. 301 to U.S. 41 is slow enough during the off-season. But, throwing part-time residents and tourists into the mix turns the roadway into a proverbial gauntlet for those trying to reach Lido Beach, St. Armands Circle or Mote Marine Laboratory.
+ Lawnmowers galore
The horde of lawn-maintenance equipment hits the street just before the beginning of season in many of the upscale neighborhoods where snowbirds reside. Lawn companies catching up on summer maintenance in anticipation of the arrival of part-time residents means loud weekends, and streets dottde with trailers.