Volume 2 Issue 5 | May 2022

As a Home Watch provider, we want each of your return trips to Sarasota to feel as refreshing as the first. Our "Piece of Paradise" newsletters provide a brief glimpse into Florida homeownership, followed by a featured activity for your next visit.

Homeowner Insight

This weekend we had a bit of excitement at our garage door: a small snake with black, red, and yellow rings! But uh-oh... Floridians beware that those colors on a snake might indicate trouble. The rings could belong to either the Harlequin Coralsnake or the Scarlet Kingsnake. The first is notoriously venomous; the second is harmless.

There is a very old rhyme (with many variations) to help humans distinguish between the two snakes: "Red next to yellow will kill a fellow; red next to black is a friend of Jack." 

We've never found this rhyme particularly helpful, because it requires remembering the order of the colors and whether it's the fellow or Jack who meets an untimely end. Here's a different rhyme: These words will help a Florida fellow who sees a snake of red, black, yellow: Scarlet Kingsnake, scarlet nose, gentle as a wild red rose. Harlequin Coralsnake, nose of black, harmful venom, take steps back. Of course, regardless of which snake it is, your best plan of action is to let the snake be! Neither attacks unless provoked.

Harlequin Coralsnake.jpg
Scarlet Kingsnake.jpg

May Piece Of Paradise

Quick Point Nature Preserve


A quiet stroll into the park was reminiscent of a bridal march through freshly tossed rose petals. Very poetic!

We've recently welcomed a number of new clients from south Longboat Key (thank you for your business, Tangerine Bay Club!). Since this is outside our typical service zone, it seemed fitting this month to do a little adventuring in their neck of the woods . Of course Longboat Key is known for its beautiful white sand beaches (Whitney Beach is a public beach at the north end of the island) and delicious restaurants (Maison Blanche and Euphemia Haye are the top LBK fine dining restaurants on Trip Advisor). This Mother's Day though, six days out from a surprise appendectomy and looking for a peaceful morning, didn't seem the appropriate occasion for either.

Instead our Longboat Key adventure took us to a small, quiet park at the very southern tip of the island. Quick Point Nature Preserve offered easy trails and stunning views - starting with a shaded walk through fallen sea grape leaves.


The shaded trail gently curves into a beautiful seascape.

From the entrance the Quick Point Trail turns to the north and offers serene but stunning views through several ecosystems.


A short segment of beach leads to mangrove boardwalks and lagoon overlooks.

The trail surface varies between soft sand, packed sand, and raised boardwalk. There are several benches and rails for peaceful reflection throughout the preserve. The Quick Point Trail ends with a small fishing pier; there-and-back is a relaxed 30-minute walk. Continuing past the trailhead in the opposite direction will take visitors to Overlook Park, which offers expansive bay views and much more fishing space. Overall, Quick Point Preserve is a tranquil retreat filled with beautiful views and just enough space to explore on a spring morning.


Fishing can be done under the bridge or on the bank near the parking spaces at adjacent Overlook Park.

Nearby Consideration

The raised boardwalk leads to a small overlook of the bay.

Continuing in the spirit of a meditative morning on the water, we made our first visit to St. Mary Star of the Sea church on Longboat Key. Their website drew us in with descriptions of locally-crafted iron work and a gigantic mural, which serves as a backdrop to the altar. The stained glass pieces are truly a sight to behold, with (scripture?) quotes worked into the glass patterns.

Even if not attending for a ceremony or an indoor experience, the grounds contain more unique features. There is a boardwalk through the coastal ecosystem, accompanied by unobtrusive Stations of the Cross placards alongside the path. The boardwalk ends on a bay deck that's furnished with two observation benches. Fish were very active in the water surrounding the deck.

A large, geometric memorial garden lies near the entrance to the boardwalk. It's a garden unlike any others we have seen in Sarasota - far less floral than Mable Ringling's rose garden, but just as impactful.


Simple plantings of Mondo grass, arranged in neat rows throughout long rectangular blocks, draw the eyes to a centerpiece fountain in the Memorial Garden.

Learn more about our Home Watch services, Florida homeownership, and activity ideas in and around the Sarasota area on the Coastal Haven website.
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