I am always surprised at how many people get up before dawn to see the sunrise. For me I think its understandable because I’m taking photos, but a whole bunch of other folks show up at this ungodly hour, park their cars, and walk out on to the pier, takes some of photos and then just turn around and leave. I’m not sure why I find that so interesting, maybe it’s just the realization that there are others doing the exact same thing as me. That’s hard to believe. I’m not really sure what to make of that, I suppose its a good thing.
Another picture from my favorite place. At this spot on Anna Maria Island you can see a sunrise, sit in the beach or watch cruise ships pass under the Skyway Bridge. Its pretty close to perfect and a provokes the frame of mind that allows you to forget about the troubles of the world for a spell. Lord knows they’ll be there when you get back.
Being one of the more popular destinations in the area, Holmes Beach has a big parking lot. But if you walk a little ways north or south you can find all of these hidden paths from quiet residential areas which provide less used access. Unlike the beaches of Miami and Ft Lauderdale, the beaches of Anna Maria Island are laid back. And even more so when you can find your own little path leading to a stretch of beach to call your own.
This is the new Rod and Reel pier. The old one had a small fire and so the insides where refurbished and now reopened. Actually that was several months ago and its now back on our regular stops when on Anna Maria Island. This is a must on any list if you’re visiting the area. It’s a local favorite for good reason, great food and atmosphere that’s hard to beat. As I’m a local I never even look at the menu when I show up here; blackened grouper sandwich and a Corona. About as close as you can get to Margaritaville.
Click on photo to enlarge or obtain print
I’m up north, away from home, and the only white sand is for snow cones. I pulled this shot out of the archives to remind me that, …well, I forgot already. Lets just say that back home in Florida the priorities are a little different and that’s exactly why all these people up here in Connecticut are so productive, there’s really nothing else to do. I’m not advocating one way or the other, just a simple reminder that if you were in Florida you would be sitting on a beach chair doing absolutely nothing. Aren’t you glad you’re not? BTW: This is model Alecia Lou Dorics on a shoot I did on Anna Maria Island a couple months ago for a local tourism magazine.
Click on photo to enlarge
I took this a week or two back at Bean Point which is at the very tip of Anna Maria Island. It’s a remote spot that feels about as tropical as you can get in the lower forty-eight. When I head out here I never know how the light will look so there’s a lot of luck involved. When I was about five minutes from here I saw a big funnel cloud in the overhead cloud layer and when I finally got here a crowd was watching the last remnants of the waterspout. These boys refused to call it a day with their skimboards, waterspout or not, they were squeezing every last moment out of the end of this most awesome day.
Click on photo to obtain print
Here is another picture of Anna Maria Island as taken from a jetty near the public pier. As all the locals know there are two piers, the Rod and Reel pier and the public pier. In my opinion we have a shortage of piers in our area. Piers are magnets for people because we like to get right out into the water without having to work to hard or take a boat. As well the fishing is usually much better from a pier. But then if we don’t build them to last they erode over time and are costly to maintain. All of this is way more than you wanted to know or care about, so let’s just change the subject and enjoy the view. Who knows, you might just see a Manatee swim by.
Click on image to obtain a print
Caught one morning on Anna Maria Island. At the crack of dawn Pelicans are busy. The wake up call from the sun sets these fellas about their business, as though they have important jobs to get to, …like sitting on a pole. I’m not great at patiently sitting in one spot, but that’s what you need to do to catch stuff, …fish, photos, …etc. For this I stayed only about three minutes in one spot and noticed his intent, or got lucky. The perfect perch for a Pelican to sit and observe the world while waiting for the next meal to swim by, or photographer, whichever comes first.
Click on photo to obtain print.
This Heron walked in front of my camera as I was composing this shot, hello! It’s funny because years ago when I lived in Ontario Canada we use to go up to what’s known as “cottage country” in the summer. And once in a long while you’d see a Heron like this, but usually from across the lake. It was a big deal, you didn’t forget. Now that I live way south of the 47th parallel, I see them all the time, up close and personal. And heaven forbid you have fish or something they want. I wonder if they have two personalities, a shy one for when they’re up north and a bold one for when they’re in Florida.
Wherever you go in Florida you’ll find people throwing nets. It may look easy but it takes some practice. My neighbor purchased one and so we stood on his lawn trying to learn the technique which I can only describe as a combination of lassoing and shot put. And since I’ve done neither the result were a little amusing. A couple years ago I watched a guy throw a net into a local lake and pull out several redfish, he had a cooler full of them which he sold to local restaurants. Anyway, I took this picture a couple weeks ago and this is just one of dozens of casts this fellow made. It looked like hard work with all the gathering and throwing, and if he wasn’t quick to pick up the fish the birds were happy to oblige. Quite the commotion indeed.