Most people leave the beach at the end of the day. That’s when the second shift starts and all the sunset watchers show up.
That’s good for me because I’ll be driving against the traffic to get to the beach on time. If you’re one of the three people reading my blog, you know I’m a procrastinator. So, even though the traffic is going the other way, more often than not I am rushing to get there before the sun goes down.
After I finish taking photos, I still get stuck in the traffic leaving the beach. That’s no problem though, being stuck in traffic with the beach on one side and no place to be is a dream. I roll down the windows and inch along. I could do that all day.
Cortez is one of the last fishing villages on the east coast of the United States. That would mean these pelicans picked the perfect place to live.
We came for the annual fish festival and left stuffed to the gills. They had every kind of fish dish you can imagine, and then some.
Fishing vessels were docked alongside the processing plant, and I captured these fellas preening themselves, oblivious to all the commotion around them. Sea birds in Florida coexist with fishing and are not afraid of humans at all.
Anyway, this reminded me that I need to come back to Cortez on a regular workday to see everything in action. It’s one of the first places I came with the new Sony camera about five years ago, and I always find something interesting to shoot here. And, as one of the last villages of it’s kind, it is a little bit of history.
To took this picture as I stood over a canal to the intercostal waterway. I was in the village of Cortez where there are many little outdoor restaurants by the water. Its one of my favorite places to come for an authentic Florida experience.
This bridge is one of two that cross over to Anna Maria Island. Both are draw bridges and each time I cross I secretly hope to get stuck. The draw bridge takes five or ten minutes to operate and during that time you turn off the engine and watch the sailboats, dolphins and fishermen.
As I write this we are in peak tourist season. Its spring break and people are here to enjoy the weather and beaches. Because I’m a resident I don’t always keep track of these things. But as soon as I walk into a restaurant or try to drive somewhere it becomes apparent.
As well it is also spring training season for baseball. We have a perfect storm of sun seekers and sports fans. It’s fun to see and good for the local economy. Merchants look forward to this all year. I’m pretty relaxed about it all and as I said, even look forward to getting stuck on one of the many bridges.
Not that I should need an excuse, but traffic over a bridge is one way to slow down, enjoy the sights and imagine what its like to be a visitor on spring break.
The town of Cortez in Florida is one of the last remaining fishing villages left on the East coast of the United States. We come here to a dockside restaurant call Star Fish Market to have some fish and enjoy scenery and village atmosphere. It’s also a magnet for seabirds that feed off the scraps from the fishing boats. Right now the restaurant is in summer shutdown which lasts a few weeks. Hopefully the fishermen are still working or these birds will have to find another place to get their scraps.
Every year in Cortez we have a fish festival and so we went to get some fresh fish and hear good music. Cortez is one of the last remaining fishing villages in on the east coast. It’s full of character and, um, pelicans. Pelicans hang around for the scraps left by the hauls as they come in. This one is so used to people that he wouldn’t move even when this boy sat down next to him. I think since the boy didn’t offer him scraps he was just doing his best to ignore him.
One evening a couple of weeks back I walked through the commercial fishing docks at Cortez. Early evening the place is deserted, so it was a little strange walking in and amongst empty docs. The engines on this boat were idling and I suspect the occupants still sleeping before heading out for the evening run. When I drive over the draw bridges to Anna Maria Island in the morning I’ll often see these same boats returning to port to unload the catch. Work all night, sleep all day.
This is one of the marinas in Cortez Florida. Cortez is one also one of the last remaining commercial fishing villages, in fact there was a PBS documentary done here recently. Somehow Cortez seems exempt from the pace of the world as things grow modern around it. I suppose the ways of the sea don’t change much and so the sensibilities of this village reflect a longer view than most of us are accustomed to. This was shot a few months ago but I came back here last night to shoot the commercial docs and see what I could see. Of course, not much had changed.
Time passes differently for different people. In a slow world our time seems to stream past, like this picture. That’s why they made Florida, it’a a place where time goes a little slower. I think they made Maui that way also, but I digress. When you see one of those cute little signs that say’s “slow down, you’re on Florida time”, don’t laugh, the fabric of space time is indeed a little different and you need to slow down. If you don’t understand any of this you’re long overdue for a vacation. And if you do understand it, then perhaps you’ve been in Florida too long. In case you’re wondering, this is a picture of the Cortez bridge in Manatee County Florida taken from the perspective of a time warp. 😉
Cortez, Manatee County, Florida. Grab a chair and a drink and sit here and watch the sunset. You’ll no longer be stressed and the normal world will seem far away. Just so you know, I’ve tried it and it works. The things I put myself through in the name of photography.
Cortez is a little gem of a fishing village in central Florida. Because it’s on the way to the beach thousands of people drive by it every day and never stop. There are several fish markets tucked away which we like stopping into every now and then to pick up fresh catch. There are tree lined streets with quaint houses as well as a little trailer park where winter residents (aka snowbirds) love to come and escape the harsh winters up north. On the evening I took this several of the snowbirds where lined up in lawn chairs with their cocktails along the water to watch the sunset. It lasted for about 30 minutes and as soon as the colors faded they stood up and headed back to their homes. However I noticed they left their chairs behind so it seems to me they must repeat that ritual each evening. If I ever retire, I might just get a trailer down the road from my house and live the life of a snowbird in the little fishing village of Cortez Florida.