Calm waters of a canal reflecting palms and boats.

Anna Maria City and Holmes Beach

Anna Maria has many canals cutting deeply into the island. Many people who live here love to take their boats out to fish or just for amusement on the water. Water of course is all around us and never but a few steps away, either a canal, the Intercoastal Waterway or the Gulf of Mexico.

Most boats around here are of the smaller variety, nothing too fancy or big. There is a Marina here where the larger boats are stored for people who are not living on a canal or are altogether not living here on the island. Boats always give a nice feel of freedom to me. Just looking at one makes me think of the wide open sea.

Boats are a given part of life here.

Docks Are Hidden In The Mangroves

Many boats are docked in a little secret hideaway in the Mangoves that line some of the canals. Some canals have semi natural edges while others are hemmed in with sea walls. Mangoves want their feet in saline water, so the natural edges are more likely to have them growing and hanging over the water. The hideaways are often individualized.

A hidden dock in the mangroves.

Many People Own Or Rent Boats

Sights like the colorful canoes are very common around here, for many tourists spend a few days or weeks here and like to enjoy this sport paddling in the canals or the Intercoastal Waterway. The Gulf is often too rough to be a safe place to take a little boat like that for a person without experience. A stack of boats like that always make me smile, they have such a happy look.

Canoes are everywhere.

Ever Present Reflections In The Waters

Since there is so much water, reflections go hand in hand with it. I love this particular one. The “Hump Back Bridge” viewed from the canal that runs behind the park adjacent to the Historical Roser Cottage and our fun jail. Even on a hot day the canal under the bridge seems cool and inviting. Very few people ever swim in the canals, they are not really suitable for that, but the feeling is still there.

Reflection of the Hump Back Bridge into the canal.

Enjoying The Small Gifts Of Nature

One Winter day, when the golden leaves of the Sea Grape that often line the sea walls of a canal, reflected just so into the water of it, this yellow fish came swimming along. I do not know its name, it just looked so perfectly camouflaged finning through the ripples it created. One of those delightful moments that I will remember. It was a cold day but bright and sunny. Had Neptune sent this little messenger to make my day a happy one? I watched it a while and then it was gone. It waved its fin above the water to say good bye and I waved back.

A fish hides in the shadow and reflection of a sea grape.
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