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Responsible Safe Sensible

6 Mar

Signs have proliferated on Anna Maria Island to the point of being eyesores. With so much distraction by sign clutter we naturally filter out the noise of modern living’s message bombardment, so much so that the signal is lost as well. Have we become blind to signs, don’t understand them, or intentionally ignore them?

Recent attempts to sign away problems of congestion have been ineffective: an uncomfortable speed bump installed on Key Royal Drive has been removed; stop signs in the middle of the road at crosswalks confuse drivers and have been run down; a 4-way stop at Magnolia Ave is ignored and caused more traffic backups; parking restrictions are ignored and not enforced.

No matter how much information is conveyed by signage the messages are not getting through. Repeating the same action and expecting a different result is, well, idiotic. Imagine if there were no signs at all. Do you think people would wonder what is the appropriate and responsible action? When signs say what you are not permitted to do, everything else must be OK, whether or not it is considerate or irresponsible.

A universal sign worth remembering is “Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to yourself”. It applies to excessive speed, parking, littering, noise and interactions. And it hasn’t changed in thousands of years.


Cool Day At The Holmes Beach

29 Mar

Beachgoers braced against the cold 55℉ air and northerly winds from a late winter front that passed through the area.

Record low highs were noted in many parts of Florida state in the last few days when normally visitors can expect warm weather.

Winter Evening Sunbeams

19 Jan
After a warm week in the 80’s, a cold front, which left many northern states under snow and bitterly cold temperatures, came far enough south to bring temperatures down to the 50’s with 15-20 knot winds to Anna Maria Island. One day later the wind has dropped and temperatures are back to 70’s. Was that winter?

Live beach and pier cams, weather and surf forecasts, can be found at


Anna Maria Demolition

29 Nov
Old Florida, Anna Maria Island style, is disappearing one house at a time.
Any home with living space on the ground level was built prior to 1975 after which FEMA demanded that living space must be above the 100-year flood plane (about 9 feet above sea level).
Some houses can be expanded from their original size as long as improvements are less than 50% of its improved value. For small original structures that makes it difficult to modernise, rent, and resell older designs.
A local height limitation of about 34 feet means all living space must be squeezed into the remaining 25 vertical feet, including the roof height. For the typical lot size on Anna Maria Island that means building 2 levels on a footprint pushed out to the 10 foot side set-back and 20 foot waterfront set-back in order to maximize floor area. If the lot is not raised with fill, the structure must be elevated on pilings or be non-living walled space with water flow-throughs.
The consequence is that new building creates a box or wedding cake architecture that has awkward access and outdoor spaces. But, if you appreciate a not-so-big house, now is the time to buy an Old Florida home before they are all demolished.

Island Beach Alley

13 Nov
Peppertree alley sunset beach
Public access from the streets to the beaches of Anna Maria Island are intriguing natural pathways or alleys.
The view of the approaching dunes, beach and water are always interesting, especially at sunset.

Hurricane Sandy Sunset

28 Oct

As Hurricane Sandy traveled up the Atlantic coastline, Anna Maria Island beaches on Florida’s west coast were spared any ill-effects and enjoyed refreshing northerly breezes from the storm’s wind field.

Red Sunset

25 Sep

Anna Maria Beach, Florida keys.

Canon f2.8 1/10s

Isaac Aftermath

31 Aug
surfing after Isaac
As Tropical Storm Isaac departed the Florida Gulf Coast and became a hurricane and made landfall in Louisiana, surfers took advantage of residual swells at Holmes Beach White Ave alley. Once the wind subsided the waves cleaned up.
The storm also took care of cleaning up the recent accumulation of seaweed on the shoreline, either washed away or buried in shifting sands.

Watching Tropical Storm Isaac

27 Aug
As Tropical Storm Isaac approached and departed, the wind built from blowing east, offshore, then clocking around to southwest, onshore, and the Gulf of Mexico waters rapidly and dramatically changed over a few hours time.
Fishing-ahead-of-TS-IsaacTS Isaac departsSurf after TS Isaac

Beach Access Alley Ways Anna Maria

11 Aug
The Anna Maria Island public access beach paths at the end of streets provide a variety of natural beauty of their own.
At the Peppertree Lane alley a Smooth Rattlebox, or Smooth Rattle Pod, Crotalaria pallida grows wild.
All parts of the Florida non-native plant from west Africa are poisonous if ingested by animals and contact with the pollen can cause allergic reactions in humans.