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2310 Gulf Drive North, #206, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
2310 Gulf Drive North, #206, Bradenton Beach, Florida 34217
Beauty and the Beach!... Delightful, Direct Gulf Front, 2 bedroom/1 bathroom corner condo on beau...
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Key Royale Boat Dock, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
Key Royale Boat Dock, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
SOLD: Here is a great opportunity to own a rarely available 16' wide boat slip on a Key ...
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8027 Marina Isles Lane, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
8027 Marina Isles Lane, Holmes Beach, Florida 34217
SOLD: Dolphin Watch . . . an exclusive and serenely private, luxury, bay front residence of ...
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907 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
907 North Shore Drive, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
SOLD: Old Florida charm opens to big, beautiful, bay views from this 3 bedroom / 3 bathroom ...
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6 Lakeview Place, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
6 Lakeview Place, Anna Maria, Florida 34216
Tucked away on a quiet cove off Lake La Vista in the village of Anna Maria is this magnificently ...
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Litten Book Features Anna Maria Island Photography

Holmes Beach photographer Craig Litten has published a book of photos on Anna Maria Island subjects, including this banyan tree PHOTOS/CRAIG LITTEN

Holmes Beach photographer Craig Litten has published a book of photos on Anna Maria Island subjects, including this banyan tree PHOTOS/CRAIG LITTEN

Cindy Lane – Sun Staff Writer
July 7, 2010

HOLMES BEACH – Former photojournalist Craig Litten has published a book of photographs of Anna Maria Island focusing on the lesser-known angles of the much–photographed destination.

Artistic renderings of tree roots, power lines, clouds and beach toys add seasoning to familiar beach locales in the hardcover book, available from the author.

The book has been used by two bridal couples as a guest book for their Island weddings, said Litten, a Holmes Beach resident who has photos on display at The Back Alley on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach and at Ginny and Jane E’s in Anna Maria.

“I started shooting it because I was inspired by the Island,” said Litten, who relocated here with his wife from Daytona Beach, where he worked for the News-Journal.

A Florida newspaper photographer since 1988, Litten estimates he has had more than 10,000 pictures published worldwide in newspapers, magazines, books and on the Internet.

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Sunsets – An Anna Maria Island Ritual

Sun Setting Through the Pine Trees Just South of the Sandbar Restaurant

Sun Setting Through the Pine Trees Just South of the Sandbar Restaurant

It only takes about three minutes for the sun to disappear after it touches the horizon, but perhaps nowhere on the planet is that time celebrated with more passion than Anna Maria Island.
Watching the sunset is a cherished ritual on this sleepy barrier island, about 20 miles west of Bradenton in Manatee County. Visitors and locals alike gather on the beaches to savor the dimming of the day, an ordinary event extraordinary enough to inspire spontaneous applause.

“In Anna Maria, the sunset is a celebration,” says Kathy Wooten, manager of the Queen’s Gate Resort, one of the many mom-and-pop hotels that dot the three towns — Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Anna Maria — on the seven-mile slip of island. “If you come here, it’s the one thing you have to do.”

Clapping is optional, of course.

It always seems to happen, though, whether on a secluded stretch of sand or at the iconic Sandbar restaurant on the north end of Anna Maria. In this spot, diners have gathered to watch the ritual since 1913, when a restaurant known as “The Pavilion” entertained guests who could only reach the island by boat.

Nowadays, the Sandbar features dining either indoors or on an outdoor deck with some of the tables perched on the sand itself. Employees and patrons alike stop to watch the show on the horizon, which is acknowledged by the ringing of a bell — and applause, of course.

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It always seems to happen, though, whether on a secluded stretch of sand or at the iconic Sandbar restaurant on the north end of Anna Maria. In this spot, diners have gathered to watch the ritual since 1913, when a restaurant known as “The Pavilion” entertained guests who could only reach the island by boat.
Nowadays, the Sandbar features dining either indoors or on an outdoor deck with some of the tables perched on the sand itself. Employees and patrons alike stop to watch the show on the horizon, which is acknowledged by the ringing of a bell — and applause, of course.

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2010 Anna Maria Island Calendar by Jack Elka

Jack Elka is a master of beach photography and has maintained a studio on beautiful Anna Maria Island for three decades serving clients worldwide.

Jack Elka

Jack Elka

With a film background, Jack’s experience and thorough knowledge of light, timing, posing and a sense of style and composition all combine to create classic beach portraits, wedding and commercial photography.

Each of the following 2010 Calendar photos are available as enlargements suitable for framing to decorate your home or office.

For more information or to purchase a calendar, call 941-778-2711 or go to http://www.annamariacalendar.com/

Please Click on any photo to enlarge.


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Locals Gather for Annual Christmas Bird Count

Anna Maria Island is known as a bird sanctuary and is home to several rare nesting shore birds. The 2009 Manatee Audubon Christmas Bird Count made history, hitting the 100 species mark for the first time, with 13 more species identified than the record-breaking 87 species identified in 2008.
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Great blue herons are among the birds counted during Audubon’s 110th Christmas Bird Count last week.

Great blue herons are among the birds counted during Audubon’s 110th Christmas Bird Count last week.

BRADENTON BEACH – Something small and fragile is making noise in the mangrove bushes on Leffis Key as John Ginaven walks by, followed by a binocular brigade.

Coming to a silent stop like troops on patrol, they wait, listening and watching.

Ginaven makes the same noise they’ve been hearing, called “pishing.”

There it is again.

They whisper and point.

“Don’t point,” one whispers. “It scares them.”
Cameras are raised. Binoculars are focused.

The bird moves and the jig is up. Whispering turns into excited chatter, as David Williamson flips open a bird identification book to narrow the choices.

Can you see its belly? Is it yellow? How many bands are on its flank? Are there white circles around the eyes?

Is it a male or a female?

“Are you kidding?” one new birder asks in disbelief, unaware that colors alone can give away the answer

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MYAKKA — Sprawling Myakka River State Park on Monday will host the first of four Christmas bird counts slated for Manatee and Sarasota counties this month and early next month.
Those taking part in the 110th annual Christmas Bird Count are among tens of thousands of volunteers from Alaska to Antartica who will spend part of their holiday season in the wild counting birds, according to Delta Willis, senior communications manager for the National Audubon Society, based in New York City.
The wildlife census here starts Monday and continues through Jan. 2, officials said. The number of volunteers signed up for the Bradenton area bird count, slated for Dec. 19, is up 20 percent this year, to about 55, said David Williamson, Christmas Bird Count coordinator for Manatee County Audubon SocietyMYAKKA — Sprawling Myakka River State Park on Monday will host the first of four Christmas bird counts slated for Manatee and Sarasota counties this month and early next month.
Those taking part in the 110th annual Christmas Bird Count are among tens of thousands of volunteers from Alaska to Antartica who will spend part of their holiday season in the wild counting birds, according to Delta Willis, senior communications manager for the National Audubon Society, based in New York City.
The wildlife census here starts Monday and continues through Jan. 2, officials said. The number of volunteers signed up for the Bradenton area bird count, slated for Dec. 19, is up 20 percent this year, to about 55, said David Williamson, Christmas Bird Count coordinator for Manatee County Audubon Society.

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BeachBlast – 2009

Kids from around the area competed in BeachBlast 2009.  The event was held on November 21 near the Beach House Restaurant in Bradenton Beach.  The 18 teams started molding sand at 9 AM and were finished by 1 PM.  Keep Manatee Beautiful organized the competition, which is a benefit for the anti-litter organization.

Click on any photo to enlarge.


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Miscellaneous Anna Maria/Longboat Key Photos


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