Category Archives: Nature!

The Natural World on AMI

It’s for the birds

If you have not yet seen this month’s issue of National Geographic Magazine, it’s January, 2018 The Year of the Birds. If you’ve ever wondered how much birds mean to us here on earth, this is a good place to start finding out.

Least terns nest on AMI sands. They are tiny, but mighty,

One of the things I like to do is participate in the Audubon Society’s annual Christmas Bird Counts, in Sarasota, Bradenton, and as leader of a small part of the Fort DeSoto count which encompasses the north end of Anna Maria Island. I have even gone so far as San Blas, Mexico, to do a CBC. But that’s ancient history.

And all in all, it’s a bit of citizen science, as records go back more than 100 years. And the data shows that many bird species are in trouble. Here’s an article from the Island Sun that you might find interesting about the most recent CBC here on AMI.


Storm Notes on Hermine

Well, we had lots and lots of rain even before Hermine got named. At my house, we figure somewhere between 8-10 inches early in the week.

Then the depression turned north in the Gulf, and became a tropical storm, and finally, a hurricane. Feeder bands came through, with wind gusts up to about 40 miles per hour. More rain. And a lunar tide much higher than usual. Augmented by a southerly wind that blew lots of water up into the canals and the bays.

All in all, not too bad. Sorta reminiscent of Hurricane Elena, which sat offshore in the Gulf for three days over Labor Day, 1985.

Saving the Coastline Up for Discussion






It’s not enough to talk the talk about environmental concerns, so making actual strides toward saving what is an important ecosystem, in fact, one that deeply affects the quality of life on Anna Maria Island is extremely important.

Mangroves are important. The beach and water-face, where waves meet sand, is important. Storm water runoff is important.

But governmental forces seem more closely allied with the developers than with the people. And the people have spoken that they want our quality of life — based in large part on our natural environment — to be the highest it can be.

Here’s an article announcing a meeting with Suncoast Waterkeeper coming soon to AMI.


Sunray Clams Are the Next Big thing

When I first lived on Anna Maria Island back in the early 1980s, we could walk out off the north end into Tampa Bay and in shallow water harvest sunray clams. Sweet, salty and delicious, they beat all the hard clams, like quahogs, cherrystones and little necks, hands down.

But then, as with most things natural, under the pressure of growth and development, they pretty much disappeared.

Now, they’re being grown for harvest, and the news looks good. Here’s a story from Tampa Bay times that has the details:


“Stop Cutting Mangroves!”


It’s just like the sixties all over again! People out protesting against injustice, and making their opinions heard.

It’s especially true of the environmentalists who believe that developers are killing mangroves which keep our shorelines pristine and resistant to erosion, as well as nurseries for marine life. ¬†Manatee County is among the few in Florida that have not wholly succumbed to the developers’ lures.

Here’s the story: CLICK HERE