After living here for ten years, I’ve come to recognize certain sounds that are common on Anna Maria Island, but might not be easily recognized by a visitor.
For those who live in canal-front homes, the sound of a boatlift in operation becomes familiar. Yet it is a haunting and penetrating sound at times, suggesting the wail of a supernatural creature. Although the boatlift sound is the product of a purely mechanical movement, it has come to be one more of the many voices that are raised during everyday life along a canal.
Another canal voice is that of the startled night heron. Often these reclusive birds fish at the base of a canal seawall, where they are not noticed by anyone on the property above. But if you happen to walk close to the where the night heron stands, below, it is likely to suddenly squawk a very loud and distressing call, as it quickly flies away, startling you more than you startled it.