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Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists Workshop
Sandra Baker-Hinton
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040,  904-557-1195 cell
http://www.sandrabaker-hinton.com
http://www.ameliasanjongallery.com
Amelia Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)
 
New note cards of the turtles and birds, some never before printed, are in now
with more to come in the next few days.
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 This lovely pink grass is called Mulhey Grass so my memory was not too far off base
at least it started with a mul...only missed it by three letters so I was "half right".

This time of the year I always wish I had planted more ornamental grasses in my yard. 
 Miss Shelly has been an object of concern this week after she came to me limping, climbing down the
tree holding up her right front paw telling me she had a boo boo.
 

That is probably why I found her in her nest midday the day before.  She seems to be able to navigate
all right in the trees and holds her food with the back part of that paw.  Her arm seems OK and no visible
wounds but still I know that any sign of weakness in a wild animal leaves them more vulnerable.  I
did not see her yesterday until about 6 pm.  I was out in the yard calling for her when if felt this brushing
against my ankle.  I looked down and she was putting her paws up on my leg as if to ask if it was
OK to climb on up which she did.  I have been trying to make sure she is getting lots of easy food and
water while she mends. Here she sits in he nest eating nuts fed through the doorway.
 

My back yard is also home to this beautiful Bird of Paradise.  These have to be one of the prettiest blooms
in existence.  Since it is not very visible, hidden away in my Black Snake wilderness area in front of a South
facing wall, I have to remember to check for it once in a while to catch it in bloom.  This time I was extremely
lucky. One of the joys of winter here is having things blooming all winter.  My poinsettia's bloom about the
time Santa sails across the sky.
 

This was the last week of Turtle Patrol.  To my relief there was a note on the chalk board
Monday morning informing me that Nest #24, the last nest on the island had hatched on Sunday
morning, about 6 days late.   A week of last sunrises.
 

Rangers had been alerted to hatchlings on the beach about 11:30am on a cold Sunday morning.
For some reason many of the turtles had gone for a bright white patch of sand behind the nest instead
of toward the beach.  They were rescued and taken back toward the water.
 

On Monday morning with long pants and a jacket and for once giving thanks for the too hot motor of
 my beach buggy I head out to check the nest and see if any more had emerged.  With the tide too high
to ride the buggy I drive to the pier location of the nest and walk.  I found 1 set of fresh tracks.  I followed
them around the dunes trying to figure out which way they were going when suddenly I looked down and
there he was, so cold he was in slow motion mode.   
 

I was able to give him time to warm back to a temperature that allowed him to resume normal
speed.  By then the tide was going out making it easier for the swim out to sea.  He was still
disoriented with the higher sun and kept wanting to head backwards away from the water. 
 

As the water washed over him a few times his color really came to life.  After several tumbles
and still insisting on heading away from the water I took him out beyond the low river beach waves and
this time he did not return.  The water is still warm and he was large and healthy so here's crossing
our fingers that our very last hatchling on Amelia Island will live a long and productive life...
 

I stopped by Adrian's subdivision pond in back of the Rec. Center to see their resident
Alligator sunning on the bank.  The gator attracts a bit of attention from passers by as he sunbathes. 
We just hope come this next weekend with the Florida/Georgia football game Mr. Gator is left alone.
 

Behind this pond is another that is not visible from the road and in it there was an unpleasant
surprise when we went to investigate the large number of Buzzards mixed in with the Woodstorks
 (this one a juvenile) and other marsh birds.  We were greeted with a large fish kill of what was probably
fresh water Bass. 
 

These White Ibis seem to be deciding against getting in that stinky mess.  Sometimes a pond becomes
over stocked with fish especially if it is not fished enough to keep the numbers in balance and with hot
weather the oxygen becomes depleted resulting in such a die off.  Let's hope that it the reason
and not due to something man has intentionally or accidentally done to poison the water.  Let's get
those kids out and let them catch some fish, better to put food on the table than let them die from
overcrowding.
 

And now the last beach ride.  Wednesday was the day to excavate the last nest.  I savor each
bit of the ride.  It had warmed up enough that forgetting my sweater was not dire.  Good old hot buggy
motor sufficed to keep the chill away.  A shrimpboat and I head down the beach together.
 

New driftwood was on the beach from the waves the cold front had pushed onto shore.
 

Lots of the Black Skimmers were hanging out as one of the late blooming Royal Tern teenagers is still
begging its complacent mother for just one more feeding, pleeaaaassseee.
 

The oversized Herring Gull hangs out with its more normal sized gull friends.
 

I leisurely enjoyed the beautiful quiet beach with gorgeous wave action left over from the cold winds
of Sunday.
 

The bright sunlight lit the waves through the crest giving lovely colors and a great study in how to
paint a wave frozen in time just for the artist to study.  Like a surfer I am searching for "the perfect
wave."
 

The Shrimpboat which had started my morning had now moved to the other side of the jetty.  It was
a fitting end for me to have the time to really enjoy the day...with an unexpected day off from the gallery
...so no need to hurry.
 

The way back I enjoyed another new piece of driftwood.  Can you imagine the impact of hitting
something like this submerged and drifting in the river if you were in a sea going vessel?
 

Back in town life goes on its normal course with Fernandina Beach High School celebrating
homecoming with a parade and a winning football game later in the evening.
 

I ended the week at the marsh across the island from where I live.  What started out to be a rather
ordinary ho-hum sunset suddenly changed into a glorious explosion of the sun's rays.  We sat and
spent time chatting with friends until...
 

...darkness fell with just a crescent moon to wash the shadowy river and marsh in silver 
as we wearily made our way home to end a rather spectacular week. 
 
Congratulations to our newest island residents my fishing buddies, desert rats Fran and Jeff, who have found 
themselves a new home.  Could be Christmas in new digs.
 
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