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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 (for workshop schedules)
Jan. 31 Deadline approaching for Armand Cabrera Workshop Registration.  Follow this link to
register and to check out all the wonderful workshops scheduled for 2010.  Kevin Beck
and Lana Grow are to follow in March.  Lots of exciting (2 a month for most of next year)
workshops as we "Live and Learn on Amelia Island":
'Second Saturday' is this Saturday 5:30 until 9:00pm.  Bundle up and we will have "beverages"
to warm you. Historic District event in Downtown Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Follow this link to learn about the Wild Amelia Nature Festival, including info on a photography class,
some free seminars, and videos of past festivals.

Even though I pass this way every day, it was after Christmas before I took the time to turn off 14th
Street to get a frontal view of this grand neighborhood lighting production.  It started with the house
on the corner's large lawn a few years ago which has now spread on down the street to the next two
houses this year.
With blow-up figures of Santa in a hammock, manger scenes, to a beautifully lighted Lady Liberty
it has become a Christmas version of "keeping up with the Joneses"
For those concerned about my missing wreath I took some crumpled Kraft paper, shells from the
beach, some greenery scavenged from the trash box at Lowe's Christmas Tree tent, with the
aid of a hot glue gun, and some glitter paint in silver and gold my door was not unadorned.
And heerrees Shelly!!!!  Always a treat to see this little squirrel scampering toward me instead of
one running the other way.  It tells me Shelly is still surviving in the wild.
Of course it is nuts she is mostly interested in, seeing as she hurriedly hunts the perfect hidey hole
for this fine pecan.
Don't tell me squirrels can't read.  Here she executes a thorough inspection of the empty bag, which when full,
was provided especially for Miss Shelly by Tommy and Jane of the Farmer's market.  Don't worry, girl, there are
still two more full ones stowed away in the laundry room.
It is still comforting to have her snuggle back against me to eat her shelled nuts like old times
 after she tires of running everywhere hiding the whole ones.
Squirrels like to lean back against something when they eat if possible.  Whether it is a balance
thing or a self protection issue of protecting their backside when your awareness is focused in
other directions I am not sure.  Her winter coat has gotten much redder in color.  I first noticed it
on the backs of her paws.  With this frigid air mass she has certainly needed it with at least 4
nights now in sub-freezing temperatures.
Shelly hears the camera click and sticks her nose up to the lens.  She has always liked the
camera, mostly for its interesting chewing opportunities as well as playing with the dangling strap.
But this is her home now, high in the treetops.  I am not sure where she is sleeping, it is somewhere
in the neighbors yard, but she is free and doing her thing.
Earlier closing time means that finally I can catch a sunset now and then.  New Year's Eve had
some left over clouds and higher temperatures than we have yet seen for this year,
so far.  The weatherman had predicted a rainy event, but as is often the case here on the ocean front
he was proven wrong and it was a great evening weather wise.
It was one of the last nights Fran and Jeff had in the rented condo before moving into their new
home here on the island, and they chose to share it with friends to welcome in the new
year.  A full moon reflecting on the Atlantic Ocean is not a bad view to have and one they will
greatly miss as they are now going to be a few blocks away from it.
As most of us made it to the witching hour, we walked to the beach to welcome it in with the usual
treat of fireworks provided by our neighbor, the Ritz Carlton. 
The colors spiral up and explode in bursts of celebration, and the hope that comes with feeling as if
we are starting over with a clean slate.
We resolve to have a year where all past wrongs will be righted as the Christmas tree we saw lit on
Thanksgiving Eve looks on from the Ritz lawn.
Hugs of Happy New Year, as the last of the blast of color lights up the surf.  I was told we should
toast Neptune by tossing champagne into the water but by midnight our energy level did not leave us
with that kind of preparatory incentive and the group thought it a good waste of champagne. 
Hopefully this lapse of tradition will not trigger Neptune to seek revenge in the form of a hurricane
in the summer ahead.
Once in a Blue Moon was this New Year's Eve rare event falling on this day for the first time in
almost 20 years.
Here's to a wonderful "prosperous" New Year for all with the wealth of friends and health being
highest on the list.