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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

 March workshops are now booking with Plein Air Pastel and Oil Landscape Painting with Kevin Beck and Abstract Experimental and Exciting Acrylic Painting & Collage with Lanna Grow. Go to our website for further information and schedules: 

 http://www.ameliaislandartistsworkshop.com ..

Well it seems that my mother's intuition about her girl was correct.  My young adopted daughter is no
longer that fat and sassy carefree teenager she once was.  She is much leaner and if you look closely
underneath that front arm you will see two pink nipples which had recently been used to nurse 
young.
 
The photo below is not a great photo but another shot showing those tell tale nipples.  She had
trimmed down considerably, and if she came by at all she did not tarry long. 
 
Yesterday, however, she came for a fairly long visit and I feel that she no longer has babies.  The cold
may have taken its toll.   Many first-time mother animals have problems.  Often the babies are smaller
than normal or suffer from "failure to thrive."  Today she seemed very hungry and stayed and visited
with me eating on my shoulder as in earlier times, and although her back milk producing units felt a bit 
enlarged when I sneaked a quick feel, I do not believe she is nursing young anymoreMother squirrels
are fated to be "single" moms as the males do not assist.  Life never promises "happily ever after"
for any of us but it seems to have been an especially difficult struggle for Shelly with never ending
problems.  She had finally, after three different nests settled in to a relatively safe semi-wild spot in a
nearby yard within yelling distance for me.  However, this morning I awoke to the sound of chainsaws. 
Those neighbors are now clearing trees from around their house.  So another worry.  Will her home
be left or is she destined to be on the move again with another cold front due to hit tonight?
 
The birds have been busy hunting for food and we have had a number of migrating birds
which will not stay as our little Carolina Wren does.
 
I was able to get a view of the Bald Eagles nest which I am not sure is still an active one.  Maybe the
cold discouraged their building.  It doesn't look like very much has been added since the initial stages
 before the last Artic air blast.
 
My Cape Cod friend, Anne, told me that she had seen Killdeer in the marsh.  I was dubious of them
being down here.  We walked her ramp out over the marsh where I was able to get the shot over
the trees of the Eagles nest but also of these Killdeer-like birds.  I thought they were probably Plover
cousins but am still not sure.  The Plover they closely resemble does not have the double ring
around it's neck and the markings perfectly match a Killdeer.  Killdeer here?
 
I have been trying to catch a few sunsets while the sun is still low in the Southern sky especially
with more Shrimpboats than usual docked in that area.  The tide was out so the reflections gave way
to the oyster beds, but still not too bad.
 
Behind me on the railroad tracks was a fantastic piece of railroad art.  I always wonder how long it takes
these guys to do these mobile masterpieces.
 
More of my backyard birds as momma Cardinal sits in my dead tree perch.  It is beginning to get
quite an array of Spanish moss, looking like the icicles of old which used to adorn our Christmas
trees. 
Although it is not really a tree, it is pretty and I am happy to have it.  The pink flower behind it
has bloomed its heart out all through the freezes when everything else wimped out.  It is a New
Zealand
Tea Rose.  They bloom six months out of the year during the winter.
 
Someone is getting the riot act read to them, it seems.  The robins are here only for a short
time as they pause a few weeks waiting on the weather further north to be more hospitable. 
Unfortunately those are my frozen poinsettias in the foreground which did not like the cold.
Maybe they will resurrect from the bottoms as often happens with these plant freezes.
 
I have a very fun squirrel feeder in my backyard.  I bought it long ago at one of the craft sales here
at church for 10 bucks.  The squirrels quickly learn the "ins" and "outs" of getting to this sunflower
seed treasure. 

Out it comes with a wary look at the lady with the camera who has slowly sneaked upon it.
The extra long tail created by the optical illusion of the glass sure looks funny.
 
The other feeder is pretty busy with other squirrels.  They have managed a short truce allowing
for both to grab a few bites.  Neither of them are Shelly but some of her harassers probably. 
Its funny how your attitude changes when you have raised a squirrel.  We recently had to evict some
out of the attic and could not stand to do so when the weather was so cold but finally we were able
to do it before they had children adding to the ruckus.  Bruce created a one way door which once
outside they were unable to reenter.
 
Something I have not done in a long time was take The Amelia River Cruise.  An old friend who
had moved away was here so we talked Kevin into going out even though it was chilly if we could
guarantee enough passengers to pay for the gas.  It has always been a favorite island activity
 but it had been way too long since I had taken the trip. 
Wow, just noticed the Miss Sandra, I didn't know they had named a shrimp boat after me.
 
As we head out of the Marina with the sun starting to give that perfect warm light that artist's love, I look
for birds, especially the Pelicans.  I had found 2 dead ones at Fort Clinch State Park earlier, 
victims of the cold we had recently experienced.
 
As we move on Northward the familiar river scenes unfold for me with changes like the new pink buildings
and another boxcar featuring more of the graffiti art embellishing its rust colored sides.  But what my
artist's heart most longs for are the port's beautiful reflections in the water before me as we move in
front of the loading dock.
 
With the camera ready and searching the water's surface at first it was a beautiful array of pastel
colors with a hint of red surrounded by the pale blues of the sky and various shades of green and beige
thrown in along with a few accents of black and dark olive.  Just think; you can enjoy this abstract
looking art for just what it is "realism" at its best, but so fleeting that only the eye of the
camera can you stop it long enough to really see.
 
 
One place I look forward to each trip is the pair of tall cranes painted a brilliant red as they
are caught in the water's reflected image.  It looks like red watercolor which has been
floated into a pot of oil to get that wonderful pattern.
 
But the unexpected treat of the day was a huge ship which was painted red.  Now is that not
spectacular?  It is also very patriotic with its mostly American flag's red, white, and blue.  Look
at the wonderful patterns which look like for all the world as if they have been Photoshopped into
existence swirling in the bottom half.
 
Not to be outdone an even closer crop of some of the patterns have some of the most amazing
surprises for me when I got back to the computer.  Look at the intricate but geometric patterns
formed on the left checkerboard like.  How about that for abstract painting?  No manipulating of
patterns here, just the real thing only a close croping.
 
I don't even know what static thing on the shore was reflected in these rich colors.  I was so
fascinated by what I was seeing through the camera, that I could not stop clicking to look at the
solid version.
 
This is not the whole story but I could not stop adding images to share with you as I passed that great
ship. 
 
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but these have inspired me to get my self back in gear and stop
fooling with jewelry and glass and get back to my paints, paper, and canvas.  I know that I can
never equal this but I can try. 
 
Life is being flexible and just like Shelly we all are constantly readjusting to it.  We can't put a
camera lens on it and stop it in its motion when we find the part we like. 
 Let's hope when I get back home the stand of trees she now calls home will still be standing and
she won't have been scared away by the horrendous sounds of this morning.

 

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