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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

(Allow me a last minute mention of Lana's workshop for those who might have missed the notice, and could still make it.)


Walking About Amelia Isle...
Taking advantage of one of those rare warm sunny days I decided to combine an errand into Fort Clinch
with a quick check out of the south end of the Eagan's Creek Greenway where I was told I might
at the right tide find a gathering of the big marsh birds.
As I drove into Fort Clinch State Park I encountered one of the many Armadillo's which roam the
island.  So many times we mostly see them dead along side the highway.  One reason for that is
their main defense when startled is to suddenly jump straight up--not a good offence when a car
is going overhead.  This fellow was searching for food like grubs and other things which might be
living underneath the leaves and that top layer of sand.  They don't see or hear very well so I sat
quietly observing him out my car window.  I was surprised to see that fringe of hair hanging
from underneath that tough looking armor plating on the top side. 
 
 
Driving up the road into the park I spotted this Great Egret sitting upon a snag at one of the pull off
parking spots with a view of the marsh.  On the way back he flew up from the ground back to the same
perch.  I thought uuuuuuummm, just what is keeping him in this spot?
 
Walking quietly to the edge of the parking spot I looked down into this pool of water which with
its narrow outlet was almost cut off as the tide receded, almost like looking down into a tin of sardines.
No wonder Mr. Egret was not leaving with easy pickings like this. 
 
With such a nice day I drove to the south end of The Greenway on Jasmine Street.  This is the spot 
where new gates have been installed to prevent the salt water intrusion futher into the fresh water
end of the creek at high tide.  I understand the Marsh Birds have realized that like Mr. Egret in the
park it is a spot where as the tide changes there is lots to eat.  The only larger birds were these
sleeping White Ibis.
 
Although the tide was not in the right place on Egan's Creek for the larger marsh birds to be fishing
there was an abundance of smaller birds so observe.  There were robins, blackbirds, some pretty
finches, along with some woodpeckers.
 
The way this little finch twisted its head around I at first thought the yellow was a spot on top of the
head.
 
The finch was feeding just beside this new "bat box" hanging overhead.  I couldn't see any evidence
of bats inside yet.
 
As I kept watching the little finch I realized the yellow was underneath its head.  I am not sure the
kind of finch but I have some in my own yard at the feeder occasionally and they seem to be
part of the migrating birds who like the robins do not stay around all summer.
 
This end of the greenway is very pretty.  You never know what you will see as you hike the Greenway.
Jeff and Fran got a great shot of the Bobcat here a few days ago.
 
As I was leaving I realized why so many of the smaller birds were enjoying in this spot,
especially the robins, was the mass of Yupon Holly berries all along the sunny
edge of Jasmine Street along the edge of the marsh. 
 
These come up wild and I am always cutting them out of my backyard which either does not get
enough sun or else I have the wrong sexed plant to bear berries.
 
You can see the evidence for yourself as to why I think our young lady is mothering
now.  Lots showing now where there was only a fur covered tummy in days gone by.
 
I had followed her to the neighbors yard the other day after feeding her nuts in
my own yard to try to see where she was going.  Obviously more comfortable
nearer her own digs she became very playful, letting me rub her back and tummy
like she used to do.  She seemed to want me to stay around.  When
I would make signs of backing off to leave, even though she was enjoying munching on
some of the many acorns on the ground, she would stop and scamper back up my leg
as if to say "why don't you stay a while longer". 
 
Finally another squirrel invaded her space and she took off to give it a chase and I was able to head
home.
 
I wanted to show Jeff and Fran the driftwood beach on Big Talbot Island and thought we could walk
down from the bridge.  We found our way blocked by the runnoff from a large tidal marsh area
behind the beach and it was much too chilly to wad on through.  We instead retraced our steps
to the car and drove down to the Black Rock Trail access.
 
This is why I always tell people to only go to "the graveyard", as it is called by locals, during low tide.
We managed to get there just at high tide and even I did not realize just how high it gets.  No walking
and exploring today.
 
What is usually a very large mud flat to the right where lots of people come to fish and has interesting
formations in the black rock like sand was not to be seen today being fully engulfed by the water. 
From now on I will do as I say and make sure it is low tide.
It was a busy week ahead with the gallery opening on Saturday.  Much of the week was spent in
preparation for that and working  toward finishing up my taxes...not fun things. but the party on
Saturday was fun and we did a brisk business. The car show was in town and that is always
a time with lots of out of town people looking for something to do.  The weather was cooler
than usual and my friend Sharon invited me to go with her to the car show, which is just a short
walk from my house, at the Ritz.  You will see photos soon about this experience.
  Fun times if you
love old cars.