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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)

If you like doing portraits you will love this one....June Workshop Date Approaches.

Luana Luconi Winner Oil and Acrylic Portrait Workshop
plus a seminar on "The Business of Portrait Painting".
Luana Luconi Winner Workshop (June 24-26), "Early Bird" Discount Deadline is Tuesday
Students will paint from the live model and will learn how to compose a portrait.  As a bonus, Ms. Winner
will conduct an extra two hour seminar on the Business of Art.  Students of all levels are welcome.  The instructor,
Luana Luconi Winner is a founding member of the Portrait Society of America,  and was schooled in Rome, Florence, Switzerland,
and the USA, and currently resides in North Carolina.  Luana’s portraits, murals, and fine art landscapes and still lifes hang in
corporations, universities, and residences on both sides of the ocean.  Cost is $425. 
Go to http://www.ameliaislandartistsworkshop.com
or contact Mikolean Longacre at 904-415-3900 or 904-491-8040 for registration information.
The second week of turtle patrol was busy with many activities:  Turtles, birds, gallery, workshops
and music festival along with a little company thrown in to boot.
It was the discovery of my first Portuguese Man O' War.  This one must have lost its dangerous
tenacles on the rough surf ride on to shore.  Beautiful colors.
 
Often I spot birds missing a foot.  I only noticed this fellow's handicap as I was previewing photos
on my computer.  He could have lost it in the water to some close call but more probably
his leg became entangled in fishing line.  When that happens the line twists so tightly
that it cuts off circulation and the leg swells.  I believe the tissue eventually dies causing
for the lucky ones only the loss of the foot.
 
The gulls have been full swing into the sprintime mating rituals.  This Romeo was into wooing a lady
big time.  Sometimes his approach was a bit too raw and agressive to suit the object of his affections.
 
She beat a hasty retreat with her "that ain't no way to treat a lady" comment.
 
Being a slow learner he stuck to the same old line and was once again met with a big turn down. 
 
Changing his tactics he decides to sweet talk her instead.
 
Now it is kiss and make up time. 
 
"YES!!!!", he seems to shout, "Hot doggies!", (or however a gull might translate that),
"now I'm getting somewhere".
 
Success, finally.  I believe Isee a white picket fence and chickies in the front yard in his immediate
future.  The Laughing Gulls are very glib in the raising of their chicks.  I witnessed this last year
down at Huegeonaut Park which is a huge nesting site for the Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls.
They left their babies to find their own way to the water leaving them very vulnerable to
predators, the intense heat on the wide hot beach, as well as to the automobile traffic there.
 
The Royal Terns on the other hand are as their name suggests a much more class act with a 
subtler approach to courting and a more caring relationship with the offspring.  The male likes to strut
and show off prancing around and around the female with his wings spread out like in the photo.  He
may also woo her with a gift of a minnow (sort of like a dinner date).  Girls like sweet talk, gifts, and
are some even have a weakness for a certain amount of male muscle flexing.
 
We keep hoping the tiniest of the terns, the Least Tern, will nest here again this year.  They had a
bad experience the last couple of times they tried with high tides washing away many of their nests.
They are very endangered and with this years beach renouirshment they may find a more suitable site.
 
Several Yucca plants are showing off along the beach dunes.  They are a very beautiful
addition to the scene.
 
Festival wise it has been an extremely busy month.  First the Shrimp Festival, now the Amelia
Island Chamber Music Festival and the Nature Festival overlapping.  I attended this
free concert at our Central Park last Sunday.
 
It is very pleasant to set up your lawn chair among friends and neighbors and
enjoy some very wonderful music.
This tree was a prop for several rotating onlookers as the two hours pleasantly passed.
 
This concert is aways strings which are my favorite instruments.  I love watching the violinists
not just play but emotionally feel the music as they sway and move to the music as if it comes
from within their bodies and its only release is through the bow and strings.  Using clothes pins to
clip their music down in the breeze their only communication to work out their perfect timing is with
their eyes.
 
The music is accompanied by the traffic sounds and the squeals of joyful play by
the children.  And except for the occasional obnoxious sound of the motorcycles
zooming by it is all part of the ambiance.
 
Phillip Pan, with the Jacksonville Symphony treats us to music with an electronic instrument, called
a Viper, which can hit the pitch from a violin, violia, and a cello all in one.  Along with the thump, thump
of these electronic instruments which imitates drums and other percussion instruments it was a
very lively "rock" version of Vivaldi.
 
I have been accompanied this turle season with a young Ameri Corp worker, Brandon, who is
very enthusastic and is anxious to learn about and to witness his first Sea Turtle Nest.  Here he
is rescuing a Horseshoe Crab and learning that they really don't bite or pinch.
 
We found this very Horse Conch shell fish about 12 inches long and can get to be as large as 19
inches.  The shell was buried in the sand and the bright red orange body was all I could see.  It looked
 like one of those big orange blobs of oil from the gulf so I was concerned.  When Brandon reached
out to touch it we saw it start to move.  I had never seen these before and with the help of a wonderful
book called "Florida's Living Beaches" I was able to identify it.  I tossed it back into deeper water and
was glad we found it instead of it becoming sun baked and turned into sushi for the gulls
 
Wait until you see the babies from a trip to the Alligator Farm coming next.  The results of some
 more of those romantic encounters of the bird variety.

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