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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)

Calling all artists!!!  Next workshop will feature Soon Y. Warren
with a "Painting Glass with Watercolors" Workshop.  The cost is $375
with an "Early Bird" discount of $25 if paid in full by July 5th.  
Workshop Dates are 8/5-8/7 on Amelia Island.  The workshop
is for all levels of painters in watercolor.  She will show you how
to obtain a clarity of color in order to depict glass and crystal.
Contact Person: Mikolean Longacre or Sandra Baker-Hinton, http://www.ameliaislandartistsworkshop.com

for
registration information

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Turtle Updates:  It is shaping up to be a bumper year barring any bad storms, and an exciting
year with a Leatherback nest already in place.  We have 6 nests in the park along with
several false crawls indicating they might be back.  We have a total of 59 nests so far
 on the island as of yesterday.  This is much more than last year at the same time.
So, -gooooooooo turtles!!!!
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H.O.P.E. Foundation:  We were able to raise enough so far to buy 40 bales of hay for Deb
 and the 30+ horses at Cheers Ranch, which she is feeding and tending.  It also opened a
lot of doors for people to know about her and become involved hands on which is often
more important than dollar bills.   Debs phone # is 904-277-7047.  Thanks to all of you who
contributed in some way either with gift coupons, monetary donations, or who made 
purchases in the gallery that day.
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It seems in the warmer six months of the year that Fort Clinch State Park is almost my second home. 
I spend a lot of time there and with the same long time volunteers who work in the shop area where
start my day, it feels like a family commune.
We are a close knit group who checks on one another when one is ill, as is Les, our octogenrian
volunteer who is in the hospital right now, and who share in the goodies, like the big watermelon rolling
 around in the back of my van this morning, which Johnny brought back from a trip home to Georgia. 
Shelly will enjoy some of the large pecans he also brought back. 
 
Instead of mornings I spent an evening up there last week when my son, David and daughter-in-law,
 Rizza came to the park to camp.  Even one of my sea turtles stuck his head up to welcome them.
The weird looking thing behind Mrs. Loggerhead is a bunch of very lively barnacles hitching a ride on
her carapace, sticking their hungry mouths up in the setting sun and looking very other-worldly. 
 
The tide was high as we sat for a while watching it go down on the river near the campground.  The
Fort was to the East from us a short distance.  Martin's Island and the St. Mary's River stretched before us.
 
My sister had joined us for a birthday celebration for both David and Rizza.  I prepared what we call
"Scout Dinners", the recipe left over from my dad's days as a Boy Scout leader.  We had enjoyed
them so much during our family camping days that we often prepared them at home.  A great
one dish meal wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked over the coals accompanied by a very chocolate 
birthday cake and we were in business.  A very nostalgic meal with memories of childhood for my sis
and me as well as David.
 
David and Rizza loved our park and I was so happy for that.  They were able to each go on a leg of
my turtle patrol the next morning enabling them to see our whole beach in their too short one night visit.
It gave them enough of a taste to entice them to return to explore more.
 
I love the low sun highlights that the warm setting sun provides.  Look at the light washing over
the western side of the ship in the river.
 
I enjoy watching the Least Terns as they have their distinctive way of fishing.  They hover in mid air
spotting their prey and then dive straight down to grab their catch.  Taking a photo on this very
quick maneuver is a challenge.
 
The sun became prettier as the colors began to deepen with boats heading back into port, one
being towed, and another speeding by the procession.
 
If you remember last year I wrote a story and called it "Mystery in the Marsh" with these very weird
long vertical columns in the foreground of a sunset photo.  Here it is again.  I don't know what caused
this and it was in every sunset photo I took.  If you look closely you will see another one on the left
more faint.  It seems to be infront of the cloud formations, much too high to be cell towers.  Hmmmm,
another mystery which was not solved by my readers before.
 
 
With higher than usual tides I have had a nice washing of the beach and also some beautiful
ripple patterns left to enjoy each morning in the bottoms of what have been tidal pools.
 
This one had incorporated the tire tracks from turtle patrol the day before.
 
For several days as I do turtle patrol I have been observing this Osprey picking up wrack off the
beach and taking it to the tower in the edge of the water on the river's edge of the Cumberland
Sound.  It looks like nest building.  I haven't seen a mate but possibly he is just preparing
a new home in anticipation of finding a one.
 
This is nest #5 and as of yesterday we up to # 6.  The turtles are really coming in and the
odd thing is that up until this week we had no activity north of the Beach Boardwalk.  Finally yesterday
we had a false crawl up near the pier so possibly we will have a nest there in the near future.  A
very unusual one which is out of the "Indexing Area" (the area in which data is collected for nesting)
almost at the River campground was another false crawl.  I have a feeling it was our barnacled
babe in the earlier photos because the crawl was right beside where I saw her sticking up her head.
 
Since I don't go out until 7am I don't get many of the beautiful sunsets that will come later in the
summer as we pass the summer equinox and the days once again begin to shorten.
 
Another very rambling false crawl the morning my son was with me but as you can see she did
not find a suitable nest spot to lay.  It seems we are having a lot of false crawls.  I wonder if they don't
like the smell of a lot of the newer sand.
 
My favorite sea turtle predator of the Sea Turtle, the Ghost Crab, posed for me.  He had already
pulled one egg out of nest #4 and emptied its contents.  But seemed to get his fill and has
left it alone since then.  He will be back when the babies hatch.  I know it is just trying to survive also.
 
This is the Least Terns nesting area this year.  They have been busy guarding the nearby beach, dive
bombing people who intrude in what they consider their space.  One of my friends came up to me on
the beach the other morning and reported that she had just been attacked by some birds.  I said
yes and they also pooped on your head, not actually a physical attack but a bombing raid.

My second home is an interesting place to experience.  If worse came to worst I would go live in the park
as a full time volunteer.  Not a bad life and many of my volunteer friends do just that.  They are
allowed to live for 6 months there, do volunteer work then they take their camper and move
to another park for another 6 months.