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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
Amelia Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)
A Sea Turtle alert for beach walkers this week:  This is one of those times when the story was written a couple of days ago.  The weather forecast has now become reality.  The seas are going to be very high and rough today and tomorrow.  With Hurricane Earl passing by, the Sargassum Sea where the Sea Turtle babies go to live for the next year will be disturbed.  We will probably have lots of it washing on shore in the next few days.  With it may come some Baby Sea Turtles called "Washbacks" of various sizes.  If you find them DO NOT PUT THEM BACK IN THE WATER because these are now considered "Strandings" and no longer just hatchlings trying to get to the water.  They will be too weak to swim back out the 5 miles necessary and need to go in for some TLC at the Turtle Center.  Call me at 904-557-9040 and I will get in touch with Mary Duffy who can get them where they need to go, or call Mary Duffy directly if you know her number. 

2010 Turtle Trot
Come on out and walk or run in the Turtle Trot, sponsored by the Amelia Island Runners Club.
5K or 10K, Saturday, September 4
Check their website, the News Leader, or I have registration forms at the gallery.
A Ho-Hum Week?

It has seemed like there wasn't much going on this week, a kind of ho-hum week with rain, work, not that many photo ops.  Looking back at my photos which have become like a diary for me I began to review the week.  A new visitor to my yard was this beautiful spotted toad.  Colored like a Leopard Bullfrog I assumed it must be a Leopard Toad, a little research proved me right.  It is a Southern Leopard Toad Frog.
I have not had a Toad Frog in a while and it was very much welcome.  Let's hope Mr. Snake doesn't find him.  Nature has no favorites.  My garden could sure use a toad, especially one as handsome as this one, to eat bugs.  He was busy doing just that.  His tongue effortlessly grabbed a small bug who unluckily crawled through its space.  Seeing frogs indicates you have a healthy environment because they are disappearing due to many things including pesticides and also fertilizers spoiling the water they need for spawning and living.
And with the toad, what else but Toadstools.  With all the rain we have an abundance of different mushrooms growing on my lawn, all kinds, pink, white, some like this which are huge and yellowish, and then others with funny looking tops.  I am sure some would be edible but not for me to try.  They can also be deadly.
THIS IS NOT MY SHELLY!!!  On Monday I saw a squirrel at the feeder which had a wound.  Then by the next day we were seeing several with this strange looking wound looking like something from a Sci-Fi Horror movie where some alien life form invades bodies.  At first I thought that someone might be shooting our squirrels with a pellet gun but then I remembered the "warbles" that used to get under the skin of my rabbits when I was little.  It seems that is what's happening.  The Botfly lays its egg on the skin of an unsuspecting animal, this parasite hatches out a larva which burrows into the skin where it lives until it reaches its next stage.  The condition should heal up on its own.  Thankfully our little girl has not had any of them.  The animal world has all kinds of weird interactions going on.  I'm always learning new stuff.
Wednesday we had the air full,not of birds, but Dragonflies.  They were swarming but not alighting on anything tall enough to get photos of them.
Overhead a flock of Great White Egrets were looking for a breakfast place or maybe migrating South.
With the new sand of the beach renourshment there were lots of plant seeds mixed in the sand.  Unfortunately many of those are the Sand Spurs which are not welcome but this was different and I had not noticed its bloom before.  Probably because even the bloom is green.  Looks similar to ragweed which, although it is here on the island, I don't see often.  Same with Poison Ivy.
The rain and the hurricane scooting by this past week has made for lots of clouds although I have made it through my beach runs without any serous rain.  We have had 3 power outages with the lightning storms, whether by falling branches or electrical damage, we have not heard.  The skies have been very interesting.  I am still not out early enough to catch the color on the beach that I see as I leave my house.  By the time I get to the park at 7:00 AM and pick up the buggy and get to the beach the color is pretty much gone. 
The rain did not deter the hatchlings of Nest #12 from emerging on Friday morning, getting a jump on #11 by a couple of days.  It was a big nest with almost a 100 little ones, which we excavated this morning.  #11 had hatched over the weekend along with #13.  So the countdown continues.  This leaves us with only 5 more nests to hatch and then Turtle Season will be over for 2010.
I stitched together several photos so you can get a better idea of what its like to look out over it all each morning.  Not a bad way to start the day.
I could see lots of deep pink clouds in the sky when I pulled out of the driveway.  I whispered the old sailors saying, red of the morning sailors take warning, as we are beginning to listen and be wary of just where Earl will go with its predicted path up the East Coast.  The previous one which caused no damage, but brought rough surf and high tides, even as far away as  we were.  Earl, it appears, might be much closer.
Although it seemed like a pretty uneventful week maybe it wasn't, a new frog, infested squirrels, 3 nests hatching, one excavation, and hurricanes maybe it wasn't so Ho-Hum after all.  The Sea Oats, surf, and the sky will certainly bear watching as we cross our fingers that these last nests don't get destroyed this late in the season as is sometimes the case, especially our endangered Green Turtle nest our last due to hatch.

(Please take a moment to consider:
These photo-stories have always been offered completely free, to simply share the wonders of nature. Thousands of hours have been poured into them and it has even become necessary to enlist the services of a paid email service to send out the large numbers who now receive them. So, with the current economic situation if you are able to make a small donation to help ensure the continuation of the stories it would be greatly appreciated.)

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