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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)


Before we get to yet another photo story, a few quick notes:
 
If you tried the link yesterday to the newborn squirrel site, you just might have noticed it didn't work... Oops.
Here's the blurb with corrected link:
A very interesting Squirrel site.  Photographs of the inside of a squirrel's nest as the mom has the babies and the care and affection she gives them an insight into what is hopefully going on in Shelly's nest right now with her new family. The squirrel in our window.com/  It has been over two weeks since we have seen Shelly so keep you fingers crossed that she is just staying close home looking after the kids.

Get your T-shirt orders in right away, it's almost time to order.


And this:
Here is a really cool invitation to the children in the area. Mary Alice Monroe, best selling author, will be in Fernandina Beach to be guest speaker at a women's retreat called High Tide Weekend this coming weekend.

After she does her lunch speaking engagement we are going to steal her away and take her to Fort Clinch State Park Visitor Center where she is going to read her wonderful children's book, Turtle Summer, at 3 PM, Saturday October 2nd. This is a free event for the kids although parents have to pay to get into the park.
 

A second story in two days!  Maybe I will get caught up soon.

The social life on this small island can sometimes border on "too much" as I guess you have figured out.  A week ago the weekend brought to a close the Jane Angelhart Workshop and a lull with time to put together a quiet burger grilling at the beach.
With the hurricane heading toward Burmuda, although only a Category 1 storm, it meant beautiful weather but some pretty rambuncous surf for a few days.  We decided to cook out and sit and watch it for a while.  A wedding was getting geared up to happen directly in front of our pavillion.  The surf seemed to glow with the low afternoon sun shining directly on it.
 
Sunday was a gotta do event with the annual Historic District Picnic.  Chuck Hall local artist, musician, funny man, business man, jack of all trades, and organizer, founder, and barbecue master of the picnic has past 4 years hosted the picnic.  It started out to be a Labor Day event but has graduated to just be a September, beginning of Fall happening.  It is fun with a great meal provided by all who attend and that is a mix of Historic District residents, business folks, and anyone else who just want to come.  Chuck is the banjoman in the red shirt.  His hilarious commentary made it worth the trip.
 
I knew that Monday morning would still be more high surf and I was looking forward to seeing what surprises the beach held.  I feared for my Sea Turtles and as expected all were washed over except the new Green Turtle nest which was laid by a momma who was very intuned with the high tides that Fall brings and laid far back at the edge of the dunes.
 
I was certainly not disappointed in the surf.  it was pounding.  This is the usually mild mannered river surf, not even the ocean yet.
 
The point on the ocean side of the surf was filled with all varieties of shore birds.  They filled the air as I headed toward them.  The waves have filled the air with a salt spray from the dramatic churning of the water.
 
With the back lighting and the wave induced mist it is a very different feel than it was with the low sun's direct rays on the overturning wave action.
 
The jetty was really creating a stir with the waves rolling down it with one wave after another bouncing the water to the height of the pier pilings.
 
I saw no surfers this time.  The birds found the water too rough to spend much time out on it although they seemed to be able to snatch some breakfast fish out of the mix.  I watched some of them flying with and arguing over some of the Sargassum Sea Weed.  I don't know if they were after the seaweed or the small critters which live on and in it.
 
From this angle it looks as if we have a Tsunami heading in but it was actually not breaking that close to the shore.
 
It is very humbling to sit and watch the power of the ocean at times like this and to realize this is from a storm hundreds of miles away.  These beautiful graceful big beaked birds are Black Skimmers.
 
Hre we have a Royal Tern in the foreground and a Skimmer in the backgound.
 
The back light on the feathers was such fun to try to catch as they all jockeyed for position on this crowded spot of sand. 
 
A really good look at the Skimmers with such a red orange beak it resembles a tail light.  They are wearing matching stockings in their very color coordinated outfits.
 
As the sun rose and lightened up the sky the spray began to appear differently.  I could have stayed out here all day just watching it all.
 
As I headed back down the river this ship was headed out to face the rough seas.  Dramamine would have been on my list of priorities for the day on this anticipated ride.  This is the Environmental Protection Ship in case you didn't know we had one.  I sure didn't.  I knew it had to be a government ship when I saw its well armed escort.
 
That evening there were 3 Sea Turtle nest excavations scheduled so that you could attend all three.  Number 2 was a Green Turtle nest and we were fortunate to see two very energetic little fellows very anxious to be set free.  The designated name color "green" is because of the color of the meat, for which they were hunted almost to the point of extinction.  These actually look like they might be green but it is because their shells are kind of dry.  Once they get wet they will look very black.  When they grow older they will have pretty olive green between the carapace and plastron. 
 
I was hoping to get a photo once they were wet but it was not to be.  These little fellows were so strong and happy to be in the water that once they had the chance they were gone into the rough seas.
 
Here comes the surf for the second one and another dive into the white foam and our last glimpse was as he stuck his head up for a breath of air on top of a wave swimming hard and headed due East.
 
Wednesday the surf was calming down but the early morning sun colors were now taking center stage showing off a beautiful color contrasting with the early morning dull beach grays.
 
The sun behind the sea oats on the river was especially dramatic.  It almost looked like the grasses were on fire.
 
The birds were still hanging out on the beach in large numbers with the water was still quite choppy.  This gull seems to be pretty upset with someone down below.  Maybe he dropped his catch and is daring anyone to get it.  Can't you just hear "mine, mine, mine!!!
 
The Pelicans were back on course as they seem to always head North of the mornings but then head back South in the evening.  Why??  Only they can say and they aren't talking. 
 
Its a social island even for the birds, especially when the surf is up.
 
(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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