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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)

AIAW info
One of our most exciting artists of the year will be coming to do a two day workshop.  Simmons is a rising star in the art world.  Go to his website to see his wonderful array of work and his unorthodox way of approaching that work.  Be prepared to have fun and learn some exciting new techniques.
 
I have been gone to my Mom's back in East Tennessee writing this story before I left.  Now I am back you will certainly receive a Fall in the Mountains story as soon as I can unpack my bags so stay tuned...

Turtle Patrol continues for the Rangers and me.  We still have our Green Turtle nest still to go and our tradition has always been to continue turtle patrol until the last nest hatches.  It has however, changed.
This was my last morning of "full beach" turtle patrol.  It was also the most harrowing one with the tide so high I could barely get through.  I had a guest rider on that one and he got more than he bargained for on that trip.  I even put him out to walk at one point just in case I got stuck in the water.
 
We had a turtle nest to excavate (bringing our remaining nest count down to just the one) in addition to it being the last day of regular turtle patrol.  I varied my pattern a bit and did the very Western part of the route first.  I don't usually get the sunrise behind the old Fort.
 
It was a pretty one for sure with the Osprey's giving us a thrill with their soaring flight right into the sun.  Lets hope their wings don't melt off.
 
Now my days are spent walking the beach which I am enjoying very much.  This was Columbus Day, our last Federal Holiday that let folks off on a Monday.  Usually it is much quieter.  I thought this family was sweet with their very colorful and patriotic dress--we got some Florida Gator girls and a flag bearing swimsuit for the little boy.  I think the little girls were twins.
 
I now enter the park by the front gate, drive to the Oceanside beach, cross the boardwalk, walk South to the nest and then when time allows, which I am trying to do most days, I walk to the south border, then turn around and walk north to the pier then circle around through the parking lot, passing the bird watching area to my car, getting some much needed exercise and more time to see the small stuff.  The Sea Oats seed heads will not hang on much longer.  I will miss them because they add so much to the overall beauty of the dunes.  Just touching them brings back my childhood trips to the beach.
 
I get time to see the lovely Fall flowers as they bloom by the boardwalk on my way over to the beach.
 
Sometimes I spot an interesting bird or animal on the drive in.  This vulture was perched over the little minnow filled tidal pool beside the road.   At first it looked so large I thought it might be the Bald Eagle everyone keeps reporting to me that they have seen.  Its like the bear, I think everyone on the island has seen them but me.  It was even sitting on the pier the other morning but I missed it.
 
This is the object of all this commotion.  The eggs are about mid way through their development and I stand by it thinking of those little fellows growing underneath the sand just a few feet away.  The wind has filled some of the sand into the deep depression the mother left in the beginning.
 
The water is mostly calm and I long to have time to wet a line in it especially since the Ospreys are usually out there fishing each morning.  Sometimes I stop to talk a minute to the fishermen and check out their bait and if they are getting any fish.
 
On foot one has time to observe.  I caught the patterns that the water and sun were causing in the side of a piece of translucent Horseshoe Crab shell laying half submerged in the edge of the surf.  Many of the Horseshoe Crabs are shedding their outer skin at this time and it looks like lots of dead ones but mostly it is where they have outgrown their last years suit and are getting a new outfit just like kids off to school gotta have new bigger duds.
 
There is time to see the effect of a fresh wash of surf over this lovely pen shell.
 
Without my noisy buggy the birds are not so hard to get close to as the Willet makes reflections on the gently rippling wet sand.
 
From the sky comes this one, also called a "Fish Hawk", diving with a splash into the water after a big fish.  He had no luck this time and looked at me as if it were my fault.
 
It looks like someone left me a potted plant to cheer my day.  What amazing things the water does.
 
This big old oyster shell looks like someone's feet sitting patiently waiting for the rest of him to return.
 
Once in a while I can get a bird in flight and have it turn out.  This was one of them.  Look at how those sharp talons are tucked in tight to make flight much smoother.
 
Beside the Pier boardwalk is a great cluster of Palmetto catching the light on their upper sides and giving a nice contrasting dark underneath.  An artists favorite subject when showing this light display.
 
Looking down from the pier the cluster of birds are in the water as the tide begins to cover their higher perch.
 
The Ruddy Turnstones take another approach to the high tide and have a perch that is much more solid on the tops of the jetty rocks.
 
And heeeeeeeeere she comes!!  Miss Shelly in the flesh.  When I see a squirrel headed down the tree toward me then I know it is my girl.
 
Our spoiled little girl had developed a taste for pecans but she choose the sunflowers instead of frozen pecans someone gave me to give her from her last years store of nuts.  Bruce went back to crack some fresh ones just to see if she really knew the difference and she certainly did.  You can see the little nick in that far ear.  Quite the trick to focus the camera with one hand to catch a squirrel in the other, I almost got it.
 
Quite a trick also is Shelly's hanging by her back toenails and hanging away from the sloping tree eating her "fresh" pecans.  We are just happy to have her still stop by occasionally to say hi and share a few minutes of her busy day.  It has been a while since I had photographed her for you to see so I thought those of you who have been asking would enjoy seeing the little rascal.  She does seem to have some kiddies somewhere but it doesn't look like she if feeding as many as in her first batch.  Time will tell.
 
If her pattern runs like last time she will have a few weeks of freedom where she is much more relaxed and playful then the other more serious mothering times in her life before the cycle starts all over...every six months.


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