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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)

Gift Ideas from Amelia SanJon Gallery:
A Pendant of a tiny sterling silver Sea Turtle Hatchling  emerging out of a frosted sterling egg. (5 left)
A unique vintage copper necklace or bracelet, even earrings in both new and vintage (clip on and wires)
Sea Turtle mugs as well as platters, and other more utilitarian pieces; all are oven, dishwasher, microwave, and food safe
I have the Save the Turtle T-Shirts.  I order a few extra to have for those who let the order date slip by.  Some in Ladies sizes both sleeved but mostly tank tops.  What I have is all there will be.  (Loren, the printer, might go over the edge if I threw another order at him)
I have just a couple of the ultra-high quality Giclee Prints left of theTurtle Trot painting, "Sargassum Sunrise". 
Lots of new jewelry by new different jewelry makers in silver and natural stones.
And of course original paintings, photography, sculpture, etc. to suit anyones taste, mine and other artists.
One of a kind scarfs, wraps, and even some one-of-a-kind clothing articles by local clothing designer, Sarah, of Avery Designs.
This link will take you to the Amelia Island Artists Workshop 2011 schedule.  It would make a great Christmas gift for an artist in your life.
Thankfully we had a brief break between the cold snaps to have a very pleasant mild night to enjoy our Historic Downtown Lighted Christmas Parade.  I will have to say that many of the groups needed to have more lights in their "lighted" parade.  It was hard to see some of the less lighted ones in the very dark night.  The life size Pound Puppy, whose creator lives here, was giving away Pound Puppies to kids along the way.
It was also a good night to be coupled with our Artrageous Art Walk.  The turnout was good and the sales nearly made the whole week.  But then, by the first of last week the cold returned with a vengence, and customers resumed their winter hibernation.
One of the coldest days was Monday morning.  I waited until early afternoon to brave the beach for checking "ye old turtle nest."  To say it was breezy would be an understatement.  The wind had blown the sand onto and over everything.  I pledged to just walk to the nest and that would be it.
But once I was bundled up and into it I just had to keep going.  I regretted not taking more time to locate my gloves and only one wet shell made it into my pocket.  This was my first time to see a Jelly this nearly transparent.  I had to touch it to see that it wasn't some kind of clear plastic bag.  It looked like a frozen illusion of a Jelly.
Although it was not that far from high tide the force of the wind coming directly out of the west had blown back the water so that it was much lower than normal for the tide cycle.  It had also flattened out the surf so that it did not exist.  The ocean looked like a giant lake.  The wind blew the sand in a low flying jet stream straight into the water.
I worried about the Brown Pelicans overhead.  During January's cold spell last winter a lot of them had gotten in trouble with the cold and I found several dead ones right after on the beach.  None of us are used to this kind of cold here especially many of the wild critters which call this home.  I have heard that some Manatees are dying because of it.  I have not heard of turtle problems yet, hopefully because the water was still warm enough to sustain them.
This one shiny shell had to find the inside of my jacket pocket because it was such an odd color and so very polished side to an otherwise plain slightly ugly shell.
This Pen Shell looked like it should have come from the frosty northland with its frosting of wet blown sand.
This Pen Shell was catching a mouth full of sand.
There was a whole line of them in a row reaching almost the length of the beach.  I am not sure why they were in such a single row.  It may have been the point where the wind started blowing the surf away.  Who knows.
Even the Dead Man's Fingers were very much colder than normal looking.  I wished gloves for them also.
As I rounded the tip of the point of the beach the wind intensified without the dunes to break its western march.  You can see the low cloud of sand which began to hit me in the face as I began the climb up the low dunes to exit via the pier.  Now the dermabrasion was total, no longer just smooth ankles, but the eyes even with large sunglasses were starting to feel like they were full of grit.  I noticed a change in the texture of the beach.  Here there was only water to the west, so no sand was being blown in to add to this area.  It was only being taken away
Looking down in this particular area of the Point where the ocean and the river join the sand was showing the effects of the fierce wind in a different way.
Each shell, and shard of a shell, was acting as a force to resist the wind but the softer more pliable sand was sculpting shapes around these shells as they attempted to stand their ground.
The closer I looked, the more interesting the patterns, even the very subtle ones, became.  I felt like a giant in a minature world of mesas and sandstone formations similar to what one would encounter in the Western landscape.
It was a world where tiny creatures like ants would really be finding their land had suddenly been transformed. 
The quiet and warmth of the van was very welcome as I watched the heavy crop of Spanish Moss sway in the wind over the road out of the park.  This will certainly do some serious and probably needed pruning of the moss.  Usually bad storms keep it under control but we have had some pretty easy times the past two years and it has had a chance to really get some healthy growing time in.  In the olden days the soldiers at the fort thought this would be a good thing to sleep on since it was soft and fluffy in a world without such luxuries.  Instead they found lots of little "red bugs" (or chiggers) to interrupt any peaceful sleep.  We now know to stick it in the microwave or the oven to kill the little buggers before handling it and using them to decorate potted plants since we no longer need the soft bedding it offered.
The canopy road out of the park is a delight to drive through with the sun making bright patterns where it finds a pathway through.
I borrowed some of my friend Sandy Hunter's photographs of one of her Monarch Butterflies as it went through its development.  It so perfectly parallelled my own Catapillar (and all Monarch's) I asked her permission to use them so you could see what is going on with our fellow.  This is exactly the kind of flower which mine was eating when I found it outside my door.
I had cut off the top of the plant, put the bottom in water and brought it inside for him to continue eating.  They only eat Milkweed plants.  After a couple of days of eating, he was in this position when I came home from work, hanging upside down in a "J" like shape.
By morning it had transformed itself into what we now have.  We have been keeping the house pretty cool during this cold spell and thankfully the Crysalis has not gone further than this.  I have not found a good way to keep a butterfly inside for an extended time so release seems the only option once it does its next transformation.  We are hoping it actually stays in this form for a while until the weather gets better.
Every day I check to see if I start seeing any of the colors of its wings starting to show through which would give me the clue that emergence might be soon.  Notice the beautiful irridencent spots on it.
This will be an exciting time and I hope I can see it myself.  I only wish I had not missed its changing into the Chrysalis.
And that gets us up to the current time.  Last night I hurried to the Marina to try to catch the last of a fading sunset.  It was just about 5:30 so we are fast approaching our shortest days then thankfully we will start going the other way.  It was very pretty but I really had to run to get what I got before it faded away.  A pretty nice end of the day especially with the promise of 60+ degrees the next few days.

(Please take a moment to consider:
These photo-stories have always been offered completely free, to simply share the wonders of nature, and life on the Island. 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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