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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)

Art Walk is this Saturday Night.
Join us for our little gathering of friends and clients, 5:30-8:30P.
Lots of things new in the gallery as well as a goal of having the Turtle Trot painting framed for all to see.  Below you will find the Betsey Johnson Jewelry which I think is just a very cute and fun addition. 
It will be a fun and interesting evening, shhhh, it will be my sister, Susan's birthday so there will be cake.
This nest was a hard one for the Sea Turtles to exit with lots of wrack washed over it mixed in with an extra thick layer of sand.  You can see some of the mess they had to push through to get out.  The weather (which was way offshore) that created this additional sand was the same one which had washed away sand on the exposed eggs just down the beach a bit.  I had cleared a pathway in the pile of wrack, where the girls feet are, so that there was a way out, but could not take it off the top without disturbing the nest, a big no-no.
We found two little ones which had not yet made it out.  Then looking up; very weird to find three people walking toward you at a nest excavation only to find out you knew their parents well back in Chattanooga.  They knew I was on the island but did not know I would be doing the nest excavation.  Their young son helped me put them in the water.
One was much slower than the other.  His shell was in a bowed position reflecting the cramped space it was in, up against the hard wall of the outside of the nest chamber.  The one on the left, the darker one, was the slow one but the other was very energetic and anxious to get into the water.
Off Superboy went, very strong and had no trouble making its way through the waves to head out.
I let my young assistant wade out into the water to put the little slow one in out past the breaking waves just to give him a little advantage.
A big event on the island.  A Leatherback hatching in front of the Ritz.  The nest was being excavated and every one was in attendance who was interested in seeing this rare event.  Must have been a 150 onlookers.  I couldn't even get a good look.
Only one baby, which had died, was found in the nest with over 60 making it out on their own.  You can see how much larger the hatchling is that comes out of the tennis ball size eggs.  You can see its flipper hanging down on the far side of Mary Duffy's hand.  Our first Leatherback nest  has shown no signs of hatching even though it is past time.  If it doesn't hatch then it will be a long excavation attempt to try and find those eggs as they are almost impossible to find if they are there at all.  The second one is at 60 days making it also due to hatch any time.
This turtle gal responsible for nest # 30 had had a hard climb ahead of her.  She had tried to get up further East on the beach (on the right side of the photo) but then followed the base of the escarpment until she found a place she could make it up.  She laid just a few feet from a previous nest.  Has to be the same gal.  This is about 5 for her so probably no more.
It has been a busy week with submarines.  This is the second one I had seen.  The gun boats were actively keeping all the fishermen and evil spies in boats at a secure distance, by circling them and explaining the situation something like, "you move or I shoot".  I would certainly not argue with them.
The sun was highlighting the sub as in headed out into the early morning with a few ofthe sailors standing on deck watching the shoreline disappear as they prepared to be inside their cocoon home for a long stretch.  Only a few of the family members were in attendance for this one. 
An unusual event also along for the party was this oddity, possibly a mini-sub, or else it was someone's motorized garbage can heading against the incoming current.
The size of this submersible is shown in relationship to the Shrimpboat in front of it.
We have had lots of nests hatching both in the park and on the rest of the island.  Dottie (excavating) and her husband Charlie are great support teams for each other.  She enjoys the fish he catches and he goes to the excavations and carries her bucket and sticks for her.  My husband is my support team with a cup of hot coffee along with my wake up call.  You will never meet nicer people then Sea Turtle Volunteers and their support spouses.  I go to see lots of the excavations when I am not too tired and I don't have to walk very far.  Trying to keep this knee feeling good as long as I can.
I was noticing as I checked our unhatched nests, some of the activity on and all around the nests.  These are Bobcat tracks interspersed with Raccoon.  There were Ghost Crabs and even Armadillo tracks all crisscrossing the turtle nest.  It can be a busy place at night but Mom left it so covered and disguised that there was no interest in the nest from all these critters on the prowl for their next meal.
The last nest so far is a Green Turtle, Nest #31, probably our last nest with time running out for laying season.  She must have spent most of the night on the beach trying to decide where she was going to lay.  She first entered the beach South of the park but crawled in front of the Park Boundary sign, then a long, long way through the minor dunes, stopping to dig at least 3 body pits before deciding it wasn't where she wanted to be.
She finally turned and headed back at the top of the photo and headed back southward again.  At the turn she dug another body pit and at first Marie and I thought she had laid eggs there.  The stake in the ground (its our "dune" stake which gives us a hint on a nest if it were to get washed out) marks the area just behind where she actually decided to lay, located on the other side of this mound of Seaoats.
But when we followed her tracks on down the beach we found a more likely spot which we marked.  So far except for the Leatherback, and no one is ever very sure where they are concerned, we are holding at 100% on our educated guesses.  (the mound of Seaoats is the one in the previous photo so you can get your perspective of just how far she ended up crawling.
She finally headed back to the water.  We are excited and if this is our last nest it will mean that our season will end in another two months around the first week of October.  If we have more, we could go into the middle of October.  If this Green decides to come back (they nest later) then we could be much later like last year which was the eternal season with the nest that never hatched.
Another morning, another submarine.  I am told this one had to come into port for repairs so was not a planned part of their itinirary.
A pretty morning, as noticed by a lady bicyclist I assisted after she had fallen on the rocks at the pier had recovered enough to bicycle up to the fort.  She was sitting on the rocks when I arrived and being a former navy gal was excited to get to see the sub.  Another witness was this Osprey who caught my attention.  I wondered if his morning's fishing had been interrupted by this big parade.
The Osprey seemed to be taking it all in just as we were.
Its quite a sight to see all this taking place not far from where you are sitting.
As soon as they cleared the Osprey, he dived for a fish and was successful.  I only wish I could be so lucky.
Off he flew circling wide and hanging on to his catch.
In mid flight the Osprey will make a switch to the talons of the other foot to get a better grip.  On a longer flight they will use both feet to 'orient the fish for minimum aerodynamic drag', which is a lot like pointing it into the wind!
First on the right, and now on the left, never pausing in the flight back and on toward his perch.
First pass with the still kicking fish he is unable to land and has to make a quick circle back...
...a smoother approach this time.
Looks like a two point landing.
By the time the Osprey had settled in to enjoy his breakfast the water parade was exiting stage left.  Always something interesting, even when you don't expect it to happen.  Life is that way isn't it?  If it isn't then you need to make some changes because life is short and we just don't know how short.  Make each day count.
(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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