Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040, 904-557-1195 cell
Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)
new metal sculptures just in, and at reasonable prices, by artist
Jonathan Bowling from North Carolina. Very primitive welded
pieces using found objects. Fun things.
the month clicks away on the calendar, I am still up to my eyeballs in
Monarchs. Making sure there is food enough to feed them is a
daily ritual. Cleaning the terrarium with this much usage
becomes a necessary chore. Its good I have that distraction
take my mind off one of the worst months I have ever had in business
here, as I am still wondering when we'll bring in enough proceeds from
hordes of folks in town to cover extravagances like rent.
Hordes? -LOL, as they say on Facebook. Or,
"damhikt", perhaps the throngs are just carying out their innocent
"ifuee", (Don't worry those are not off-color, you just have to know
your web lingo!
to the History Museum's offer of a small supply of Butterfly Weed from
Butterfly Garden, I have been provided with enough food to
them. Cleaning is done depending on the condition of the
container. The lid has to be carefully lifted off as now
Caterpillars are attaching their Chrysalis to that section also.
Bruce has to assist. I lift all the plants out with
Caterpillars still clinging to them, remove dead leaf debris and bare
stems, wash the containers, refilling with fresh water, then
replace the plants with the still eating caterpillars. I
the paper towel flooring, clean that area, and replace.
I reassemble as quickly as possible (it all takes
minutes) because Bruce is standing in the wings holding onto the
precious cargo. But the reward is to sit at my desk and watch
this kind of miracle unfold right before my eyes. This one's
captured just seconds after bursting out of its Chrysalis; it
now waits on
that big fat body to pump the fluid inside into the wings to inflate
them. A lot like pumping up a bicycle tire.
wings quickly expand, in a matter of minutes. Then it hangs
place for a couple of hours, I let them decide when they are ready by
watching to see when they start moving away from the empty Chrysalis.
When that happens I carefully put my finger in front of them
they climb on board and are ready for transporting outside.
Usually they will just hang on their new plant perch for a
before heading up into the sky and away.
have had one Gulf Fritillary Caterpillar and he seems to have done
alright except that it seems it has taken a very long time for him to
grow into any size. I am not sure if this is normal or
lacking in his food source that may have interfered with his
development. I have kept it in a separate holding tank.
only eats Passion Flower.
though the Monarch does not change colors it does shed all or parts of
its skin during growing. It then eats the skin as this fellow
doing. Because I wasn't seeing the skin fall away I wasn't
of this changing until Lisa pointed it out to me. I keep
things as I go along, as with all of life.
like a brilliant stained glass window, this one catches the backlight
the morning sun. They seem to like the small trumpet-like
blossoms of the Rosemary plants, so I usually set them on it; so if
want a snack before hitting the road it is readily available.
girl's day out with Adrian catching her first big fish. I
learned from her also that it is better to handle the inside of that
mouth with a rag to prevent the blood loss I was having from each
fishing trip as I reached in to remove the hooks. The smell
human blood on the bait may have been more enticing to the fish in the
creek but the sore fingers for days afterward was something it will be
nice to avoid. An artist must protect the tools of her trade.
twins!!! It was fun to get up to check the terrarium, and see
had two, a boy and a girl. This gives a good chance to show
difference in the sexes. The top one is a male with the thin
black lines and the black dot on the back wing which interrupts the
middle line. It looks like someone tried to erase a spot on
hard black like with a dirty eraser. The bottom is a female,
her thicker black lines and NO thick spot on her back wing lines.
Next time you can tell the difference too. In the
we had mostly males but now the numbers have shifted and it seems that
most are females.
twins I freed by setting them on the New Zealand Tea Tree which is one
of my favorite plants. It blooms all winter. They
difficult to get to grow but once established are very hardy.
Very pretty small blossoms which can vary with the different
plants from a softer pink to a dark burgundy bloom.
told you that the color would dramatically change on my Sumac.
just love the brilliance and the way the low winter sun makes it glow
as it changes from yellow green to vibrant orange-red.
I sit at my desk this is the view, and the bright spots of color give
a nice break in the dark greens of the Oaks and brighter green of my
shrubbery and the hanging gray Spanish Moss. It does
glow when the sun gets on the other side of it just like the
butterflies wings did.
evening when I take the time to catch the Marsh sunset. The
colors are possibly slightly exaggerated by the camera in the intensity
of the blue in the sky but doesn't it give a great contrast to the
yellow and orange of the sunset itself?
hard to decide in such a scene whether it needs a tighter view, giving
pretty cloud effect, or the wider angled total picture. I
just give you both and you can chose your favorite. It seems
the "Mare's Tail" formations have been most prevalent lately, probably
because we have not had the big rain containing clouds, which we need.
of my overnighters had made it to the window and seemed to be gazing
longingly at the world outside. Her daydreams were soon
as the sun quickly warmed that outside world up enough for me to feel
better about turning her loose.
took the opportunity to take one of the not so clear photos of this
scene and play with it with the new tools on my Picassa.
I don't do that but this can give me some good ideas for a painting as
my mind is shifting to wanting to do a big butterfly painting.
Well it looks like our thorny looking Gulf Fritillary is
another stage in the transforming life of a butterfly.
Sunday morning I had another set of twins waiting.
One a few
minutes ahead of the other. That is fun, and since I have the
off to fool with them, I can move them outside and keep an eye on them.
Its a drizzly cool day outside so I will not be tempted by
sun magnet in my posterior to be drawn outdoors for any significant
amount of time.
rain started I moved the first that one I had taken out to the flower
and the second one, when it was ready, to a Mexican Petunia plant just
outside my back door but underneath the eave in the dry.
They hung out there all day. As the day wore on, I
for more surprises as two more emerged.
What was two is now four, and I decide that with the weather so damp
chilly I would just let them overnight on the dining room
since I had seen in them no interest in flying, such as exhibited by
Playing with my new toys I take this butterfly photo and
turn it into a
monochromatic concept for painting.
This female latched onto the one male in the group and was
after him. He was smaller than she was so I was afraid she
hurt him. I moved her 3 different times to another part of
plant but she would always go back to him. Bruce said "they
too young" and I say "when life is as short as theirs you are probably
just born ready".
with our wonderfully warm winter, I find the signs of awakening and
hormones starting to get ready for nesting season as Monday was a
wonderful sun-shiny day. It was evident in the love song of
little Carolina Wren as he sang for his soul mate. Lets hope
once again nest in the birdhouse that was their home last year.
I thought was a leaf stuck on my outside screen was instead this very
amorous set of unusual moths involved in what must be construed as a
embrace. There is probably a lot going on underneath that
open wing that might be too risque for polite company.
Florida Green Anoles are awaking from their winter slumber.
one seemed to be wondering about the origin of this evidence of the
passing-by, pardon the expression, of one of his own kind (the
black spot with its white tip which has dropped off). You can
always tell Anole droppings by the white dot on the end. This
still in a slow mode as he sat in this one spot even when I put my
finger toward his head all he did was open his mouth. If I
only had a dead fly it would have been a first step in reinforced
training to eat flies from my hand, but you can't find a dead fly when
you need one. I was even pretty sure I saw Lewis Lizzard,
he was not fearful of me, but was more grown up and a beautiful bright
green color. Good old Lewis, he was fun to keep for a while.
I would hate to think of him being kept captive forever
He seemed to be having a good time running around the front
where I first found him lying, that cold day, when he was
still in hibernation mode. I had thought him dead
few days he revived. But that's another story already in the
archives; if you want to do the research and find it.
hope that winter has gone, at least for the time my mom, Aunt Helen,
brother Mike and Sister-in-law Denise are visiting me, till the end of
week. The Northwest has been cold, damp and snowy for my
so they are certainly ready for warmer weather. Here's to
family and Spring.
Work is beginning on two more commissions,
one which will not be so difficult (I hope) and another undersea one
which will be large and a challenge.
(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. 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.)