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)
have known for some time that many of you have not been getting my
and think that I am not writing them anymore. Something
with GoDaddy last Spring that changed those on the lists. A
of you have had me to change your emails but it is more than that.
When I went into the list yesterday I found that many of you
been put on a "Disabled" list. I am attempting to get you put
back on the active list. If you don't want to get them just
the "unscribe" button and that will take you off. I don't
why you were put on the disabled list unless it has to do with your
virus and spam protection devises which have screened me out.
personally still cannot send myself an email from one of my computers
another, and no one at my email service can figure it out.
have to send to Bruce and he sends it on to me.
those who might want to look back for any missed episodes, just use the
"Back to Storybook" link at the bottom of any story. They are all
was now advancing to the point where we felt it was time for her to
patio and get an idea of "the outdoors". She still
bottle, but was now sleeping in her nesting box in the bathroom.
Now to introduce her to the
outside world. We did not want to rush or push her out before
was ready to go and figured once she got a taste of it, her
desire to go outside would overwhelm anything else
So I opened the door as I sat on the doorstep
allowing her to wander
onto the big out-of-doors. She carefully explored the patio
little by little, being very cautious with unfamilair things like water
hoses, and ceramic turtles. Her chosen nut hiding place was
under a leaf in
a pile of moss, or yet again, down the back of my shirt collar.
she found 'Dirt'. What a wonderful discovery! Right
the edge of the patio it was. Now it felt right to bury the
in the dirt.
sheer joy of just rooting in this wonderful stuff is expressed in this
shot with her body just a blur of her really getting
And, lo and behold, there was even more dirt. A flower pot;
never mind that it had plants in it.
was in a bit of disaray to say the least, but being a good Dr. Spock
trained parent, I did not want to say "no" and damage her inner
Instead I moved the
plants that mattered to other places and let her have her pot to throw
dirt to her heart's content. Of course it is not nearly as
fun without the plants but still good for hiding nuts.
third Black Swallowtail Caterpillar had almost reached it's last stage
before it turns into the Chrysalis form. Very exciting that I
actually got some on the first season for the plants. I had
planted some carrots last year but had never pulled them up to see if
they had carrots. They have kept growing and seem to also be
host plant for the Swallowtails, an unexpected benefit. I did
notice that if a caterpillar started with the curly parsley it stayed
on only those plants, but this one which started on the carrots stayed
the carrot plants exclusively. Just thought that was an
interesting occurance in caterpillar behavior.
back side of our privacy fence was a good place for Lacy to explore,
the end post of this fence was the proposed location for Lacy's nest
to be located.
new digging pot was a favorite spot for the next few days as we let her
explore the patio area and hope that she would consider it her home
few days of being allowed outside was clearly something she loved.
By Saturday the day before we planned on moving her outside
became obsessed with wanting out. Bruce sent this photo after
I had left for work and
called it "OutIwantout". She spent the day trying to get
and would only leave the room with this door, so he could put her back
"bathroom" safe house, after he turned on the vacuum cleaner and
her enough to make her run out.
Digging can wear a girl out, especially when it
is almost squirrel bedtime.
While this drama is unfolding, the Chickadees are
busy, busy feeding their young family.
season for Amrylis blooming is also upon us. This color is a
favorite of mine.
Although the white one is really pretty also.
morning is the day that dreams will come true for Lacy. She
very grown up, but in reality is much smaller than the grown-up
squirrels in the yard. We will see if the grass is really
on the other side of the door. The door to real freedom is
finally to be opened.
Lacy explores the great smelling, fully-in-bloom Jasmine vines on the
fence, the nest box waits, ready to be mounted on the post
which is hidden under cover of the densely growing vine. I
some clippers to clear out the spot for the box. I don't
man with clippers when it comes to my plants. I climb up and
is still having fun exploring her new world. But while I am
preoccupied with getting the post cleared, a big glitch in the planned
flow of the transition happens. We had purposely kept Lacy
from the TREES until her house was in place and she knew where
"home" was located.
I turn around to see her moving at nearly the speed of light as only a
squirrel can, moving up, up, and away to the tip top of the enormous
and high canopy of huge Live Oak trees which cover our neighborhood
yards for a long,
long way. After trying in vain
get her to come back, I give up and set about doing some yard work
I could keep an eye out for her.
It was a couple of hours before she tired herself
and decided to return to her home base.
She finally walked out of the flower bed as if she had
been gone, finding her way back to her own place.
we were able to introduce her to her newly installed home.
Her apartment has
an old fishing net I had found on the beach in place to give her better
traction for climbing up.
She figured it out.
also have a couple of turtles we brought out to enjoy the sun and make
their shells grow strong and which are now new residents.
Spritely my Great Niece Reagan's pet, which after
escapes and a two week period of staying lost
in the house, is now doing an extended stay-over at our
The next day after he arrived, my house
guests, Ocellia and girls, called on their way down and said they had
brought me something,
a baby turtle which was crawling across their yard. Its name
Maybe Baby, and as fate would have it, they are both Yellow Earred
Sliders and are a native species just in case they should escape we
would not be creating a no-no for the environment. Brite
Spritely had shown signs of needing a friend since he had very
amorous tendencies toward anything that resembled another turtle,
plastic alligator which had been added for company. However,
behaved himself since the
addition of the little one with no improper advances toward Maybe Baby
so far. Just needed company, apparently.
decided that her house might be too hot for her mid-day
naps; after the
second day she came in the house on my shoulder and high tailed it to
favorite spot on top of the fridge and slept for 2 hours. To
sure this was not the case again we pulled vines and more netting over
the top and back of
the box to give it natural shade and a plus make it look better
our view, which was not the pretty side of the box.
the long nap, (from which we had made her wake up, knowing it was
nearing her official
bed time), she was wound up. With her
power nap underneath her
belt once back outside she quickly scaled the vine covering the utility
room and she was gone. She stayed gone and once again we
if she would safely return since it was fast approaching darkness.
These were the early days and everything was a time of learning
experiences for Lacy. Letting a squirrel go in the wild
not like letting the kids go to school where you know they will be
relatively safe. For a squirrel in the wild learning can be a
life and death experience. We often have a large owl come sit
our trees at night waking us with his "hooting owl" routine.
squirrels, owls are not usually a threat because
they are already safely tucked in bed before the owls begin to hunt.
But we were fast approaching the
unsafe time. I went back outside right as darkness almost was
upon us and a grey streak flashed by my feet from the back of the yard
heading straight for the safety of the back door. We let her
briefly, but had a firm talk with her about being outside in
her own house.
I climbed up and set her on her porch and she went inside to
sleep. We lead such exciting lives, mornings having coffee
on the patio with the squirrel and our evening
glass of wine sitting on the patio with the squirrel.
Once she scampers up to her house and is gone to bed
about sunset) we go inside to our dinner. The apron strings
are being loosened but slower than with Shelly as we know what happened
with her and the territorial disputes with the other squirrels.
We want Lacy to have dominion in her own space. It
seems to have worked because the squirrels who visit her patio to steal
are very accepting of her and do not cause her any problems; however,
may backfire, having her too close and allowing her to be
dependent on us.
Chickadee parents are starting to look frazzled with their regimen of
feeding their growing family and I expect to see them gone any day.
It takes them all day to get their clutch of kids out on
own. I can identify, as this squirrel separation has been
much more extended than we expected. With the Chickadees they
take one chick at a time out of the nest and make sure they know the
ropes; then they will take the next one, until finally they are all
hope our desire to give Lacy a safer environment won't lead to a
squirrel whose survival skills are not as sharp. She has
and now makes it back before dark although we think she has learned
that if she waits until almost sundown most of the other suirrels are
gone and she has an easier time of getting back without being bullied.
It is a hard time for finding
food; though there are thousands of acorns on the ground from last
years crop, almost are all rotten inside or have already been eaten by
Plants are in the flowering stage and not in the seed stage.
However our little one is a big vegan, loving cooked green
fresh corn, and sweet potatoes as her favorite foods. Of
those are not readily available in the wild either. Oh well...
(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
make a small donation to help ensure the continuation of the stories it
would be greatly appreciated.)