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)
I had promised that I would give a report on my
Alligator Farm visit so here it is.
bird nesting at the Alligator Farm is in full swing with nest building,
a few hatchings, and lots of mating activity. Now is the time
a visit if you have a chance, well, it really needs to be
trips to catch all the activity as they scene changes from mating
activities to family rearing.
seemed the Little Snowy's were the most active. The males do
lot of displaying with their new fluffy plumage and the funny gurgling
sound they make. The mating ritual is pretty complex ending
a very non-impressive mating. But whatever the process
results in a new family on the way.
The Little Blue Herons were having a bit of a
territorial dispute with a
Snowy. It happens occasionally in such close quarters with so
many looking for a space to make their nest.
The Tri Colored Herons were also busy with the
mating process with some far enough along to be already sitting on eggs.
exciting are the Roseatte Spoonbills which only started nesting this
far North a few years back. The first ones to nest at the
were a "really big deal". Now it looks like there will be at
nests near enough to the boardwalk, within easy access with my camera.
I did not get back in time to see the offspring while they were small,
as they had already fledged when I returned. Hopefully this
year I can get back to see the funny little baby chicks, which look
little pink rubber duckies.
"What did ya say, Hon?", seems to be what this
concerned and watchful expectant father might be saying.
this Snowy Egret sits posed prettily, in the background you see the
reason for this being the choice of so many birds to gather in this
rookery. The vast number of Alligators in the pond and
the banks are both protecters and scavengers where the birds are
concerned. The gators protect them from predators like
also reap smoe benefits, should any babies get pushed from their nests.
The gators are pretty well fed, and so don't seem too
the birds who just wade in the edge of the water.
Although the Woodstorks are not considered the
most beautiful of birds, in flight they are exquisite.
A couple of the Great White Egrets had
tiny chicks although these were
the only ones close enough to get a photo. At this stage they
such sweet and innocent looking little ones, but just wait until they
get a bit bigger and about bite mom's head off trying to get food out
of her mouth.
This Snowy mom turns her two eggs. She
will probably lay one more egg before she is finished.
Woodstork courting is really quite romantic with
lots of spooning, nuzzling and clacking of those massive beaks.
Watch out; you might swallow a gnat.
It seems that this pose is part of the Roseatte
courting as the potential mate looks on admiringly.
In the water below one was searching for
a bit of food in the water. It was swinging
its head back and forth with that large spoon beak sifting through what
morsels of food that might be there. Its reflection in the
was very interesting.
Then it seems it was time for a workout, starting
with some stretches.
a good shaking out of the muscles and feathers. This fellow
youngster, probably from last years chicks and was thus too
participate in the mating. His head color looked too imature
to be a
thought this was a beautiful composition of one of my most favorite
birds, the Little Blue Heron. The nest in progress looks very
fragile. The nest almost looks like a duplicate of the spray
feathers the male was displaying.
One Little Blue was already sitting on eggs.
only had a short time for this visit as it was after Turtle Training as
I was riding with a friend who let me spend my time at "The
Farm" while he took care of an errand in St. Augustine.
this is one very relaxed turtle and is a more grown up version of the
little turtles I now have, yellow earred sliders. I am
envious of this guys chilled-out
state of mind.
commission painting is starting to finally take shape, sans the sea
creatures, but at least is beginning to have the feel of the water that
I wanted. It takes concentration that is sometimes difficult
to achieve in
the setting of a gallery, rather than just a studio. Constant
interruptions from phone, bookkeeping chores like balancing checkbooks
and paying artists, and taking care of customers often takes its toll.
Plus the fact that I have been suffering from a virus that has been
going around it seems. Symptoms are that for about two to
weeks you just feel
yukky with a feeling of motion sickness or vertigo. My sis
it, now me, but seems to be a virus infection going around according to
other friends who actually went to the doctor to have it checked out.
takes a lot of time deciding on what to include in the painting, and
still make it my own original ideas. I obviously am not going
reinstate my dive certification just to get my own undersea
therefore I came up with a dry version of undersea photography.
sit in front of my nice big computer screen with my camera and research
all kinds of undersea videos. When I see something I want to
I snap photos from the moving subjects. I don't need great
just decent shapes from which to make my drawings. I
know what I want to include, but need to have the correct anatomy and
swimming shapes. I begin with a school of small fish swimming
across the top left, then add a family of dolphins which are in the
this you can see a detail of the dolphin area just below the
the water, which separates the undersea from the above sea surface.
And so I get to play God with my brush creating a world of
heavens and waters and the creatures therein. This labor of
creation hasn't happened
in 6 days though. It has taken me much longer and I still
way to go. I finally got the Sea Turtle drawn last night that
want to include as the star of the show, my first Green Turtle which is
a very beautiful turtle. Next, the addition of some Jellies
for him to
eat will be good. I have been told that Green Turtles are
herbivores but I saw videos of them eating Jellies so I am going with
have been extremely busy with the Isle of Eight Flags SHRIMP FESTIVAL
last weekend, and Turtle Patrol started for me last Wednesday morning.
Hard to believe I will be getting up at the crack of dawn for
next 6 months. I am not a morning person so it had better be
exciting year. I still remember with concern the
only had 4 turtle nests. Thank goodness that has never
again. I can't even imagine only having 4 nests these days,
you simply never know (We have one already, very early).
I'll soon report more on Lacy's progress, as she is growing
into a big, pretty well adjusted girl, although more in contact with us
than Shelly ever was.
(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.)