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)
time leading up to Beryl had been packed with activities, the Shrimp
Festival, Nature Festival, the annual Chamber Music Festival,
among other things.
it looks like we are in the middle of a dog show we are actually
relaxing on the lawn of a local park listening to beautiful classical
music being played by some very talented musicians in one of the "free"
concerts connected with the Chamber Music Festival. It was
difficult to just listen to the music when
my camera kept finding interesting things to shoot like this
Whippet with it funny unruly ears.
sure how to spell this one but is pronounced as something possibly French.
Its main characteristic is that it looks like a Bison.
This one sure fit the bill.
music inspired some to relax close their eyes but this beautiful young
lady was inspired to gift us with an impromptu dance. She was
wonderfully expressive that I thought she surely must be in a ballet
class, although her expressive moves had to be felt, not just learned
from practice. That, I don't think, can be taught.
Just as quickly as it began her mom called her away and her
beautiful dance was no more.
a different tune, as we left that concert and rushed straight over
Cafe' Karibo to catch part
of a CD Release party by one of my artists, Sean McCarthy.
"A Bad Day Fishing" is the name of the album (do they still
them that?). Classical to Country in just 10 minutes.
was a fun time
also but different. Isn't music a wonderful thing with so
ways for a musician or writer to express what they have within.
The band was having as much fun as the
they shared the stories of how the songs were written. As
you know a bad day fishing is still a good day, the gist of the song.
were filled with turtle patrol and excitement as turtles began laying a
couple of weeks early early. One morning as I rounded the
near the River
Campground at Fort Clinch I saw this very graceful ship sitting on the
still calm river. It was soon to arrive in port to be open
"free" tours. Those of you in Chattanooga will remember the
"Yellow Deli". The members of this crew are also part of that
and bring this ship from port to port. They are a religious
group who try to live their message, living together in commune
style as they travel up and down the Atlantic Coast. They
weathered the storm in good shape.
Lacy weathered the storm just fine she managed a few days later to be
behaving rather peculiarly. I had a feeling that hormones
playing a part in her behavior and I do believe I was right.
day later she disappeared, but, having gone through this with another
young lady, this time I wasn't overly concerned, and in fact was
actually expecting it, although I had hoped she would wait
to the one year mark instead of the 6 months one.
send out birth announcements before
long if I am right. For now she is back acting normal and her
playful self. She is still a pretty small squirrel to be
on family responsibilities.
Crabs continue to take advantage of the high tides that come with the
moon's phases, but do not do so well with ones from the storms. This upside
down fellow was
his best to right himself, but was only managing to go in circles.
rescues when they get disoriented and can't find their way back to the
now long gone water with low tide. You can see 3 others
struggling to get back to the water. It was a busy morning.
This suitor just didn't know when to quit.
had been our first nest is now a memory, well not exactly because
without the stakes we really can't even remember where it was.
Very sad to have lost this one but it seems that is the way
is. Even the back stake placed further back in the dunes was
washed away. This is the one we suspected might be a Kemps
duck couple was fine through the storm and I still see them hanging
out every day, sometimes on the river sometimes on the ocean
side, but always together.
second turtle first crawled in with a False Crawl deciding that she was
unhappy with that spot and came back a few nights later and thankfully
laid a very high nest which has survived.
the Ospreys it has been a different story. Little Girl and
are both OK, but their chicks were lost. It looks like we
won't have any Osprey chicks to watch grow and fledge in the nest at
the back of the
park this year. The nest now sits deserted.
news; it looks like the Least Terns seem to be nesting in the
park once again.
As an Endangered Species we are very happy when they come
us. They missed last year and did not nest, but the minnow in
the mouth is a sure sign of courting behavior, sort of like offering
the gal an engagement ring.
nest which was our first on the river, and in a very vulnerable spot
right on the point where the heaviest currents run in a storm seems
to be lost also. It was a high nest laid in the top wrack
but not high enough. The back dune stake is all that remains.
We will continue to monitor it just in case we are wrong.
is sad because this mother had worked so hard to lay this nest as you
can see on
the very left edge of the photo where you can see her tracks coming in
then she crawled all through the rough wash area finally making her way
toward the dune to what should have been a safe area before heading
back out to sea. Hopefully she will be back to lay there
first trip out after Beryl offered a treasure trove of sea creatures to
find and assist back to the water. This is a Horse Conch, the
Florida State Shellfish and although a bit broken was very much alive.
This one was about a foot long. Unfortunately my
is now living near the park saw a lady carrying a whole arm load of Sea
Stars and other live shellfish off the beach to "take home".
is a very bad thing to do. Don't ever remove live creatures
the beach. There is an exception which I will show you on
really "too pretty to be real" Sea Stars were on the beach.
the live ones back in the water. The colors in these guys are
Shellfish was a new one for me to find alive. It is a Banded
Tulip Snail. It was so beautiful and very much alive as it
twisted and turned trying to reach the water. We were happy
assist. My friend and house guests through the storm, Ocellia
helping me put things back. They were leaving that morning so
were able to collect their own arm load of empty shells to take back
to this Cockle Shell were the very pretty and frilly egg sacs of the
Tulip Snail. Since it appeared to still be alive we put it
was a very unusual critter and I wondered about it because I didn't
think it was a Sea Slug. It was still alive and I thought it
might be a Sea Star missing most of its legs. A Sea Star can
regrow its legs if it loses them but I had never seen one have only one
had also never seen this type here before.
we found out that was exactly what it was. We found one with
legs but ofcourse these were not the missing legs for the other fellow.
knew what it was. As long as the center part is attached the
Sea Star can continue to live.
is the exception to the rule on not taking live creatures.
pretty barnacles are an invasive species from the Pacific Ocean and we
fear because of their
large size that they will root out our smaller native species.
When you find these guys and they are still alive as these
toss them away from the water. This fellow and some of his
relatives are now in my freezer waiting for my son, David to make a
mold of them for a project he is doing down in Orlando which has to do
with building an ocean reef.
of Whelk egg sacs. This one had hatched so not sure if those
Whelks on my finger tips are alive or not. We did find some
were not yet hatched and tossed them off the pier back into the water.
It takes the Whelk about 8 days to lay this long string of very
tough leathery sacs, which has about 60 or more tiny Whelks inside each
sac. The hole in the sac is the escape route for the new
enter the sea. My question of the week is how do shells form?
They grow, but how?
this cluster destined to be put back into the water is a Whelk, a
couple of Tulip
Shells, a young Horse Conch, and some other type of attached shell fish
on the Conch. The young Horse Conchs are much brighter in
color and are bright orange when even smaller.
tiny baby Stone Crab was inside another shell I picked up.
at his "Popeye after his spinach"-looking front claws. Their
fame, and our fine dining, is these big front claws which are a
delicacy to eat and
can be harvested without killing the crab.
looked like most of our Wilson's Plover chicks made it safely through
the storm. As a matter of fact we had 3 new sets of
show up the week afterward. One gal took pictures of a
Gull who sat on her eggs throughout the storm to the point that she was
buried up to her neck in sand but she did not leave her eggs.
Though the mate was protesting the girl gently uncovered the
set her free. I hope she will be rewarded with a successful
hatching after that sacrifice. I take back all the unkind
have said about Laughing Gulls being terrible parents.
have been working on paintings in all my spare time. I have
in the gallery much more lately with Bruce unable to work for a couple
of weeks. He had an experiment with cooking rice that left
lasting effects with boiling water burning a huge 2nd if not 3rd degree
burn to the top of
his foot. He is on the mend and I finally got a day off to go
shoot birds on Tuesday. Some good news and bad news from
Of the three Roseate Spoonbill chicks I photographed in the
story, only one made it, but the one sitting on the nest produced 3
ones. I will share some photos after I get time to go through
Another small 8 x 10 painting also finished and
hanging for our Saturday Night Art Walk, party, and a good party is
all we lost 4 of our 6 Sea Turtle nests in the park and it looks like
about 2 dozen island wide. However the good news is that we
had 4 Leatherback nests laid on the island. I am learning to
shake off the losses as part of natures plan and nothing that can be
prevented. One nest that had been relocated to a safer higher
spot down on the lower part of the island was washed away despite the
So it just goes to show that you can't predict nor prevent
disaster when Mother Nature is prevailing with her surprises.
we understand better the great number of eggs laid and the multiple
layings in a season is to offset their loses and to insure
of the species. Turtles are doing well, although you would
know that by the environmental reports from those trying to raise money
for their causes, who only report the dire news. The best
ever for Green Turtles since we have been recording data was
springs eternal. The good with the bad. Win some,
All those life-explaining -isms really are true. We
anxiously awaiting the rest of the season to see what surprises nature
has in store for us. Will there be lots of nests, will there
lots of storms, will the fish bite? Que sera sera.
(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.)