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)
think the title of this might ought to be "the Lost Summer" but it
really wasn't lost just filed away. I have decided the best
to recreate it is as it happened because too much is lost in trying
the "Reader's Digest" condensed version. It has been the best
Turtle ever, plus the birth of a bunch of new paintings, and the
addition of a new life in our household in the form of a little baby
boy, Peanut the Squirrel.
the Turtle Trot race over I
have been working on getting things set up for the new Save the Turtle
T-shirt and should have the details worked out to send out the ordering
information by tomorrow. I am under a deadline and need to
get the order done by October 1. The painting is also a boost
to being able to help with the overhead both business and personal and it is still
available if anyone needs to adorn their walls. I just
bought a frame for it yesterday.
The sales in August
and September are so slow that the T-Shirts have always helped carry me
through until a better sales period.
our new foundling stablized with Pediolyte and a nice but expensive
milk formula, which we are hoping will last until he is weaned, I was
waiting to see how his badly bruised left back leg
would do, before I decided what I would do with him. I still
think the leg might have been broken. He had
fallen from very high nest in the top of a large Live Oak tree.
You can see some of the very angry
bruise on his upper leg. The best treatment for a break I
was just to leave it alone and see if it would heal otherwise they
recommended euthanizing which was my least favorite option.
this is not an after picture of Peanut on his muscle building formula.
This is actually a third squirrel who has become very tame.
I call her Tootsie. We don't know why she has alway
tame unless she may be one of Shelly's kids who used to follow her over
when she came for her nut handouts. Whatever the reason she
sitting outside the door waiting for me to give out some nuts.
She comes to the door and looks in checking to see if we are
available for a handout.
recognizable as not being Lacy who had a dark stipe up the middle of
her nose. Tootsie has a Fu manchu one. Easy to see she is
one of our less than happy nest experiences. It had been
over by Beryl which exposed the eggs. Marie had moved them
and reburied them, hoping for the best. We had recovered eggs
once before, which
had been exposed, and they had been fine, although we did not move them,
but this time nothing hatched. We
waited the required time, but having seen no signs of hatching after 70
excavated it, finding only unhatched eggs in the nest. Not
battles are won.
have been lots of success stories though. These were two
in a nest covered in sand which had been glued in place by egg yolk, deposited on them in the hatching process. When they
the yolk of the egg is attached to the hatchling's tummy and is then
absorbed into their tummy, the ultimate energy drink. Sometimes
is broken in the scramble of a hundred sets of tiny flippers moving
around resulting in a sticky situation.
Other than looking like frosted flakes they were
healthy and eager to get in the water.
The water will eventually dissolve the coating
and the will be swimming with much less resistence.
sweet little Lacy has had a very tough summer. I had seen
our other local squirrels. Shelly had escaped having to deal with
"Warbles" (also known as "wolves"). Although we had hoped
Lacy it was not to be. This is the early stages and she
two of them on her neck. It took a long time, more than a
month, for them to go away.
We did a lot of sympathizing, Lacy with her bumps and me with
hurting back. Her's was caused by a Botfly" which lays its
underneath the skin of an animal, horses are common host animals.
The larva of this insect grows
underneath the skin. Even though I tried in the
when they were not so irritated to treat them, you don't do too
much to a squirrel without her approval. She got much worse
looking with giant ugly raw knots on her neck, but now is pretty much
idea I had in agreeing to take this new squirrel was to place it inside
Lacy's old house
which was now a nest box for another squirrel who had babies about the
same size, hoping the mother would not notice she had another mouth to
feed. After reading up on the possibilities, we realized it
not a very viable option. If it happens it us usually with a
blood relative of the squirrel. Squirrels have been known to
kill other baby
squirrels. As it turns out this squirrel already had three little ones and may not have been able to feed another one.
like Moses's sister, I put the baby boy in a basket. I
floating it in the river I hung it along side the nest box to see if
the mother would take the baby into her own home. I quickly
hurried inside the house to go to my bathroom, 4 feet away, to crank
out the window to watch over the process, as Moses's sis had hidden to
make sure her baby bro was alright.
a good thing I didn't wait to roll that window out because the same
time I began rolling it out a big hawk flew up between me and the
basket. I guess the movement of the window scared him.
Hawk almost had tender baby squirrel for lunch. He flew up in
tree looking down at his foiled plan. That was the deciding
that set the responsibilty for little Peanut back on us to raise.
He was too sweet and helpless to abandon now.
summer has moved on, the gulls had returned to the point near the pier,
youngsters in tow, to resume the next stage in teaching their young to
beach has had an unusual number of interesting natural sponges appear,
I especially like these red ones. Artists love natural
and the pile by my front doors grows weekly. This beautiful
will not be this pretty once it is dried.
storms and high surfs have come, and tides have brought in interesting
beach finds like this Sea Urchin. The mother Sea Turtles
after the first nests were washed away to lay high thus, protecting the
rest of the nests
which have so far hatched 100%, except for the Leatherback which was
washed over numerous times and has not hatched. They seem to
know that the
beach has recently had been covered by water. Always checking
urging our human
beach visitors to not remove living critters, especially true when I
see them coming with hands full of Sea Stars, which, along with
Sand Dollars are often still alive. I
would assist in examining them for signs of life and then in returning
to the water.
Seaoat heads are full and starting to ripen, meaning time is moving on
to another stage of their life, the stage which leads to the
reproduction of their species as they drop their seeds to renourish our
protective barrier island from the sea.
mornings I get to glimpse the deer, which are plentiful in the park,
but it's only on the way out, later in the morning, that I can have enough light
to get any kind of photograph. Those are the rare times.
Mother deer watches for somthing...
in a few seconds the white spotted fawn follows. A
family, which has twins, but can seldom be caught close enough
together to photograph.
the park not all animals are allowed to live in peace. As I
a short cut across a friend's lawn to access the beach their neighbor
had trapped a Raccoon. I am not sure why only a few houses
the park they would think that they can eliminate their "Racoon
problem" by trapping one fellow, with hundreds a few yards away to
replace it. Seems it would be easier to just make sure you
not leave garbage out to be an attraction. They are
a pest, however by not leaving food or garbage with food smells where they will find it usually solves the problem.
This was a young Sea Turtle, evidenced by her
had a Hermit Crab once upon a time, the dry land kind, I think that
what had washed in this time was a molting water Hermit Crab, who had
just shed his skin, and was waiting for its skin to firm up and hold
everything in place once again. They are very fragile in this
situation. I put him back in the water but was not sure that
wouldn't become gull tidbits soon. Why you have "soft shell
crabs", they have just molted.
seem to get earlier and earlier but actually it's the days which are
leaves me with a better chance of catching some great sunrises.
The season still has lots of time ahead, while I play catch
hoping to not bore you with too many short stories.
do is stash them away for reading on those cold winter nights when you
need a warm sunshiny story to keep you warm. Good to be
pretty good once again.
I was sent to a pain clinic and
had several changes to my treatment with an actual reason for the pain,
allowing a nameable
maladay to add to my list, to pin the blame onto. With a
disc triggering the muscle spasms I was able to receive some, although probably temporary, effective
treatment. I was given an epidurial which has helped stop the
spasms. I still have some achy times but not the stabbing pain I was experiencing.
Life is good, even if I had a month and a half of
paperwork mounds to dig through once I could sit at the computer again.
(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.)