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Amelia SanJon Gallery
Amelia Island Artists Workshop
Sandra Baker-Hinton
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040,  904-557-1195 cell
Amelia Island Artists Workshop (for workshop schedules)

September heads toward Fall but not much has changed as the temperatures have remained warmer than usual in the low 90's for most days.  Rain has proved to be very adequate, not a happy thing for tourists but good for shop owners.  The showers have been great for flowers growing in my backyard...I have given up on growing edible vegetables.

The sunrise continues to appear later with my morning rides starting bit later as I don't try for 7am timetable for arrival in the park but aim more toward 7:15 to 7:30, especially on days off from work I can enjoy the more relaxed schedule.  The sun hits the side of the shrimp boat making it part of the sunrise.

Deer tracks are the only mark on the pale pinkish morning beach.

Those same colors reflect as the sun briefly hides behind the strip of clouds radiating across the blue sky.  The pier, a boat and me are all there is to see it.

The dark silloutte of the pier as I pass underneath only serves to contrast with those soft pale colors.

Another nest has emerged during the night.  The countdown is nearing the end.

A mass of tracks show that it looks to be a successful exodus.

The same colors in the sky are in this shell I find on the beach almost as if it had reached up and grabbed a handful of those great colors.

It seems as if there has been a lot of submarine activity on the river during my morning rounds this summer.

The rain has been so plentiful that tiny frogs make the wildflowers seem to have a life of their own as I get out to unlock the gate that allows me access to the park beaches of the mornings.  So green and small that it is impossible to catch one for a photograph.

Our little boy has loved his brief encounter with pecans which were such a staple of Lacy's diet.  I have been out of them and it is too early for the pecan trees to be ready to drop their fruits.  Even acorns have been hard to come by with the season still too early and them.  The large numbers remaining from last years crop are all bad.  My beloved Farmers Market got moved to the South end of the island no longer making it accessible for me to stop by on my way to work.  My pecan suppliers, Tommy and Jane, were also out of them the last time I checked with them and now they they are no longer available to me.  We loved having his pecans.. Our new downtown farmer's market is doing well though I hear.  (I haven't stopped by to check although I did send over for fresh tomatoes today).

Lacy is not the friendly squirrel of before after her summer experience with the big bad bugs who got under her skin.  But she does still come in for her snacks almost daily.  Mostly to find nuts to hide outside.  When I ran out of pecans she would still find them inside the house.  She would come in and disappear then after a good bit of time she would appear with a pecan she had hidden when she lived inside, from who knows where, and then be gone.  I guess they do have a memory because I thought I had already found them all.

These four were tracking toward the water but one who was obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer was determined to go the wrong way.  Sometimes we know why they are still left in the nest.

Once his course is corrected he seems to be OK.

Almost there.

Now the smell and taste of the water to be his new home.

Backing the camera away you begin to see the smallness of these little guys and the big vast ocean world into which he is entering after the tight confines of the nest.

Now this shark which I think is also a Bonnet Head of the Hammerhead shark family was a good sized one if they only grow to 5 feet then this one was over 3 feet.  He was safely (and carefully) put back in the water.

The park has been filled with these fellows, the (Brown) Palemedes Swallowtail mostly because the park is also full of the Bay Tree which is their host plant.  I was not familiar with them up in North Georgia because they don't go that far north.  These are true Southerns.  We were fearful when we almost lost our Bay Trees because of some invasive bug which carried a lethal bacteria.  They are still doing battle with it further south which means it will probably rear its ugly head back up here as soon as in can spread north again.  The two very cold winters we had before this past one seems to have gotten rid of the pest here for a while.  We lost a lot of Bay trees but there is lots of new growth now so cross your fingers these beauties can survive.

Life with a young squirrel is interesting since they want to be with you all the time.  You just get used to having a squirrel on your shoulder, crawling around your back or just hanging out with you.  They do lose this once the outdoors gets its hooks in them, even though they still remember who you are they become less trusting.

A new bird was on the beach.  I, after consulting with my local birders, am pretty sure that it is a Reddish Egret.  At first I thought it was a Great Blue Heron but then again it didn't seem large enough.  When I looked at the photos I thought it must be a Reddish Egret but I have never seen one in this area. 

Trying to take a photo of yourself and your squirrel is not the easiest or most flattering endeavor.  It was pretty good of Peanut though.

Both kiddos, Lacy and Peanut hang around an although Peanut is pretty curious about her she spooks and runs away when he approaches.  It is a little unnerving though to have both of them jump on your shoulder at once, not sure whether a squirrel war will break out or not.

A very pretty sunrise as clouds cover overhead but have a great break near the horizon.

A longer view as I pull the lens back as far as it will to try to capture as much as possible.

Rounding the point onto the ocean beach the scene had changed as a downpour was falling out of the cloud covering in just one spot.  A nice sand castle was in the foreground.

Then another flock of Pelicans add some more drama to the scene.

The Sea Oat heads are starting to shed their seeds.  The ground underneath becomes littered with them.

Another little fellow is ready to hit the water.

Can't ask for a cuter subject as our tail has gotten very bushy and pretty  the better to wrap up in on a cold night.  A handsome fellow, although someone told me he has funny ears.  Maybe his daddy was a rabbit.

Another hatching from a nest which had been washed over and rained upon, making a crust over the top which can be deceiving when you are looking for signs of hatching.  You don't see it until it actually emerges.

Still time for more sunrises in this season.

This is Snappy the alligator who my friend, Debra from Kentucky, visits each day when she is in town.  You have seen him before in my stories.  He is pretty much trapped in a pond next to a defunct restaurant.  When the restaurant was open there was a wooden ramp so he could leave if he wished.  The walls of the pond are wooden and straight up and down.  Now the ramp is gone so Snappy is the lone gator in the pond along with his frog buddy, lots of minnows and turtles.  I did not see the frog on his head until I enlarged the picture.  Debra took him chicken legs as a treat each day and he would come when she called, knowing he was going to get something special. He has probably been too humanized, because I often see others down bringing him treats, to be released into the wild.

Debra is down planning her wedding for November here on Amelia Island.  I am sure Snappy will be well fed that week as her husband to be, Mike, loves Snappy as much as she does.

(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 to make a small donation to help ensure the continuation of the stories it would be greatly appreciated.)

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