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)
is the time for Thanksgiving Week to roll around and I am still into
catching up with Fall. To be realistic I probably won't have
to get another story done before Thanksgiving because I am taking off
to see Momma Jones up in Northeast Tennessee and I have much to do
before I go. A reminder is that Saturday the 24 th is Small
Business Saturday. American Express will give you $25 off a
purchase if you preregister starting November 18. This to
you that there is a limited number so jump on it. Who can't
an extra $25 with which to shop. Go online with American
to register and then come see me. I am one of the merchants
can use your AmEx card with and earn $25 credit on your card.
am working really hard to get another load of glass done before then.
Sea Turtle Season wound down, and I only have the number of nests left
which I could count on one hand, I began to find that I
through the morning seeing how quickly I could get finished, allowing
sleep in another 15 minutes and still get back home in time to get
ready for work in leisure.
then one morning I just stopped and had a good talk with myself.
I said, "what are you doing? At best you only have a few more weeks of
this special time, so stop and smell the seaweed." I had been
doing what I urge others to not do. Speeding though life
stopping to see and feel the world as it flies by.
Once again I allowed myself to savor my time on the beach,
soaking up and appreciating all the little things that I love to see
taken a stroll on the docks the evening before and observed this
big fellow filling its tanks with gasoline. At that point the
pump gauge was whirling around to some $1400. I was aghast,
the attendant in the little marina supply store told me that it would
another 30 to 45 minutes to just fill up and that the total bill would
come to $6000 or more. Hard for me to even comprehend that,
don't ever fill up my automobile tank completely, because I can't stand
to see the
gauge to go over $60. I just wondered what kind of mileage
would get with that tank of gasoline and no wind power.
had wanted me to post a photo of a Bay Tree that I am always talking
about being the host plant for the Palemedes Swallowtail Butterfly.
It reminds me of the smaller leafed Little Gem Magnolia
but once you break a leaf and put it to your
fragrance it releases you know the difference.
beautiful morning with an equally beautiful lady, one of my friends,
walks with her 90+ year old mother on the beach most mornings.
do not walk the same distance or the same pace I meet one heading one
way and the other heading in the opposite way. Brenda has
raising money for a school in Ethiopia in which she taught as a young
Peace Corp worker. She married the Priest and took him away,
but that is another story that she would have to tell you.
When we went to excavate this nest we found this
poor little fellow was trapped by
one small root which had grown into the nest and had
intercepted his route on the way up. Only the tip
of his nose was sticking out. I had remembered seeing it 2
before as we checked post-hatching, but I thought it was a small crab
in the nest. I felt so badly when I realized this little guy
been sitting there trapped and struggling for all that time, trying to
vine from around his shoulders. He must be so tired.
Although its shell was a tiny bit mis-shapened from the experience he
was able to
make it into the water just fine. We carried the two
of them part
way to the water. It is important for them to go through the
whole process naturally, even if it is shorter. Some how and
some time it is imprinted in their brains to return to the beach some
25 years from now and we do not like to interfere with that process by
putting them directly into the water. They need to experience
problem love affair as the object of his affections gets herself stuck
in the muck of wet sand, which has quickly become a hard prison
her as the water goes out with the tide. He being oblivious
to her plight just keeps on with his wooing efforts.
come and go as I enjoy each one, taking time to reflect on what I am
seeing, and looking for new treasures and adventures to be brought in
from the sea.
on the home front our "little boy" had found a place he had claimed as
"his". The same knot hole in the big oak outside our bedroom
window which our first squirrel, Shelly had used in the beginning.
One morning after he had moved out, I heard this noise which
sounded like a cat noise. I went out to check on what it was
it was Peanut, loudly exclaiming to the world that this was his place.
It was as if he were saying "mine, mine, mine.
Monarchs had started showing up as I would watch them float over the
river on their way South. I would see them on my own
weed and see them laying eggs. My plan for providing a
I left the back of the park one day I had to stop and see the
fluttering flowers along the roadside. These were the Gulf
Fritillarys on the Spanish Needles. They were just so
They were everywhere along the road side looking like a bed of orange
flowers mixed in with the white ones.
and I even took time to go to the pier to fish one day. Luck
not with us with the fishing but if you look closely you will see a
large Loggerhead swimming in the waters beneath the pier. I
never get a photo of her coming up for air as she went underneath the
pier and disappeared from view. The Tanic Acid in the
receding tide water prevented a clear photograph.
did not push our little one to move out, but once he made the decision
outside, I seized the opportunity to reclaim my bathroom.
continued to come back inside for several days and seemed to be very
hungry, and I believe more thirsty than anything. When
bottle, which he had pretty much given up, he eagerly drank it down,
more than he had been used to drinking. I think he had not
learning to drink by lapping water. I had been concerned
because I had never seen that happen. That is an important
in outdoor survival. He would lick water off your skin or the
bark of the tree, but seemed
to get it up his nose if he tried to drink it out of a container.
was odd to have this big fat grown up boy come in and want his bottle.
also was not so sure he wanted to sleep outside all the time either.
He would decide he would just snuggle up in my house coat or
crash on the back of the sofa. We were
firm but gentle in taking him back to his chosen knothole when he got
his sleepy look. Only once did he come back. Once I
he was all tucked in, when about 9 pm I looked up and he was hanging on
the screen door. He was lucky some big owl had not snatched
up. But that was the only time. And eventually he
even his knothole preferring, as the others had, to live in the tree
in some unknown place. But the knot hole is a good interim
nesting spot. I think they are drawn to a higher place than
hole is. They can't reason that this is dry, this is strong,
protected but can only listen to some inner voice from thousands of
years ago saying you must go higher, Grasshopper.
More lovely sunrises to absorb knowing that once turtle season is over
I will probably not see any more until next Spring.
patterns in the sand on those mornings after a wind dominated day, and
you find you are the only tracks in it just like a new fallen snow on
that first morning.
The Mullet, a fish that schools in great numbers in the Fall, lure the
birds to feast on them.
Pelicans have moved into position on the ocean side and river's edge,
abandoning their usual Marina perches, to take advantage of the bounty.
tiny flower offers a spot of beauty on an other wise barren dune.
This pretty little white flower is not to be messed with as
name indicates, the Stinging Nettle, it can cause a good lot of pain if
you accidentally get into it with your hand or step on it. I
not sure, being one who likes to avoid pain, just how it works.
don't know if you have to prick your skin or just touching it causes
the pain. My momma didn't raise no fools and I have not
fate to find out.
lot of people have commented on the great number of "dead" Horseshoe
Crabs. I am quick to tell them that they are not dead, but
the shed skins as the crabs molt to grow larger.
especially September seems to me to be the time of most of this
activity. The beach is littered with them. If
they are light and don't smell, then you can take them with
without fear of them becoming odifirous on the way home.
large dunes on the North end of the Park are pretty and I begin to
think of exploring them once the weather is cold. I am not
venturing back in there in the summer. Several big rattlers
been spotted in the park this summer and I know this is a great habitat
for them. I don't want to accidentally intrude in their space.
roundish brown scrubby plants in the flat area are actually what they
look like, Western Tumbleweed. We don't know how it got here,
it is an invasive plant and will be tackled at some point.
before it spreads too much.
This couple was able to make it into the water on their own although
the male was persistent in his attentions.
Southern Flounder are biting. It takes a bit more skill and
finesse to catch these fellows. I have yet to master the
but maybe someday soon I can try my hand, because I love Flounder.
Such unusual fish, with their funny side-ways mouth, and two
on the same side of the head. I am told they start out with
eyes, one to a side, and that the eye gradually moves around to its odd
position. I have to keep reminding myself that the world
was caught off the South end of our island and it weighed about 20 lbs.
That is a big fish and it is just like winning the lottery.
Of course like buying the ticket you have to bait that line
try or its not going to happen.
back mornings into my more relaxed ride gave me time
the privilege it is to do that 8 mile round trip each morning.
not that many more of those mornings would be available to me this
stopped the buggy for a minute to just look at the sunlight patterns on
the trunks of the two tall Cabbage Palms by the side of the road.
Yes, mornings are nice once you take the time to see and
(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.)