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Amelia SanJon Gallery
Sandra Baker-Hinton
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040,  904-557-1195 cell

Our last day of the Jones Dozen Vacation was spent kayaking, courtesy of Kayak Amelia.  It was a great experience even if several of the younger children, including Gabrielle with her broken elbow, but fun for all and the guides were great.

The boys were very anxious to check out the equipment.

We did the majority of the paddling and then took a lunch and cookie break on a nice sandbar out in the Amelia River.  It was nice shallow water, perfect to let the family wade and swim without danger.

But life jackets were left on anyway.

Amy came prepared with toys for playing in the sand... she is always so thoughtful and generous.

Amy and the kids had lots of fun with the Go Pro Camera which films above and underneath the water.

The tide was going out which helped us as we did the paddling with the tide but it also meant the tide was lowering the level of the river as the time went on and would continue to do so until low tide had been reached.  Some people who bring their boats into salt water don't realize the time it takes for that to happen.  This big boat came roaring down the river and when it hit shallow water instead of reversing and retreating he kept plowing forward.  The fellows who were our guides made the comment that they were looking at another 8 hours before the river would allow them to get unstuck.  We left them early in their adventure which would probably get to be less fun in a while.

Our guides pulled a seine to show the children what was living in the waters there.

Although they only caught a few minnows the kids enjoyed turning them loose.

Then the final short leg of our great adventure.

What better way to give friends a farewell dinner than a Low Country Boil.  I enlisted the aid of the best person I knew to do it, Shawn Arnold.  He is a perfectionist when preparing this dish.

The gang played soccer and practiced their skills while waiting on the food.  

Dad, Mike Jones, watched the preparations as Bruce and Shawn got the food ready for the table.

Anxious eyes watch as the food is spread out on the newspapers to drain the food and allow everyone to just "dig in".

Food enough for an army but the shrimp was the prize.  They all loved the shrimp.  We had sent Bruce on an errand earlier to buy them several pounds of shrimp to go into the new cooler packed in dry ice to accompany them back to Thompson Station, Tennessee.

We have such great corn here also to go with the rest of the food.

Amy and I finally got our chance to pose with the children.

Amy came though again with some glow in the dark gizzmos to round out the day.  The shrimp cooler and money for the trip home was thanks to a nice lady who rode the boat with us that first day and wanted to help with the project.  It was the finishing touch to a great week.

I said my goodbyes because they were leaving early and I needed a sleep in morning because the next day would be a killer for me with early gallery stretching on into the evening as it was Artrageous Art Walk evening once again.  But on Sunday I finally found my first Sea Turtle nest.  Turtle season had been off to a slow start with out first nests coming in a month later than usual.   The whole summer would prove to be slow.  My theory is that it had a lot to do with the colder than usual winter keeping the water colder, longer than usual...even the whales went further South than they usually go for their birthing.

But this gal had fought hard to find a good safe place to lay her eggs.  She had dug a nest chamber lower down but then decided to go higher up the dune to lay the actual nest.

You can tell by the tracks in the sand the timing as her tracks came in as the tide was high and her outgoing tracks left many hours later as the tide had moved on down the beach.  She laid one more nest right next to this one about 10 days later, and had made a couple of false crawls that did not result in a nest.  We don't know why they do this, sometimes there is a real reason, people, dogs or other animals intruding in their space, sometimes not any reason that we can see, but the turtle may know things we don't.

The Willets were hanging out in what could have been a family group or maybe part of the mating ritual since I usually see them hanging out solo on the beach at other times of the year.

A big blue crab was dining on some unknown fish part in the edge of the river.  I don't usually see them very often although I know they are there and I am always threating to go crabbing because I love crab meat a lot.

Our first nest had been laid the day before and was the first of only 11 nests.  We screened the nests although they were not bothered by the fox this year.  We did have someone continuing to allow their dog to run loose on the beach, and we think it may have kept one turtle from laying its nest with the dog's tracks following the turtle tracks up the dune.  There are not supposed to be any dogs on the beach in the park but so many people think all rules are made for other people.

We have two kinds of rabbits on the island, the Cottontail and the Marsh Rabbit.  This is the Cottontail and was next to the pier in the park.  They have longer ears, the typical white fluffy tail, and a more even color to their coat.

This was a mystery to me.  It was a Whale Watch boat and I am not sure what that meant.  Since it is unlawful to try to get near the Right Whales which we have in the winter I am not sure what this was doing in our port unless it was a whale study group.  However our whales had already left the area for the year.

I took a picture of Kenneth (but not this one) with his colorful umbrella which won a competition in a Tourist Promo Contest.  He has not been fishing as much this year as he usually is.  In the past I have been able to count on him being there every day except Friday when he mows the church yard and Sundays when he is in church.

Some big boats leave a very uniform wake which I thought interesting.

Dragonflys have filled the air this summer but are so hard to photograph.  These are a large size.

Some mornings are just so glassy that the sun glistens on the smooth surface.

Now this is a Marsh Rabbit, and this is Ms. Wabbit from last year.  It was a surprise to have her come hopping up for her carrot.  We had thought she was killed last year when we found a dead rabbit in our front yard near our front step a few weeks after she had quit showing up.  We wrongly assumed it was her.  Early in the summer she came hopping up for her carrot as if nothing had changed.  But a lot had changed, and she was on a mission.

She had brought this little guy with her and left him for us to take care of for her.  She left him in my flower garden just beside the patio where she had stayed when she was here.  He has been there until this week, growing into a fine looking rabbit and eating carrots out of our hands just like momma.  She did come back a couple of time as if to check and see if the baby was alright.  I left town for a week last week, but without me her to give him/her carrots the young one has not been seen since I returned.  I put his carrots out just in case he comes back.  He usually will come when I call "Bunny" but not this week.

Wilson's Plovers had chicks up and down the river beach from the pier to past the Fort so great care had to be taken to make sure that we didn't hit one of the little ones who blend in very nicely with the sand.

You can see that a Marsh Rabbit does not have the big cottontail.

Our little one grew and loved his carrots.

Miss Lacy has continued to check in with us almost daily.  Both of us look pretty chubby here, but both of us have dropped a few pounds now.  Lacy has finally become a momma and I just cut back on the food.  Lacy had such horrible summers with the larva of the Botfly infesting her skin with huge boil like sores causing her to lose or not be able to raise babies.  Starting back in the winter I gave her a medicine that I had hoped would prevent the larva from surviving once it hatched out and before it was able to grow large.  Finally Lacy stayed healthy enough to have her first litter of little ones.  She dropped a lot of weight and we did not see her for 2 to three weeks while they were tiny as she hardly left them at all.  Then she got so she would run over for a snack at almost dark.  The first time she came she acted like she was starving and started eating peanuts on the spot rather than carry them off like usual.

The summer has flown by too quickly I have just returned from a week with my mom and aunt Helen.  It has been a very eventful Summer and Fall thus far as I look back and wonder where Summer went.  Lots to tell just hope I can get it all caught up.  As of now I have had three, yes thats right, three new adoptees, three tiny squirrels who are now about 6 weeks old.  Lots of photos will follow as they are 3 times as cute as just raising one.  It may get pretty hectic though before they are ready to release.

T-Shirts for this years Save the Turtle T-Shirts will be ready in about a week to order and will be done locally to save time and assure quality.  I will be sending out order forms as soon as I get a mock up.

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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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