Image by Cool Text: Logo Generator - Create Your Own
Amelia SanJon Gallery
Sandra Baker-Hinton
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040,  904-557-1195 cell

T-Shirt Deadline has been extended until November 1 to give me a chance to get another notice out to you.  Also a I wanted to share a link to the Silk Screen company, Blowfish Artworks, so you can see that they know what they are doing.  September and October are always very, very, slow and the reason that I turn to T-Shirts to help defray the expenses of just keeping the doors open.  Every order is aappreciated.  I have added a Sleep Shirt to the list of shirts you received already.  So I will send a picture of how it looks and a refresher for you on the other kinds available.

It seems like the summer flew by...with not enough time to do much of anything I wanted to do, but then I get the chance to look back at my photos and I find that I did a lot more than I thought.  One of the fun things I did was join in the celebration of one of my favorite activities on the island.  Since I don't have access to a boat, the Amelia River Cruise is my chance to once in a while get out on the water.  Wonder if they would mind if I dropped a fishin' line off the stern and trolled the river while we are out there?

This was a very special event with some very special people, Kevin and Cecilia McCarthy, who were celebrating the 15th anniversary of their business.  They put out a blanket call to the town to come have birthday cake and champagne with them. and in addition those of us who wanted to, without going over the legal limits for the number of people who could get on the boat, to go on a cruise with them for free.  I'm always up for "free".

One sad sight was this Shrimp boat which because someone unknown person, probably as a prank, evidently untied it, allowing it to run aground on the other side of the river, and was ruined.  A families livelihood was destroyed by a thoughtless act.

The small Hammocks which slowly grow out in the middle of the water are the inspiration for a painting I am slowly working on and I keep snapping photos of things that will help me get my idea to congeal.

The port is always colorful with it's huge red cranes, towering over the seascape like some prehistoric bird picking at the brightly colored ships who come here to have their cargos removed or loaded.  We of course hope that it is a two way street and that most ships leave with a load of American goods to take back with them.

Lots of pretty photos ops on the river with boats of different kinds and some of the older more rustic, authentic, working water front structures are included in the scenery.  That is one thing about the place that we all love and that is, it is a real place not a fanciful tourist trap built to lure the dollars in from tourists.  It has a proud fishing heritage and an equally proud past that includes industry like paper mills and net making.  Instead of making nets for fishing and shrimping, the biggest market has evolved to let those net makers now make backstops for big league ballgames.

The dolphins were there right on cue to entertain the boat load of partying folks who had gathered with the McCarthy's to wish them well and another 15 years of successful business.  Good people deserve good things.

Cumberland Island's horses came out and posed for us.  Wonder who told them about the birthday party?

From the water we are able to see the view of our harbor that we don't usually get to see.  I don't often see this end of the marina (the South end) with the view of our very own mountain behind it...oh yes we have quite an impressive mountain of wood chips to be used in the production of high grade cellouse at one of the two "Paper Mills" on the island.  That pile of chips is constantly changing, building then ebbing away. I pass by it almost every day watching it change.  Sometimes there are piles of logs that are as tall as the mound.  Bruce is aways wanting to get shots of it with the great light that sometimes hits it from behind highlighting steam rising from the mound.

The North end is usually what you will see in my photos since that is the way that is the norm for the return trip for the River Cruises.

This is a glimpse of the different faces of our world here.  Falling down docks where Shrimp boats used to tie up and a train brightly painted with art work made somewhere far away, taking supplies to the port as it faces very close to a fairly new restaurant, The Salty Pelican.  I had always visualized a great restaurant, or art gallery, to fill this really interesting building, which sat unused for most of the years I have lived here.  I am so glad someone else finally saw it's potential.

Good girl, laying her nest high up away from any tidal surges...It will keep her babies safe.

A look from the other side of the nest.  She laid well above the highest tides so far this year.

Another beautiful nest with lots of sand spray telling us that it indeed was a nest since that is the last part of laying a nest, covering it and disguising it by throwing loose sand all over it.

It was a very good night to attend the Sounds on Center music program with our Chattanooga house guests.  The music was really great as well as the company.

Pirates were especially handsome tonight with an outfit which has to be the envy o all the rest of the Buccaneers in town.

Ayden, my handsome visitor, was especially happy with it all.  His aunt Ocellia, with whom he lives part time, put him in the car with her, not telling him where he was going only that they were going to visit a friend.  What a surprise about 7 hours later when he is at the beach.

This poor turtles had wandered forever on the beach.  I am not sure what had her so confused but some shark fishermen had been set up all night long just down the beach but they claimed no knowledge of her wanderings.  I even made a bad call on her having laid because she wandered so far after she had laid a nest.  This is not something a turtle usually does.  She may wander before she lays but after she lays a nest she normaly heads back to the water.  The nest hatched even though I missed calling it a nest.

One of my favorite beach flowers, similar to Morning Glory's are these Railroad Vines.  The plants are so important if there is a bad storm to help hold the beach dunes together.

This one eyed Ghost Crab seemed to be soaking up the sun.

Some more of our last Wilson's Plovers, marking the progress of time with their almost adult plumage, as time marches on through the summer.

Then the 4th of July comes as the hatching season for Sea Turtles is approaching with the middle of July.

Personal fireworks precede the Fireworks Show at the Ritz.  We found out when the fireworks show began that we had actually picked a spot a bit too close to the big fireworks for comfort.

When these very large fireworks went off over our heads we got lots of fall out from the explosions.  Thankfully we did not get burned even though there were hot pieces falling on the sand next to us.  We were lucky.

We were not even the closest but the fireworks were spectacular and the camera was in a good position to get some good shots.

On turtle patrol the next morning in the park we found some hard work had been done to create this large shell flag.

Black Swallowtails continued to emerge as butterflies.  This lady was ready to release.

This one was an escapee.  It had climbed out of the Terrarium to the top of the door frame and made its chrysalis there.  All was well though as it made it's chrysalis at the perfect location to not be crushed when the door closed.  You just never know what you will run into in our house.

Monarchs were also actively laying eggs and turning into butterflies.

Our first nest hatched but "oops" looks like the nest was marked in the wrong location.  Ha, ha, sometimes we don't quite get it right but thankfully no predators were trying to get in.  With us trying to place the screen over the egg chamber by guessing exactly where it is was not always a 100%.  But it was a different year for us with the park opening up Turtle Patrol to more outside volunteers instead of mostly park staff.  With decreases in staff it was a welcome change but a learning time too.

Sometimes in an early morning hatching, a little guy just is too tired to finish what he started.  Hatchlings seem to sleep in the daytime as I have observed through the years and seeing them when they are being held for release for a day or so to await the right time in maturing for release that they will run around the bucket all night but sleep all day.  That is what happened with one of these early emergences.  Two turtles were in the top of the nest only to fall asleep.  It would not have been good for them when the sun got up and turned the sand hot so we rousted them out of their slumber and let them finish their walk to the water just a bit later than ther earlier siblings.

These two sleepy heads figured they better get their act together as they follow their siblings tracks to the water.

Onward to the water as these fresh and rested little guys quickly cross the wide expanse of sand to get to the water.  Over the dry soft sand areas of the beach...

...and across a bed of shells nearer the water and the hard sand...nothing slowed their journey.

This nest was significant in that it tied our previous over all record.   From here on any number would be a record breaker for the park.

Excavations by our newbie Turtle Patrol volunteers as they get to dig their first nest coached by our new head of volunteers, Brandon, who replaced our long time leader Marie, who felt the call of Go West Young Man (Woman), Go West, as she left us to go live in one of those cold winter places where the Postman does not let sleet or snow or whatever to hinder her as she makes her rounds now working for the Postal Service in Montana? Wyoming? somewhere far, far away in one of those square looking states.

Lots of firsts for our new volunteers as we had good natured competition over who got to dig which nest.

The Easter Bunnies made a late arrival to the park as some sorry individual decided to free these very tame rabbits by thoughtlessly dumping 6 of them out in the park.  Over a period of a few days we were able to catch 5 of the six with one beautiful completely white, pink eyed one prove to be too elusive for us to catch, but after the 3rd day disappeared, probably to go dine with the coyote.  How could someone expect tame rabbits to adjust to living in the wild and what would it do to our native population if they did survive and thrive in the wild where they would not belong.  They were very pretty, nice and happy to go to their new home on a mini farm which adopted all five of them.  It was a hard decision for me to let them all go but after a few days of having to go out clean the cages and feed them before heading to work convinced me that I did not need another live thing to care for.

A bad day fishing is still a good day.  Fran grabbed a shot of my Great Blue friend as it took off after sitting right next to me waiting for a hand out.  On the other side of where we were fishing there were 2 Great Whites and a Little Snowy with the same idea.  I had seen gulls do that but not the big birds.

Momma deer and her tiny spotted youngster head off through the woods ahead of my approach.  Wonder what the coyote's will do to the deer population.  It seems the wily coyotes have managed to spread all across the nation, even crossing bridges to get to our island.

The numbers continued to rise as one record after another continues to crumbles.

As Ramona and I started to clear away a pile of wrack in front of a nest due to hatch we found this young Gopher Tortoise asleep underneath the pile of  marsh plants deposited on the beach from high tides of the past tidal movement reminding us of why we drive our beach buggies below the wrack line and not in it.

Signs of the summer coming to an end is the radiant orange hue of the fruits of the date palm across the street from the gallery.

Jayne and Brandon sort the findings from an excavation according to the hatched and unhatched eggs to be added to our records.  Mostly all the hatchlings which hatched got out of the nest.  A larger than usual pile of unhatched eggs is in the foreground.  The hatched are placed in piles of 10 each to make counting easier.  I see 60 so far in the hatched side of the sorted ones.  A larger than usual pile of unhatched ones also.

Even another late laying lady has worked her way up the beach.  Some unusual characteristics to the flipper prints tell us something unusual was going on with this gal, possibly a flipper which had been bitten off by a shark.

It was certainly the summer of the beautiful Golden Orb Spider which we commonly call the "Banana Spider".  It weaves it web with one long golden strand of silk which looks like in the sunlight as if it were spun out of pure gold.

Sometimes we did find a live hatchling still in a nest when it comes to excavation time.  These are not quite as energetic as a rule as the newly hatched ones are.

But he makes it to the water and off to a new life in his water world which if it is a male it will never leave unless it is ill.  What a season it has been and it will be a disappointment if next season is a small one.  It is always bittersweet when the nests start hatching because with all the excitment of each nest as the numbers begin to dwindle down and down each time a nest hatches it is a reminder that it won't be long until they are all gone.

(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.)

Return to Story Book list         Return to ASJG Main