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Amelia SanJon Gallery
Sandra Baker-Hinton
218A Ash Street., Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
904-491-8040,  904-557-1195 cell
http://www.sandrabaker-hinton.com
http://www.ameliasanjongallery.com

(Hurricane) Matthew Comes to Town


I know, I know, it has been a long time and I don't blame you if you have forgotten me.  I have missed the writing so much, but time has just evaporated for me this year.  Maybe too many squirrels, too many pressing issues at the gallery, huge changes to make there which have been very involved, too much Facebook also, which is easy to spend too much time with, but it does help me sell my work.  But here I am like a bad penny which just keeps turning up...and not only that but I want to sell you something.  This is the latest I have ever gotten out my T-Shirt information.  This year's Save the Turtle Tee is of a nest full of Leatherback Turtle Hatchlings emerging.  It was time to pull out my "vintage" oil paints along with those given to me by my old business partner, John Thompson (the Jon in SanJon).  Isn't it nice to call old stuff, vintage, kind of like wine. This year's painting was done with oil paint.  This Sea Turtle is one of our rarest with nesting count measured each year in hundreds instead of thousands, largest up to 2000 pounds and 8 feet long, travel the furtherest, can survive the coldest temps, and dive deeper with dives up to 3000 feet,  than any other Sea Turtle.  We have in recent years had at least one nest and sometimes up to 4 nests, but this year, since I decided to feature them in my painting, we did not have a Leatherback nest on our beach.


Here is the painting close up and one from which you can also order prints.  Prints will be 4:3 ratio, (that would be, for example 12 x 9 in. on 13 x 19 paper.  Larger prints are available.  I also do framing if you are here locally.




Below are the T-Shirt choices.  Try to quickly return order information since I am running so late.


So once again I am asking you to consider purchasing one of my shirts which are fun to collect.  If you get enough you can get a quilt made out of all your collection.  I have been very happy with the printing for the past 2 years, with the authentic silk screen done the old fashioned way with many different screens to get the colors done.  The color is much more lasting.  Please check out the styles (the Sleep Shirts were a very good addition last year and the fabric was very soft and comfy feeling).  I am going to try to add a long sleeve shirt for the youth this year because I have some new customers who live in snowy places and need the sleeves.  Let me know quickly your choices as I need to get the orders in a couple of weeks so that people can have them before Thanksgiving.  It is much appreciated revenue for the gallery.  I will next week, I promise, catch you up, and there is tons to catch up with.  

September and October threw us lots of curves which accounted for me not getting the information on the T-Shirts to you.  First my computer failed and I was without for about 3 weeks while Bruce tried to revive it, then find time to rebuild it, -then most disruptive even before the hurricane, our well failed us.  That means we didn't have any water in the house even though we had power.  Temporarily we were able to hook a line up to the neighbor's source, so we can exist with running water through the house.  Matthew, a most unwelcome visitor, forced us to evacuate 3 days, and then to spend another week cleaning up debris from that.  So legitimate excuses, but I think the loss of my camera was the biggest deterrent.  I don't do well with new technology.  I am still using Bruce's camera and he is using one my brother, Mike, gave us, (too complicated, he said, then quit using it years ago), but I don't shoot with the spontaneous great joy I experienced when using my old camera.  It is very hard to get to focus and by the time it settles in to get the focus and distance locked in, the animal is already gone, and I am shooting a photo of the grass.  Enough whining.  I am going to share with you our very interesting experiences with Hurricane Matthew.
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Matthew gave us notice, and we saw the many possible tracks wandering around our way.  Only days before did we get the word that it would definitely head in our direction, with a chance of direct overhead pass.  We had the threat from Hermine, but just some hard showers, and a bit of wind and that was all with that one.  Some of our Nor'easters are comparable.  But Matthew was worse.  It was mentally very hard...it was downright scary.  What do you do when the realization hits you that you might loose everything you own.  Decisions are made as to what you will take with you and only a short time to make those decisions.  What is so important that you must sacrifice the limited space of one vehicle.  I bagged up my children's framed photos and photo albums, not to take, but in an attempt to make them watertight, with the hope they could survive.  The same with important papers.  The most important papers I put in a file drawer and took with us.  Part of the problem was I had 7 squirrels in various stages of raising at the time we first got word of the hurricane's possible track.  What to do with them?  Then where to go?  We did not want to go far away, but we never once considered staying.  We have been here 15 years now, and this is the first time we have been threatened with something that was serious enough to warrant leaving. 


First of all is to photograph the house, now all boarded up, and its contents in case we don't find a home when we come back.  Now where to go?  I have a friend who lives off-island.  She called and "told" me I was not going to stay on the island, and that I could not leave my squirrels there, because Old Man could not fend for himself.  Old Man is another story for another day.  She said we were going to come to their house which is on the water, but their house is high on pilings, and she felt confident that they would be OK unless the storm went above a Category 3.  There was a back-up plan for that.  We would then go to her friend's 150 year old house which has withstood the worst of hurricanes.  So a plan was in place.  Evacuation was for Thursday beginning at 6am.  Storm was to come on Friday and could be a Cat. 4 when it got to us.  Time to get serious.  Unfortunately we did not have flood insurance so if water was our problem we really and truly could have lost everything.


As I photographed all my most precious possessions I spent some time considering these things that are treasures for me, but probably no one else.  All my art pieces are special, but probably to not that many other people.  Some were created by my children.  This one was done by my son, David, in high school, and was a self portrait of himself.  I had always thought it was such a creative piece for a kid so young.


Then there is work of artists in Russia which I bought or was a gift from the artist, while I was there.  This one was an etching of Lenin with his arm around Tolstoy which is an interesting piece knowing their history.  Also that they came from the artists I personally met and spent time with means a lot to me.  Then special pieces which I did myself in workshops and never did that method again.  I like to have them around to remind me that I can expand into all kinds of ways if I want to do so and can learn to not sleep.


One of mine, and I think Bruce's, favorites of his photographs is a shot he got when he worked for one of the Chattanooga newspapers of some professional dancers who came to town for an outdoor evening performance.  Photographers call it an "Available dakness" shot, this was from the film days exposed at ASA 4000.


Then there is a wall I was just now putting together from my friends back in North Georgia who, through the years, gave me art as gifts; photographs of Chattanooga, an ink piece from China from a special friend who went there to live for two years, and special quilt pieces from quilting friends.  Hard to think of losing things with this much sentimental value.  
Now back to the storm.  On Thursday, the Mandatory Evacuation day, I kept trying to get hold of my friend to make sure we were still on the same page about coming to her house.  Middle of the day--still no answer.  Plan was to leave by 4 pm as we were told to be gone by 6.  Finally I got a call from her and she said, "sorry I have not been able to call, but we are in Atlanta."  Seems she had gotten sick from something she ate and at 2am her husband said, "get the cats we are leaving" so now she was in Atlanta.  She said you are to go on to friend Joy's home over in Callahan, two towns away from our island in a straight westward direction, about a 30 minute drive.  She assured me it was OK to take the squirrels.  By this time a few days earlier, I had released 3 of the outside ones, leaving me with only 4, the 3 youngest ones and "Old Man".  Old Man is 9 years old and can't be released.


I didn't know what a "Cracker House" was, but that was what I was told, the house was...a 150 year old Cracker House.  What an education. 
The term has fallen into the disrespectful language category of late, but originally referred to European immigrants, and their pioneering decendants.  From Wikipedia, follow this link! They were "boasters" or those who told things in entertaining fashion or humorously, (i.e. cracking a joke).
I have heard of Georgia and Florida Crackers, but thought it had to do with something they ate, or their style of speaking.  In the two days ahead I would learn a lot about the history of Crackers.  When we pulled up to what seemed to be the end of a "lane" as the road had gotten smaller and once we crossed the railroad track the road became two lanes of dirt tracks in the grass.  This is the view when we got there.  Is this the house?  Where do we go in?


Getting out of the car we were better able to see the house without so many plants to block the view.  We found a door and knocked and yelled, "Joy, we're here."  One interesting turn of events was we now were under the roof with two Bruces.  The resident Bruce's girlfriend, her dog and cat were already there, along with Honey, Joy's dog, and now we added our 4 squirrels to the animal menagerie, and we two humans. We would share space with all for the next few days.  With no weather expected that evening, it was a time to make introductions and get to know our host and hostess.  Host Bruce is the son of Joy and they share the house with Honey.  Honey's name had lots of references, she was honey colored, Bruce was a Bee Keeper, making Honey a good choice of a name and then she was sweet as honey, devoted to her momma, Joy.  With a bit of time before it was dark and weather was good there was a little bit of time to look around and learn about this place which reminded both my Bruce and my own remembrances of our grandparents homes.  It definitely had that feel.  I wish I had taken the exploring more seriously at that time, but the tension and tiredness of the day and preparations to leave had left us pretty exhausted.  Resident Bruce, besides being a beekeeper is a musician, singer & guitar picker of Hambone Stumps Band.  Joy who looked so familiar that a photo later spotted jogged my memory as to why...she was a former member of The Pirate Club, and I probably have lots of photos of her in her pirate/wench outfit in parades and at the music events on Centre Street.
 I found out one local, likely questionable, definition of what a Cracker House is.  Think back to pre-Civil war times and the person who oversaw the labor.  He was known as The Cracker because he was the one who Cracked the whip to make them work harder.  I will never hear the term Cracker with the same feeling again.  The Cracker House was where the "Cracker" of the whip lived on the farm or plantation.  If you look at the house today you an pick out the changes but also see the form of the house as it was originally.  The house was either one room or two with a dogtrot out back which led to a unconnected kitchen which was put there to keep down kitchen fires.  No kitchen in the house lessens the chance of a house fire.  The house was surrounded by a wide spacious porch with a low hanging roof.  This house had been two rooms with a double sided fireplace between the two.  The bedroom on the right has been expanded to the edge of the porch on that side of the porch.  A small addition on the left also but I was not sure about that.  The back porch became Joy's bedroom, the kitchen and bath with another screened in porch added with a shed type roof running the length of the back of the house outside the basic lines of the house. 

It was a treat to stay in such a historic place with such interesting people.


You can see the back porch addition in this photo.  Joy was a real plant lover and had organized a Farmers Market for Callahan and sells her own jellies and other farm products there.  Bruce was showing us some of their honey and he said we can't touch that one as it is ready for entry in the fair coming soon.  The big Oaks in this photo were the only flies in the ointment.  They were standing at least a 150 years old, and our major concern was whether they could withstand the wind once again.  In the middle of the height of the storm Bruce (the Host) said, "Mom, we need to go down to Ricky's house", which is  on down the lane belonging to his sibling, Joy's other son.  It was a new house with no trees over it.  

So in the middle of the worst of the storm we ran for the cars and hightailed it down the lane to Ricky's house.  With the power gone since way before the storm came we sat around talked and snacked with the windows open wide and listened to the wind.  Ricky is an amazing artist who lived mostly up in the upper Midwest on a Native American Reservation with his then wife. We were keeping in touch with the storm through phones and computers because there was no TV even before the storm.  I actually read a book while I was there.  On Thursday the trains ran just outside the front yard frequently, but by bedtime the trains had stopped and we would not hear anymore the whole time we were there.


After we returned to the Cracker House we all went to bed.  The wind was still blowing but had decreased in intensity.  Not too long after laying down, we were sleeping in the living room, I heard this big noise.  I grabbed Bruce and said what was that.  The two Bruces got up and went out to see what had happened.  This is what they found.  An old, old cedar tree had broken off one whole side.  There was one other tree a short distance away which had gone down but it fell on Railroad property away from their property.


The tree had fallen in such a way that the branches extended downward like fingers protecting the tractor underneath so that it got nary a scratch.


Saturday Morning you can see that there was no damage to the house and it lived to tell more stories about the time Matthew came to visit.


Another Cedar tree survived unscathed.  Perhaps the woman in the tree had a hand it keeping it upright.  Do you see her?

I took all these photos on Saturday and I wish I had more time to get more photos but we were so anxious to get back home to see what had happened back on the island that after we cooked breakfast from bacon and eggs Ricky brought up we quickly packed to leave.  I wish I had taken photos of the huge fire pit which I understand is a social center for gathering friends and fellow band members around.  We hope to be invited back for some of that.  I wish I had taken a photo of probably the only 3 holed, cypress out-house anywhere around, as well as some of the very interesting plants in Joys garden.

We left and headed back toward the island to wait closer to the bridge so that it would not take so long to get back on the island once the bridge was opened up to traffic.  During a hurricane the bridges are all closed once the wind hits 39mph sustained wind speeds.  We were stopping to check on a friend's second home and then on the same street hung out at another friend's house until word came that they were letting people across.  I even braved a quick dip in their very icy pool which felt good after two days without a shower.  She may have had to drain the pool.  :)


Finally early afternoon we were allowed to return to our homes.  The trip across the bridge the marsh never looked prettier.  The greens there were amazing but the tide was high.  Relieved we did not see that much damage although lots of small twigs and some branches, even an occasional downed  tree.  Usually the ones which fall will have hollow places in them which probably were invisible to the owners before the storm.  This gave me hope our house would be OK.


It was such a relief to pull into the driveway and see the house was OK.  Bruce's wooden shuttering had been good, but probably not necessary but hind sight is better than looking ahead into the unknown.  The lawn was a carpet of medium brances, down through little twigs which would require raking and piling beside the road in the next few days but that was OK, even without water in our well.


Next we ran to town to check on the gallery because we knew the water had been high in town and we had heard at one point that the water was to the corner of 2nd Street, one short block from our gallery.  I had placed all the paintings on the floor incase windows broke out and wind came in, which might in this case have been the worst possible choice.  Next we drove by Main Beach to check out what went on there and to see how the beach had fared.  It all looked good.


The park was initially closed and the gates were still locked on Sunday but Monday was a chance to get into the park with the gates opened, and check out what damage had been done there.  I had already heard that the pier had experienced a lot of damage.


Where we usually accessed the beach was now a big pond of water.


I was able to follow the road to the parking lot and access the beach.  The vast amount of Wrack was on the beach as I looked West toward the Fort.  This comes from the marsh and is the stems of the dead marsh plants.  They wash down the rivers during high water times and is then deposited on the beach there.  Eventually it will become covered in sand and will become part of the beach.  As it decays it will give nourishment to the plants which grow there and help hold the beach together during these times of rough storms and high waters.  An on going cycle of life on the beach.


Looking east it was the same story.  What you can't see is that the wrack was filled with trash.  I felt hopeless as to how in the world it would ever be removed.  Every form of plastic and paper products from cups, plates, balloons, pipes, buckets, and the list goes on to include vast amounts of Styrofoam.  Then there was the wood: pieces of docks, piers, boardwalks, boats and that is still the parts that are still there.  We (volunteers and island people) have spent hours picking up trash since the storm and it is once again looking good.  They guys will take the heavy equipment and trucks out to remove the big stuff.
 

You can see that the water was all the way up to the Fort itself.  The tree in the foreground was on the beach all year a good quarter mile down the beach.


This is my Matthew keepsake, a piece of driftwood that looks like a bird.  I will hang it on my wall with my other driftwood birds.


The moat around the Fort was no longer a grassy moat but a real water moat.  It is still in there but going down to more of a puddle today.


If you use your imagination you can find lots of pretty images left by the storm.  I thought this piece of palmetto looked like a bird's wing.  I wish I had brought it home with me, but I didn't.  One of our trash pick up mornings (I was out 4 days in the first 8 days and two of those I organized a group to go help. The citizens here are so good to pitch in and that is the reason the beachs are back already looking good.  One fellow was out walking with his camera and I offered him a bag for picking up trash but he said no, I am just taking photographs of it.  His photographs were pretty as he showed them to me, but I thought it would have been more meaningful if had then put the trash into the bag once he photographed it.


Our wonderful pier received a lot of damage.  We lost some of the end sections, and another section about a third of the way back and also lost a lot of the Turtle Friendly lighting which was solar powered.  The big battery boxes were scattered up and down the dunes.  Brandon the shorter ranger is our Volunteer Coordinator and is usually not the short one in a crowd but his helper is a big guy but I can't remember who it was--we have several very tall rangers, Lee, Rick, and Eric for instance.  They have all worked hard clearing trees from roads and trails, opening the park back up within a few days.


This is the view looking from the pier toward the West and what you will see missing is the primary dunes which are now gone.  The beach does not look that damaged if you are not used to seeing it but when you know the beach as we who are out there often do you know what is missing.


This is looking then to the other side and the same thing here.  There was a fairly big escarpment which followed this beach around the bend that you see but is now leveled and the beach goes much further back into the dunes than before.  The water is more what it would look like at high tide before the storm, but now high tide is a long way in toward that wrack line.


You can see that the water made it all the way to this dune which had been a lot further back than water had been before.  It did not wash away the grasses and small shrubs as they held their ground and is why we protect the dune plants so fiercely.


Another water line which is noticeable is this handicap ramp down to the beach from the pier.  You can tell by the pile of wrack that the water was up into this part of the pier.  It would have been something to see if it had not been so dangerous to be here.


But the storm left and we were so very lucky.  Once again we bit the bullet and got a real reprieve as the storm dropped from a Cat. 4 to a Cat. 2 just before it got to us and it also veered to the East so what we got was mild as to what it could have been.  Where we are on the map is the furthest West I believe than any other part of the coast line.  If you look at the longtitudal map you will see that we are as far West as Ohio and Orlando.  What also helps us not be hit by these storms, not saying it can't happen, is that the Gulf Stream swoops Eastward away from us and in essence its driving weather pattern pulls the storms away from us.  Every time I say that I want to say, wait while I knock on wood.  The sky was filled with mare's tails formed by ice crystals falling from the clouds.


My sweet little Danny Boy the only one of my squirrels which I still have in the house besides Old Man who will always be here.  I took him to work with me after we got back and were open but only one day because he likes to just play all day with only a short nap.  He does entertain himself, but he is a curious little fellow, exploring everything he sees.  I hear a crash and it is, what are you into now Danny Boy?  So from then on I left him at home with Old Man to baby sit him.  They get along fine but there is a pecking order.

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This is another butterfly painting I am working on and which I took with me in the car throughout the hurricane.  I had worked on it for 4 weeks and I valued that work enough not to want to take the chance on losing it.  Bruce had also considered driving his car but we didn't know about traffic as we were asked by the city and county leaders to only take one car when we left.  Many of Bruce's tools were in his car so leaving it behind would be a loss of capability while off island.  This got me to thinking about my tools.  What could I not do without?  I made a quick trip to the gallery to take my paintings down thinking wind damage and broken windows, (not a good decision but it turned out OK) and to pick up my boxes of paint and my best brushes because these would be so expensive to replace, I would never be able to recover their loss because they represent probably what is a lifetime of watercolors, and a lot of expensive acrylic and now oils.  This painting is done with oil as was the last Turtle Trot Painting.  So I took my tools off island with me.


This is work I have gotten done on it since back in the gallery.  This will have lots of butterflies buzzing the plants the next time you see it.  It does have some pink poppies which have grown up right of center since this was done.  Then this past week I had to pull off to prepare for a show in which I was the Featured Artist in a gallery in Neptune Beach down in the Jacksonville area.  I did get to work on it for a couple of hours day before yesterday but then yesterday I had to get myself ready to go down to the reception.  The show is at First Street Gallery in Neptune Beach (just next to Jacksonville Beach) a block off the ocean.  A really interesting gallery.


I did get to participate in the rescue of this beautiful turtle.  This is a hatchling version of a turtle I had experience in a former time 4 years ago when I had rescued a female adult one from the ocean.  This one was also on the wrong side of the island for it to survive.  This is known as a Diamondbacked Terrapin which makes its home in "brackish water" which means it is both fresh and salt water mixed.  I wanted to release it in the same place i had released the adult.  The reason these turtles get on the beach side is that the female likes to lay her eggs in a sandy dune like area which on a narrow island is not that far away but the body of water nearest it is the ocean.  Is is easy to see how they can turn up in the wrong body of water.  The patterns in this particular subspecies of the Diamondbacked are so very interesting as each is different from the other, even those which are opposite and most similar, yet still different.  So as an artist I find this an amazing design and totally appreciate nature's creativity.


The first morning we were allowed back to the beach by the park was Tuesday.  So Amy and I were the second ones to get to drive down the beach and see how it had fared.  We were to pick up trash.  We decided to catch the sunrise from the pier area before going on back to the shop area to pick up the beach buggy.  


We thought the clouds were going to hide it but finally it popped through giving us a nice start to the day ahead.


A close up as Amy picks up some trash, shows you a bit better the amounts of Marine Debris there was and more washing in every day.


We were just looking and talking about how the beach had changed.  Here there had been dunes which obscured the view were now gone and the water had gone back into the dunes well beyond the beach front in this area and with it had carried tons of garbage.  We visually marked this area and returned last Tuesday to clean it up a bit.


Each day we came back with a buggy full as we could pack it of garbage light enough for us to pick up.  As the tide rises here on that first day out that was still bringing more and more garbage filled wrack.  This seems to have stopped now, somewhat, but it will always come in, and especially during the winter.   Amy and I plan on continuing at least one day a week and we will be doing the same then, a buggy full of garbage that washes in within the weeks time.  That is why it is called Marine Debris.  It is not just garbage left on the beach as some is, but mostly garbage which washes in from somewhere else, fishermen, cruise ships, other islands, and people who release balloons.  In spite of all the cleaning we have done, I still found almost 20 separate balloons or balloons strings scattered in the Marine Debris.  Who knows from whence they came it could be a far away as your hometown or as close as our town too.  


Some debris was, of course, larger than it was possible for us to handle.  Amy looks like a little girl as she is dwarfed by this huge plastic container of some sort.  It was still there today but is partially buried in the sand.  It had the strong smell of oil.


We will have some very interesting driftwood once it all settles down and the wrack goes away.


There were two of these types of trees one on the ocean front and one on the beach side.


Thought this was a really interesting shaped piece of wood as the roots actually grew into each other.  It too was starting to become buried in the sand.  This often happens with the Live Oaks.  I have one in the front yard which has a branch like this.  I can't really tell which was the part that originally grew out of the tree.


Without people the birds have taken over the pier.  It appears hundreds of birds are enjoying the cat bird view they have of the food sources below.


  Here you see the new hammocks just installed before our former Park Manager left the park.  Ben really wanted these hammocks.  They were on top of the escarpment above the beach area and now they are part of the beach itself.


The view up the river has very much changed with many dunes gone and the areas around what is left flattened.  It will build back up, sometimes it is quickly, other times slowly.  The beach has an amazing ability to heal itself.


Like the man taking his garbage photos i can see beauty in what nature has left.  Just the patterns formed with the pieces of marsh plants which form the wrack just by the way the water left it as if it combed it to lay the sticks straight in the patterns it formed.


Buzzards were here and there doing their job of cleaning up those who did not survive which mostly seemed to be pelicans.  However Amy did find a dead Mink in the area where we had seen our mink so hopefully that was not the little fellow in our photos.  Oops one of those things you will still get a photo of.


The load of garbage we brought back that first day.  The dumpster was already almost full but by our next day on Friday it was empty and waiting for more Marine Debris.


Time to release our little Terrapin.  New life and new hope for the world of nature.  The water runs from the middle of the park from springs, runoff from rain and is glamorously called "The Mosquito Ditch" by the park people.  Here it ran into the salt marsh which ebbs and flows in this spot where it flows underneath the road through a culvert.  On the other side it forms a pool and when the tide is out it is filled with minnows trapped in the shallow runoff.  A good place if it can avoid the big gator which has been near there for the past four years.  I think it showed up just about the same time I released the first turtle here.


We place her on the sand and she sat for a few minutes showing us her ability to blend in with her surroundings.


Once she realized the water was near she took off at a fast pace...(we don't actually know it was a she)


and in seconds was in the water and really blended in there with the bottom.


Back home I am still receiving lots of help from this funny little guy who has to check out everything new or just inviting for a curious little fellow.  He loves for the bags to come in from the grocery store.  He gets into them all to see what has come in to eat.


Next day out Ramona and I really over did it...and that I mean literally. Ramona has not been able to come back for another day after that very long morning from 7:30 until 11;30.  I should have not pushed so hard to pick up stuff but it was hard to drive by anything we could pick up and leave for another day.
On the Sunday after this Friday I went out by myself and I rode the West end of the park and it is looking good.  I picked up some of the trash our helpers from Friday left and some other light weigh trash and had a pretty good load.  Then Amy and I went back out on Tuesday and brought in another very large load.  But the first quarter of the East river beach is looking good also.  We did not have time to go any further that day.  Today was another day where I went out by myself.  I went the whole way from the Fort to the South Boundary of the Park.  It was, except for the big stuff, as clean as it ever is.  It will all eventually get back to normal and our pristine beach will return, partially from natures ability to right itself, and also from those humans who care enough to make the effort to help it along and try to pick up that part that was man made litter.


(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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