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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)

With a last minute invitation I agreed to go fishing on a boat with the understanding it would be in the Intra coastal.  It was a friend of my sister and since I am very prong to get motion sickness I thought Intra coastal would mean we would be in calm water.

We did stay in the Intra coastal but only because we were between the jettys not because we were not in the ocean.  This is the naval port.  We were very careful to not get too close to this area as that could have resulted in some bad consequences and I don't want a Navy Brig on my resume.

The photo taking was almost non-existent with this being the only other shot and this was about a minute before I said, "You got to take me back to the dock".  The wind and the waves had taken its toll on me and my stomach.  I was seeing green at this point and could not even focus the camera.  I wasn't even sure these were Pelicans I was seeing until I looked at it later.

Later in the day when my stomach calmed somewhat we decided to at least go fish off the creek dock for a while.  I'm sorry I ruined everyones fishing trip but I also ruined my own week as the motion sickness stayed most of the week, affecting me even when I scrolled down the page on my computer.  Just that motion would make me get queasy again.  Never again will I go out in the water for that kind of trip without loading up on the proper seasick meds.  I am told there are several options and as much as I love fishing and the water it is really too bad that I am so sensitive to motion.

Across the marsh I spotted a flash of red and pulled it in as close as I could with the camera.  I forgot to mention that my old wonderful workhorse camera died a sudden, unexpected, and quiet death by becoming very obstinate and would not get out of the mode that kept telling me over and over to shut the camera off and turn it back on.  You do that and you get the same message.  I sent it off to the factory repair depot and they said "we will look at it for a minimum of $180".  Bruce found me a used, just like mine, camera with very low mileage for $10 more so it was a no brainer for us as I could not afford to spring for a new one.  I tried using Bruce's camera but could not get used to it.  

Mornings come and go but the rain has not been the problem as it was early on.  It has threatened a few times but I have remained dry.  The ATV has worked perfectly so far.

Horseshoe Crabs still are actively nesting but I am wanting the Sea Turtles to get with the game plan also. Their nesting has been very slow with the 2nd coldest spring on record they think the water is too cold.

Although a fuzzy photo of some cute little fuzzy chicks its my first glimpse of the Wilson's Plover babies are spotted.  I must remain vigilant when I ride the beach to not run over these little ones who blend in so well with their environment.

The ocean has mostly remained calm for which we have been thankful.

Little Girl sits patiently watching over her little ones which will grow quickly and it won't be too long before we can figure out just how many are in the nest.

My Pelicans continue to take form with more color being added to form the Pelicans in the foreground and the beginning of  forming the top Pelican.

Sanderlings are busy scouring the beach and shallow tidal pools for a quick meal.

A better quality photograph with the sun behind this parent and kiddo.

Morning sun also gives a dramatic feeling as birds are startled by my arrival on the scene.  I try to not disturb them but sometimes it is impossible not to do that.

You can see what a hardship job it is to have to spend the morning making my way through the crowds of people on the beach each morning.  And that is a joke of course, as this particular morning, except for one lone bird ahead, I am alone.

Mermaids Purses are something I have never seen in a cluster like this but only just as a single one.  This is evidently the way they would be in the water.  They were attached to a rope like thing which might be part of the whole laying thing or possibly some plant thing the to which the Mother Dogfish has attached the egg sac.  

I was able to find this whole family with the dad is in the following photo.  Usually the Plovers have 3 chicks so I was happy to see some of the new families had all three.  The odds of raising all of them is not that great but we can always hope and it does happen.

Dad was at the other end of the family grouping, out of range for the first photo.  I have one little family with only one chick and the little one has a problem with his leg.  He is limping so hopefully he will be able to survive long enough to overcome its injury and grow in strength (later update is that the little one seems to have recovered and is growing up).

An example of how dangerous plastic bags are on the beach.  A turtle would have difficulty telling the difference in this plastic bag and the neighboring Jelly if they were both in the water.  Loggerheads and Leatherbacks like to eat Jellies, with the Leatherback's diet being made up almost exclusively of Jellies.

With the numbers of people I interact with on the beach regularly in the mornings not being very large, many are actually friends, it is a small island, and some are just familiar faces that are always ready with a wave when I go by.  In this case it is one of my friends, Betty, an avid Shark Tooth and fossil collector.  As with all serious collectors Betty has her scoop for picking up sharks teeth without having to wear out her back with bending.  It is fun to see her so deftly scoop, retrieve, and pocket her treasures.  One of the other collectors keeps me in sharks teeth to hand out to children who come into the gallery.  When I run low I just give him a shout that I need more sharks teeth and he delivers them to the gallery.  Good people on this island.

With all the surface covered with paint it is time to refine and make final decisions on the painting.

In my backyard after waiting for many days this Passion Flower has finally bloomed with the most beautiful of all my Passion Flower blooms.  It is the one that was visited and laid upon last year by the Zebra Longwings.  Maybe this year I can protect the eggs so that the young caterpillars can survive.  I am thinking that I will put netting around some of the twigs that have eggs.  I have found that the Zebras lay their eggs only on the very newest growth at the tip of a branch.  The other butterflies which use this plant, the Gulf Fritillary's, also use the tendrils which attach the plant to its support on which to lay their eggs.

The Passion Flower and Tilly the Squirrel are my first subjects to be photographed by my new/used camera to test out its ability to take clear photos.  Miss Tilly is our wild but semi-tame other squirrel gal friend who comes inside the house to collect nuts from our hands.  She is distinguished from Lacy by the thin dark line that runs horizontal on her nose which Lacy  doesn't have.  Tilly is a bit on the chubby side perhaps a correlation to her frequent trips to the peanut basket inside the back door.

As summertime rain patterns start to set in we will get mostly afternoon showers.  When that happens, as this time, the sun will pop out and amazing rainbows will quickly form in the dazzling sunshine and water laden air.  When this happened on my way home one day I hurried to the beach to try to get it over the water and was successful.  My rental SUV is getting me around while I wait on my old van to be repaired after being rear-ended on my way to the gallery last week.  I was most concerned because I began later that day to smell gasoline.  Since I had never smelled gas from my car prior to the accident I was not wanting to drive it.  The insurance company is trying to not cover that because they don't see how a rear end crash could possibly cause the gas tank to get a leak.  Hello, its located in the back fender, kinda like the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone...and since I had never, ever experienced smelling gasoline from my car before...duh...but they are still refusing to fix my car.  Very frustrating..

The Pelican painting, called "Pier Review" or maybe "The Committee" since it looks like a very serious meeting, is finally finished, nicely framed, and at home in its new home.

A trip over to enjoy friends, Adrian and Bill's condo before it is rented out for the summer and to watch the full moon rise was a fun evening.  It was also a time for a surprise from the heavens.

As we stood gazing at the moon a rocket from Cape Canaveral shot up a bit South of the moon.  At this time I was still using Bruce's camera and was having difficulty getting the rocket in the proper setting.  It was much brighter in person and I didn't know it at the time but son Eric and his family was watching it from just across the river at Port Canaveral.

As the sky darkened and rose higher the full moon was very spectacular over the ocean.

A few nights later over the Memorial Day Weekend we once again joined the Kelley's for dinner at the condo and a chance to get to see the Triple Planetary Conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and Mercury, but it looked like from the 7th floor of the condo that the clouds were going to obscure the event but a great sunset to see in the meantime.

But as luck would have it the clouds parted in just the right places for us to see all of the triangle of planets very near where the sun had just set.  With spectacular rainbows, full moon, rockets blazing across the skies, and in addition a once in so many years Triple Planetary Conjunction to witness there was a lot going on up above our heads.

(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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