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)
Just beach "goings-on"! ...and Painting Update ..and a Funny Sign,
(ummm, maybe not so funny). Are we Having Fun Yet?
Hope you had a fun Independence Day!
situations, such a this gull with his leg hopelessly stuck in drink cup
lid, arise on the beach, and I know some people think we should make an
effort to rescue these birds, but we just can't do that with our small
would fly, although not very high, when approached. If it
endangered species or a bird of prey we would possibly make an effort
to rescue it, but there is no shortage of Laughing Gulls.
is the policy of the state park to let nature take its course unless it
is an unusual situation. Plastic garbage left on the beach
carelessly, might be considered "not of Nature", but we can't save them
all. We also reluctantly remember that the death of one
creature means food for another.
I just loved the calm feeling
this silhouette of the bird out for his breakfast gave to me.
missing ducks finally showed back up this year. Every year I see a
of these ducks near the pier and on the river. This was my
sighting of them this year. I never see them with ducklings.
of the Sea Turtles have laid high climbing up escarpments or heading
back into the dunes. That is a good thing because if there is
storm these nests will most likely survive.
This one was high, and right at the edge of the first
set of dunes.
tracks on this one looks very much like a Green Turtle but the gait is
slightly alternating therefore it must be a Loggerhead. It
not have a tail drag mark which Green Turtles always have (unless maybe
gets nipped off by a shark). The front flippers must be long
this gal or possibly something wrong with the back flippers so that you
are seeing mostly the front flipper marks. Usually with a
Loggerhead the back flipper mark erases the front ones.
of the things that happens to those balloons which are released for
every event possible, from sending prayers up to heaven, to honor
someone who died, was hurt, or whatever. What goes up must
down and they especially like to come down over the water.
strings can become wrapped around a birds legs or swallowed by a Sea
Turtle or Dolphin. The balloon itself can be swallowed by a
Turtle who thinks it is a Jelly and can cause serious if not fatal
injury. So think twice before you decide to release a helium
filled balloon to float up, up, and away.
was very excited to see a pair of these Swallow-tailed Kites flying
the airport enjoying the thermals there. I had heard reports
they had been spotted over Yulee 'way', but I had only seen them around
the Daytona area. They are larger than gulls, some
reaching over two feet in length, and with a wingspan that can be
up to 4 and 1/2 feet wide.
They are not listed nationally as endangered or threatened,
some individual states such as South Carolina and Georgia do list
them as endangered or threatened. Their decline in
is a loss of habitat due to development, of course. They nest
trees near water and eat anything from insects, small mammals, to
small birds and eggs. They drink by skimming their bill in
and collecting it that way.
are into the summertime weather patterns, with afternoon showers and
mornings which are drier. This morning I can see one spot
the rain seems to have just suddenly fallen from the sky leaving a
light hole in its absence. Only early on did I ever have a
problem with rain.
Our plover families scurry away from me as I take
care to stay clear of them also.
the river, the morning becomes a very pale pastel world punctuated only
by the dark band of sand and a sprinkling of birds and buoys.
"Uh-Oh, Bro, I seem to have my foot stuck in this
"That's better, wonder whats in the hole?"
I can see this fellows curiosity is going to get him
Nest # 5 was another high one, up in the dunes.
It has some very funny looking tracks. The
curvy line down the middle and the curvy nature of the line that runs
beside the middle looks for all the world like a Hawksbill track.
I wish that were so because there were only 4 recorded
nests last year in all of Florida.
was so much like a Hawksbill that we had some experts on the state
level look at it. If it had not been for the incoming track I
photographed which did not have the center curvy line it might have
been labeled a Hawksbill. Without that mark on the incoming,
decision was it was a small Loggerhead with a tired coaquia as she left
after laying so many eggs.
colors are pretty much in place and ready to finish sealing the colors
with hot wax. Then the scary part, dipping it in black ink.
Another blue morning as clouds build up almost
every day now for parts of the day.
of some fisherman thoughtlessness and ignorance. A ray of some
looked like it might have been a Butterfly Ray, had been tossed up on
the beach to die after being caught on someone's line.
a pest by fisherman who don't like them on their hook because there is
the danger of getting stung by the stinger of a Sting Ray, they hate
them and kill them unnecessarily. At least the gull and the
are having a free meal. This is also true of the sharks
many fishermen catch. I find them almost daily, dead for the same
they are considered undesirable.
With nest 5 the numbers continue to rise.
what would cause someone to put such an expensive sign on their lot.
Talk about undersell; this is it. I guess he is
the sand to build up enough to have an oceanfront lot that is
buildable. I understand there is a whole street out in the
that was lost with a hurricane years ago.
still have not reached any conclusions as to whether this is Alpha or
Little Girl on the nest. Their rooftop garden prevents us
seeing as much as in previous years. A female has a speckled
necklace around her neck and the male does not.
Shades of Gray and Blue once
again dominate the landscape.
nest, a find of mine, was barely in the park. The people staying
nearby had left their beach chairs almost beside the spot where the turtle
nested. and inside the park boundary. Luckily she did not get
entangled in the chairs. They were heavy, nice chairs and I
have had new lawn furniture if I had not been riding my ATV.
Chairs are not supposed to be left on the beach at night, often causing the turtles a problem. I did drag them
further up into the dunes but guess that is a no-no also.
More dazzling water as the sun
does its thing.
Sea Oat heads are just starting to open up with a pale spring green
The intense blue of the sky highlights the clouds which I
think of as looking like herds of sheep in a field.
Little Snowy Egret prances by the break in the jetty, in the shadow of
the pier overhead. You can get a glimpse of its golden
boat sails out of the Cumberland Sound on pretty calm water, unlike the
days before when the Shrimp Boat had tossed and turned on a surface
still busy with the remnants of a storm.
then a big surprise on the river. I was talking to a man and
son, who were out on a day-long adventure by hiking the whole beach
from Main Beach to the Fort. As I talked to them, I saw
dark scampering across the sand ahead around the curve in the river.
When I moved closer to check it out I saw that it was a young otter.
When he saw me he decided to
keep a low profile or was he just being coy?
playing in the pool he moved to the edge of the river and for a minute
I thought he would dive on in there, but after gazing out a minute, he
decided the other tidal pool ahead might be more fun. A very
unexpected thing to see although I knew we had them here on the island.
was time to say goodbye to Bella as she does her tripod, -on alert for
squirrels, stance. She was a good girl and is welcome back
anytime. A fun week with nesting taking a turn for the
getting to see a bird I had not seen here before, and getting
see my first otter in the wild.
The end of the next week
would not be so fun filled as my sister and I travel to Northeast
Tennessee to, along with my brothers, evaluate the condition of my Mom
and Aunt Helen, whose memories have taken a slide downhill, especially
Helen, who is diabetic. Can they be trusted to live alone and
end up having Helen take a fatal dose of insulin because they don't
remember whether she had taken it or not? It is really a life
death situation, and something needs to be resolved, keeping in mind
that "their" biggest concern is that they be together and left alone to
live independently. These are decisions many of us live with
we baby boomers become the parent to our parents. Always when
think about these decisions, we remember our own mortality, as we are
only 20 years or so behind them.
(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.)