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

Keep me in your thoughts this week as I travel to East Tennessee to bring my Mom and Aunt Helen back for an extended time to our Island.  Helen's not feeling very well these days and still has very bad memory problems requiring monitoring of her insulin.  The RN who was being caretaker for them had just gotten too close to them and decided it was too much for her and she was going to re-retire.  Mom's dementia is worse.  She was making toast on the glass stove top the other day but luckily did not catch anything on fire.  I kind of thought it was a pretty creative way of figuring out a new way to make toast. She used to cook in a restaurant so I'm sure that was very much like a grill would look to her.  Both need supervision in different ways and without anyone I did not know what else to do.  So the neice, Nicki's wedding is a good excuse to get them down here.
After the downpour the day I found nest 19 I have been able to complete each morning without any more rain delays although the clouds have been so beautiful that I come back with my camera full of photographs of the clouds.

With calm winds the tidal pools become a mirror image of the sky over head.  I ask my husband to explain the scientific reason that the reflections change according to my position.  It is better to not ask, as science is such a mystery, I am alway like my young children saying "but why?" to every answer I get.  I just know that they do, as I move around the pool opting for the best angle for the shot.

It is always nice when you have an out of town friend to show around and you find an accomodating Gopher Tortoise along side the road.  We did not have these fellows back in Tennessee or N. Georgia so are new and different for friend from up that way.  They are so much larger than the Eastern Box Turtles we had.

This is what is left of nest #19.  It has had a hard row to hoe as they say.  The fox got into it twice and destroyed around 50 eggs.  Now a crab has burrowed into the nest to do more destruction.  I had built the tepee out of stakes from nest #1, which I had just excavated, since the fox showed us the exact position of where the nest is located.  It did keep the fox from finishing his attempt to get into it once again.  Then it got washed over by high tides.  It will be a small miracle if it does get to hatch, but I am going to make every effort to see that it does.

The Black Swallowtails begin to form their Chrysalis.  There is a tiny thread you will see if you look closely near the head that goes around the middle of the caterpillars body and looks very much like an electric utility lineman's safety harness with which he climbs poles.  This allows the body which is anchored on the bottom to be suspended waiting for the next stage.

This is the only Manatee I have seen in the river this year and it is dead.  So I call in and report this.  The FWC came and retrieved it and took it to Sea World to do a Narcopsy.  

Horseshoe crabs are still occasionally on the beach mating and laying eggs but not like they are in the spring time.  Toward Fall they will molt, shedding their entire skin so that it looks like there are dead horseshoe crabs everywhere but they are really only hollow shells.  Those are OK to take with you, and I especially look for tiny juvinile ones which have shed their ourter covering, to keep in the gallery.  If they smell then they are dead ones if not then they are just the shell.

Only one day this Summer have Fran and I gotten to go fishing.  It was a lovely day with pretty puffy clouds and clear blue skies.  The fishing was not that great but we did catch some Sea Trout, which were caught after noon and on my plate by dinner time.  That was some great eating.

The Black Swallowtail continued his metamorphis as the caterpillar look has now transformed itself into the very organic looking Chrysallis.

It continues to change until the form turns this very bark like in color.  You can see that it would be almost invisible to the eye out in nature.

A sparkly morning as a Shrimp Boat is off on the horizon.  I often see them in this area so this must be a good honey hole for catching shrimp.

The remaining Plover baby with its mom.  I like to think the other one just flew away but probably it was not that lucky.  Lots can happen to a small bird out on the beach all they time.  The Laughing Gulls and other birds are also predators for young birds.

Ms. Wabbit still comes anxiously trotting to the back patio every few evenings,  and eats a whole carrot and a half each time.  Not quite sure why she doesn't come every night but she doesn't.  All we have to do now is let her hear our voices and she comes troting.  Kind of fun having our own in the wild rabbit so tame.  Her coat looks much better, nice and shiny, with the addition of all those carrots.  I don't think they have helped her sight that much though as she seems to locate them with her nose if she drops it.  These are big carrots so she often drops it when she carries it underneath one of the patio tables where she eats it.  Then she comes back for another. and anouther, until she if full.  We break them in pieces so she has to come back to get enough.

I found this beautiful red sponge on the beach however it blew off the back of my ATV where I thought I had it secured.  It had disappeared the next time I went back to the beach so I guess it became someone else's treasure.  This was the largest and prettiest I had found.

One of our nests which was behind the peak of the first of the primary dunes.  It was a good place to avoid water damage but not a good place for the tiny little hatchlings to see the water.  They became confused by the lights from the town and factory behind and wandered all around the dunes trying to find their way to the water.  Len, who lives in some of the first house just south of the park said that a couple of them wandered all the way down to in front of his house.  

Some went North Some went South, and some when both east and West.  Most eventually found their way to the water or were picked off by the fox whose tracks are also mixed in with the turtles or by crabs.  I had wandered all around the dunes trying to see if there were any back there but I did not see anymore.  I went to excavate a nest, then realized I had lost my lens hood off my camera.  I thought it must be back in the dune where I was searching for little turtles.  

I made a second trip to the nest to search this time for my lost camera part.  While I was back in the dune I looked down to see this little fellow just trucking on down the beach but not knowing how to reach the water.

I yelled at the only other person on the beach within earshot, a young mother pushing a stroller with her young three year old girl in it.  I held up the turtle and told them to wait.  This little fellow was very eager to be pointed in the right direction.

The little guy was very strong, even though it had expended a lot of that stored up energy by crawling such a long time trying to find its way.  He charged right into the water without any help, dead set on swimming away.

Opps a daisy, a little tumble, but nothing that he couldn't right on he own.

And then enought water to start that long journey out to sea.

As I head back up the river an Osprey soared above me.  She seemed to be enjoying the air currents.

A lazy summer day with sailing ships, beach, and clear sunny skies.

It was first weekend in the month which means that the Fort is inundated with Civil War Soldiers and their families.  These are getting suited up in their athentic uniforms for a day of going back in the time machine and playing soldiers for a weekend.

It is also a happy time for my sister's daughter and my niece, Nicki, who is marrying her best friend of may years after they both realized that was who they both were searching in all the wrong places was found in each other.  A good basis for a relationship is when it starts with friendship.

Sunshine, dazzling bright on the water, silhouttes the pier

Railroad vine is growning with renewed vigor after a couple of years of being washed away by storms.

Ole Brer Fox has been up to no good once again.  What will we do to keep him from eating up all of this years Sea Turtles in the park?

Another morning and another dread filled trip down the beach to check to see what mischief he has been up to during the night.  The sea is glassy as if someone poured oil on it.

In walking into the dunes checking damage to nests and getting my cap dusted from the puffs of pollen the Sea Oat Heads released when I bumped them I noticed something I had never noticed before.  Most times my view is from far away looking back toward the dunes from the beach and seldom do I really get up for a closer view.  I saw for the first time the pretty colors in the stems of the Sea Oats.  There were the pale green but also pinks, and lavenders, as well as the yellow of the joint.  Why had I never noticed that before?

The low morning sun does a fine job of highlighting this family of Willets.  I say "family" because they are usually alone, searching for food as a solitary bird, and only when they have youngsters do I see them in a group like these were.

I was happy to see white smoke coming from the pipes at the papermill which is not always the case.  I do not like to see dark evil looking smoke billowing from these smokestacks.

I wonder if this is Little Girl.  She sits often atop this perch all alone, more so than I ever noticed before without her mate.

I believe this dune near the end of my return ride from doing turtle patrol, is one of the largest in Florida.

I do love the gnarly structure of the Oak trees and ocassional cedar, sculpted and trimmed by the salt breeze.

Ken, my fishing friend and his constant companion, finish out my morning, leaving a bright spot in the day with that colorful umbrellia he has started putting up this year after the sun gets up strong.  Smart man.  Too much sun is not a good thing on your skin, even skin as dark as mine and his.  I always wear at least cap sleeves and usually a hat with sunglasses because the sun is also damaging to your eyes.  I sure don't want to lose the ability to see all this beauty every day.  Next we'll take steps to keep the fox at bay.

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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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