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

With beautiful clouds chock full of a summer of amply suppled rain showers I have become fascinated with how the reflections from the sky duplicates itself in the sometimes calm pools water caught in the tidal pools.  This one in particular is often waiting for me with a new slide show.

Much better this kind of reflection pool,which is constantly changing, than the concrete versions created by man in the cities, that are very static.

This big piece of driftwood has been here all summer.  Some days I have room to ride around the bottom of it, other days the tide is high enough that I have to ride above it.  It is a very interesting piece of beach sculpture that I have enjoyed being part of my day.  Probably it will be gone by next summer as the shores features are always changing.

The Willets continue to hold their family morning breakfasts strolls along my route.

A Sea Turtle nest has hatched during the night leaving the telltale depression in the sand and little flipper prints showing they actually did leave the nest.  All signs we are always looking to see this time of the year, when nesting slows down, and the hatching increases.  A very interesting time to have both to look for, hatching and nesting.

Brer Fox has been up to his newly learned tricks, raiding another nest or else raiding the remains of an already excavated nest, which this looks to be.

Peaceful morning rides are mine to enjoy, especially Monday's when I don't have any other appointments to keep.

Some of my Black Swallowtails emerge but unlike the Monarchs which are hesitant to leave the safety of their perch and will ride on our fingers outside to be released, the Swallowtails are born to fly without wasting anytime.  This is the only one I could actually get a photograph of before it took to the skies.

Another creature which is hard to photograph sitting still is this hummingbird, perched high above me in the top of a large old oak tree.  Their legs are too short to hop around and do much walking, but just fly and light on a branch like a spitball hitting the blackboard.  I was surprised I could even find it after it landed to get it almost in focus. 

More clouds reflect in the Marina on a still evening as I take the time to ride down before heading home.  Too many beautiful clouds to waste with just one view when there is a gigantic reflecting pool at the waiting.

Almost sunrises are the order of the day, but it won't be long before I can get it before it as it rises above the horizon with the shorter days of Fall approaching.

Only a few Horseshoe Crabs are found in compromising positions these days.

This time the fox was only trying for a ghost crabs, a more acceptable form of food for him.  That is how it stumbled on to the Turtle nests, trying to get to a Ghost Crab which had entered the nest.  This unexpected treasure trove led to a life of crime for Brer Fox of stealing easy food rather than having to work for a living seeking out the harder to catch Ghost Crab meal.  The Ghost Crabs dig such a long tunnel it is almost impossible to dig them out.

More baby turtle tracks as another nest hatches.  The frequent rain showers make it difficult sometimes to see the tracks and we sometimes miss a hatching as a result, and have to rely on the depression left in the nest to tell us they have gone.

But then low and behold a Green Sea Turtle has nested, notorious for being late hatcher.  Number 22 has increased our overall nest count for the year.  Perhaps our last nest for the season.

The Greens leave a very distinct track in the sand with parallel marks in the sand instead of the alternating gait of the Loggerheads.

She had a very rambling track as she had a very hard time deciding where to lay.  She must have been on the beach for hours trying to find the perfect spot.

She had not been gone very long before I found the nest as her tracks had disappeared into the water not very long before I arrived.

Could this be our Green Turtle??

We have not found very many hatchlings left in the nest this year.  I used to say about 85% of the time we would find them but with more nesting on the ocean side and full morning sun the sand warms them up evenly and they just all get out together.  That is a good thing.  They are much healthier and stronger when they can get out early.  Usually when they are left in the nest it is because they have become tangled in roots that have grown into the nest since it was laid.

Almost there.  The water comes to meet it and help get it on its way.

Off it goes to lead a watery life.  Only the ripples of the water and the faint image of the turtle's heads underneath the water's surface.

Horseshoe Crab shells now litter the beach as the primary molting season is arriving.  The clouds reflect into the wet surface from above.

Oh, My that the Loch Ness Monster cruising up our river.  If a boat hits it they might easily think they had run into a monster.

A sunset over the Tiger Point Marina I was able with the use of a little computer trickery to get in a more wide angle version than I could with my camera.  This was an unusually late evening as Bruce and I were in the park putting screens down to divert Brer Fox to a different choice on his menu.

 I grabbed another view from The Spanish Plaza which gives an amazing view of the river.  No wonder the Spaniards chose this spot for the town of Fernandina.

On the beach the Railroad Vine has vigorously regrown in some spots but is not blooming as in days goneby.  I wonder if the clouds in the afternoon have had any effect on that.

This has been the worst summer for beach simpletons to dig huge mounds and deep pits capable of breaking a limb in the dark and scaring unsuspecting turtles away from nesting and trapping turtle youngsters, preventing their necessary run to the ocean from the nest.

The beach is all but deserted many mornings and I do so enjoy that about our beaches here.  Nice to enjoy the uncrowded stretches of beach that others do not have, especially in the State Park.

I ride the beach high along the last high tide line and below the wrack line, slowly to check all the nests, walking up to each one to check and see if it survived Brer Fox and other predators, and to check for hatching or any other changes in the nest.  On the way back I am freer to ride low next to the water and check for other things, sometimes a photo I would miss otherwise.  Sometimes it is a dead turtle, or stranded horseshoe crabs or some odd thing floating in the water like a table I found one day.  Getting the low light on the shells and water runoff are nice to catch.  This shell allows the light to filter through its holey surface like a cathedral window.

Older weather and water worn shells are alway of interest to me.

Now this is a much less destructive and creative way to spend your summer day, building a sand castle, rather than a wild animal snare, designed to entrap little old ladies out for a morning ride or walk.

The Sea Oats have lost their fresh green and have traded it for the ripening golden heads of late summer.  Preparing to drop all that crop of seeds to renew the grasses next year...our natural fortress against the sea.

Another cloudy August morning.

Another fleeting cloud reflection to catch and trap forever with the camera lens.  Another day heads toward the winding down of summer and the end of the laying season for this year.

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