Amelia Island holly

Amelia Island holly
Amelia sand dune

Friday, May 31, 2013

More nooks and crannies of Amelia....

After strolling through the Farmer's market one week and stowing our wares,
we wandered off in search of new delights.  

We had driven by this cottage numerous times, but had never ventured close...til now.  Once more you need to do your own treasure hunt to find this visual surprise.

Peeking over the white picket fence and through the bushes....aha! 

Had I wandered into the set of Alice in Wonderland? 

 Surely someone as creative as Lewis Carroll has been at work in this green and colorful world....?

                                          " ...would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go
                                            go from here?"
                                           "That depends a good deal on where you want
                                            to get to." said the cat.

                                           "I don't much care where - " said Alice.

                                           "Then it doesn't matter which way you
                                              go."  said the cat.

                                                                                             Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To market....

It is a ritual with us that Saturday morning finds us downtown at our Farmer's Market, corner of 7th and Center Streets.  Like our early ancestors did, we find that getting our foodstuffs in this manner is pleasant, agreeable and a wonderful way to see old friends. Fresh produce, homemade breads and pies, even some homegrown musicians serenading better to start the weekend.

Could not resist this little guy as he literally brought home the goods for his Mom. Everyone sports different colored bags and baskets to carry their wares. We have a special one as well.

                                    Have you ever seen brussel sprouts a la' natural?

                                                  and lest we forget our sweet tooths....

After sauntering through the market, it is off to walk to our favorite antique and art shops to see what might be new and what our hearts might dream about.  Oftentimes, we leave the central area shops and just wander side residential discover more hidden treasures of Amelia.

Harvests are coming in and we are enjoying every bite and spoonful.  This past year I became a full vegetarian so for me the Farmer's Market is a Godsend.  Many of the vendors are organic growers. Along with what we are growing in our own garden we are enjoying a fruitful harvest.

Nearly every town and city has a Farmer's Market, do you support yours?  Want to tell us about it?
                                                We would love to compare notes.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


It is a weekend where it is so easy to forget the sacrifice made by so many that we may freely walk our streets and gather and speak without fear.  It is a weekend to remember, too, that those freedoms, so dearly bought, must constantly be cherished and guarded. 

 A few years ago I gathered with my family at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  It was a beautiful day like today here on the Island.  We noticed many, many elderly veterans of World War II proudly wearing their caps.  They made their way on canes, helping each other with a supporting arm or in wheelchairs.  My only regret is that that day I did not stop and thank each and every one of them.  I have begun to thank our men and women in uniform wherever I meet them.  A year or two ago one of our young men came home to Amelia to be laid to rest.  Many of us lined the street to honor sacrifice so recently made.  The worst thing would be to forget. Vigilance is our duty and to remember that all is

                                                 dearly bought......

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Here kitty-kitty....

No, not this kitty, found as we roamed Neptune Beach in Jacksonville..... though this is a beauty.
Part of the Jacksonville project which offered artists sculptures of jaguars (for the team) to be placed all over Jacksonville. Children love climbing all over these.

This kitty...

Taking a little pleasant ride off island this afternoo, but well worth it, I promise.

Listen up, grandmoms and granddads or just the child and nature lover in each of us.
This is a royal find.  Right here, not far from Amelia Island.

Last year I noticed in the newspaper that this place existed and that they had just
adopted 5 little bengal kittens and were introducing them on a special day.

Off we went with some friends and what a great experience!  Catty Shack is
a wildlife sanctuary for big cats and is found out in the boonies.  Check them out on Facebook and on their website for directions and more information. 
Meanwhile, enjoy this video.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

They paved paradise to put up a parking lot.....

Early morning,  this is what you see from our back windows.  It feels like grace pouring through the sheltering trees with promise.  I never tire of it.  The trees of Amelia are a sacred trust.  They  are more than just beings of beauty.  The island is, in reality, an ancient sand dune.  Our live oaks tether us to the earth, retaining water and giving us a foundation on which to build the world we share with other creatures in the wild environment around us.   They are in fact stewards for all of us who live here.  Without due diligence and stewardship, our island's very existence would be in jeopardy.

Recently, a large swath of live oaks, of varied ages, were destroyed to make room for a gas station expansion.  It horrified and mobilized the Island.  Indescriminately yanked from the earth, its mother, one could nearly hear the cries of these live creatures as they were fed to the chipper.   Letters to the editor poured deluged our local paper.  Finally, the commissioners appointed a tree council which will see to it that such a sacrilege does not occur again: we hope.

                             Every locale must fight such thoughtlessness but it never gets easier.

                                            Harken back to Joni Mitchell to hear it all before...

These venerable treasures have long predated us, they provided shade for the Native Americans that once peopled this area.    This is a photo of a 1400 year old Angel Oak tree in Charleston, S.C., up the coast from us.

We have our own live oaks right in our neighborhood...

We chose the tree for the symbol of tracing our own roots.  I used this sketch as a cover
for one of my geneaogical newsletter.  The twisting contours tell a story of
generations and generations just as trees tell their own tale of progeny.

Live Oak
Drawing by Sandra J. Pineault

This was my painting tribute to the live oaks that surround us, giving
Amelia Island its identity.  In a kind
of partnership spanish moss adorns our live oaks.  They sway in the
gentle breeze, like old men's beards.

Spanish Moss Tango
acrylic painting
Sandra J. Pineault

Ironically, a new bike and walking path was just extended on to the Island weaving through stands of live oaks.  It passes by where the stand of oaks once lived in its task of protection.
We could talk a whole lot more about such incongruity....

Monday, May 13, 2013

Off the Beaten Path

Right near our plot of land in the coop garden is this bright patch of flowers .  The sun brightened every tassel in red glory.  While Norm is watering the vegetables and plants I either read, work on my blogs or walk with my camera.  Gone are my days of gardening except for advice....and cooking what we reap.  Today I juiced with our own Russian Kale and carrots...don't knock it until you try it with strawberries, apples and celery.  

True to finding bits and pieces of lovely Amelia here and there, this was a treasure for my camera...which is also red, so it may have felt a kinship.  The days are warming on Amelia.  It will soon be too hot for afternoon walks and back to early morning meandering. 

 I have to learn never to leave my camera behind.  Last week we were in Neptune Beach in Jacksonville.  Sailing right by us - a gentleman on his bicycle, a big white parrot on his shoulder!!!
And where was my camera?

Home where it had been left behind in a rush to get to a doctor's appointment.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


It is unusual here to get a stretch of rainy, windy days on the Island.  However, this past week proved the exception. Wind so strong it pushed our car around the road, and rain that slammed into the windshield if we dared go outside.  Memories of New England n'or easters!  But, every bit of weather has its beauty.  I was fortunate enough to capture this photo of one of our verandah windows. The drippings of rain painted their own watercolor in partnership with the light.

Rumi wrote: "There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground."

I would add that there are a hundred ways to enjoy the beauty of the Island

The weather did not deter the Island's 50th Shrimp Festival.  Saturday was close to a wash out, yet people found the spaces between the raindrops and some of the artist's did very well.  This Festival is one of the largest in Florida and usually draws over 50,000 visitors. 
 Sunday was a glorious day and the attendance boomed.