On the way to release a turtle…..

Moving toward the water as soon as possible.

Putting Starbucks Plastic to good use.








Five feet away and we didn’t notice until he moved.

It may be tempting to rescue a snapping turtle found in a road by getting it to bite a stick and then dragging it out of immediate danger. This action can, however, severely scrape the legs and underside of the turtle and allow for deadly infections in the wounds.[citation needed] The safest way to pick up a common snapping turtle is by grasping the carapace above the back legs. There is a large gap above the back legs that allows for easy grasping of the carapace and keeps hands safe from both the beak and claws of the turtle. It can also be picked up with a shovel, from the back, making sure the shovel is square across the bottom of the shell. The easiest way, though, is with a blanket or tarp, picking up the corners with the turtle in the middle. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_snapping_turtle  

Not exactly sea turtle rescue footage, but when releasing a small turtle into something more friendly than pavement, this young alligator was absolutely invisible until he moved.   Starbucks cups are, apparently, perfect for rescue.

Old Fashioned Service

Thriving for as long as I can remember….great hardware stores never die.

Definitely a contractor’s place to find anything missing on a job. Running out of wall space for “best of the best” awards.

There aren’t many places you can find old-fashioned service and everything….down to a single mail. Amelia Island Paint and Hardware is one of those places where you can find anything.

Instead of buying mass packaged goods you might never use, you’ll find only item you want, and knowledgeable helpful staff. I’ve been coming here whenever possible for nearly 30 years.


Brewery Space Takes Shape

okanes (2)

O’Kanes before work began…date unknown.

The trend in Fernandina is moving in the same direction.  We’ve had our share of local micro breweries, but the brew pub and more tourist-friendly version, designed to be light, open and offer a view of the process will soon be complete.  The entry will be open, light and appears to have exposed old brick with iron supports.

New building takes shape….just to the left of “Hunts”

A huge difference….from the original building, with structural issues, to the newer version!

Interest spread to the U.S., and in 1982, Grant’s Brewery Pub in Yakima, Washington was opened, reviving the U.S. “brewery taverns” of well-known early Americans as William Penn, Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry. Growth was initially slow—the fifth U.S. brewpub opened in 1986,[43] but the growth since then has been considerable: the Brewers Association reports that in 2012 there were 2,075 regional craft breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs in the U.S.[44]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microbrewery

The process will take place on the right side of this picture. Notice the pipes in the wall…just to the right of the equipment.

Beach Before and After Hurricane Dora

Main Beach 1960 Pre-Dora

1024px-Hurricane_Dora_1964_Florida_track It is interesting to see the changes in Main Beach from 1960 to 1969 and then on to a map in present day.  At the later shot, you can see dramatic changes to the contour of the beach and added building, as the area developed.  Notice the missing road going north along Fletcher and to the area along Ocean Avenue?

Hurricane Dora, September of 1964….




Hurricane Floyd Flooding in 1999





main beach 1969

Main Beach 1969


Weekend Events on Amelia Island

Ever hear “There isn’t anything to do…..”?     A few of the events in the coming few days.   

  • The Fox on the Fairway Amelia Community Theatre Sunday, June 21, 2015, 2 – 4:30pm The ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ playwright sets this modern-day farce at a country club during a golf tournament between clubs with a longstanding bitter rivalry. Besides golf, there are “three love affairs, a missing diamond, objectionable golf sweaters, and an exploding vase” in this fast-paced comedy. Type […]
  • The Music Man Fernandina Beach Middle School Auditorium315 Citrona DriveFernandina Beach, FL 32034 Sunday, June 21, 2015, 2 – 4:30pm "76 trombones lead the big parade" as the timeless classic comes to Amelia Island presented by Nassau Community Players.  Tickets available at Amelia Awards (817 S. 8th Street) and at Color Me Green (1008 Atlantic Avenue,) Type of Event: Community, Music, […]
  • Downtown Tasting Tour – Amelia Island Tasting Tours Meeting place is Hola Cuban Café located on North 2nd Street behind the Palace Saloon (117 Centre) Thursday, June 25, 2015, 2 – 5pm Stroll beautiful downtown Amelia Island while sampling wonderful food prepared by our favorite chefs! Each tour stops at 4 "locals’ favorite" restaurants where you’ll also meet the owners and chefs that create the […]
  • The Fox on the Fairway Amelia Community Theatre Thursday, June 25, 2015, 8 – 10:30pm The ‘Lend Me a Tenor’ playwright sets this modern-day farce at a country club during a golf tournament between clubs with a longstanding bitter rivalry. Besides golf, there are “three love affairs, a missing diamond, objectionable golf sweaters, and an exploding vase” in this fast-paced comedy. Type […]
  • Mixology Tour – Amelia Island Tasting Tours Meeting place is Hola Cuban Cafe 117 Centre Street (N. 2nd Street, behind the Palace Saloon) downtown Amelia Island. Friday, June 26, 2015, 5:30 – 7:30pm Think of this tour as an on-the-go cocktail party in beautiful downtown Amelia Island!  On this 2 hour tour, you will meet some of Amelia’s best bartenders while enjoying the unique […]
  • Bad Panda Amelia Musical Playhouse1955 Island Walkway, Fernandina Beach, Florida 32034 Friday, June 26, 7:30pm – Saturday, June 27, 2015, 7:30pm June 26th and 27th, 7:30pm curtain written by Megan Gogerty, directed by Rachel Tyler produced with special permission of Original Works Publishing They’re the last two pandas on earth. It’s mating season. One of them falls in […
  • Fernandina Beach Market Place Farmers Market North Seventh StreetHistoric, downtown Fernandina Beach Saturday, June 27, 2015, 9am – 1pm Join your family, neighbors and friends at this true farmers market where every Saturday farmers, growers, and producers sell locally grown and homemade goods to those living in, and visiting, our friendly little community. The Fernandina Beach Arts Market features local arts & crafts […]

Rayonier (RYAM) and Borregaard Lignin Partnership in Fernandina

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Rayonier Advanced Materials (NYSE:RYAM) announced today that it has entered into a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with Borregaard ASA to form a joint venture (JV) at its Fernandina Beach facility for the manufacturing, marketing and sale of natural lignin-based products. The new company will be owned 45 percent by RYAM and 55 percent by Borregaard.

“Pursuing this opportunity with the leader in lignin-based chemistry significantly enhances the prospects for success while reducing operational and market-based risk”

“This partnership between Rayonier Advanced Materials, the world’s leader in cellulose specialties, and Borregaard, the global leader in lignin-based products, is significant for both companies,” said RYAM CEO Paul Boynton. “For us, the project advances our strategy of leveraging the value of our assets and co-products while further enhancing the competitive position of our Fernandina plant.”

According to Borregaard, the project increases their lignin products sales capacity by 30 percent. “The Fernandina Beach project represents an excellent growth opportunity for our lignin business in a global market which for some time has been supply-constrained,” stated Per A. Sørlie, President and CEO of Borregaard.

Lignin, a natural component of wood, is a co-product of RYAM’s cellulose specialties manufacturing process and is currently used for its energy value by the facility. The planned JV would process the lignin into higher-value products that provide environmentally friendly alternatives to petroleum-based chemicals used globally in construction, agriculture and other industrial applications.

It is anticipated that the project will be completed in two phases over five years. The parties estimate an aggregate capital investment of $110 million for a capacity of 150,000 metric tons per year. The first phase is expected to commence commercial operations in 2017.

Completion of the JV is subject to board approval by both companies and conclusion of definitive agreements, as well as final engineering, refinement of capital estimates, and obtaining required permits and other approvals.

“Pursuing this opportunity with the leader in lignin-based chemistry significantly enhances the prospects for success while reducing operational and market-based risk,” stated Boynton. “As we have stated previously, our focus in 2015 is to take advantage of the value of our co-product streams, reduce our costs and working capital, optimize our assets and grow our business. This opportunity is one example of how we expect to deliver on these goals.”

Source: http://expandinnassau.com  6/14/2015

Hola Café….Fastest Barista on Amelia Island

North 2nd Street……behind the Palace Saloon, Tuesday through Saturday at 9AM, Sunday opening at 10:30.

Rendezvous Festival on Amelia Island


The festival has been ongoing for the past week, but almost invisible to locals.  I had the pleasure of meeting the director of tonight’s feature film, “The Better Half”.  The films are generally all independent efforts by film makers from DSC04069across the world.  People are here from across the country, Europe, Asia, and yes….even from far away California.  Just kidding   If you’re planning to be out tonight, “The Better Half” begins at City Hall at 7P, with event details linked below.  My wife and I will make an effort to be there, if only to support making independent film a bigger part of Fernandina Beach.  



Rendezvous Festival

Barred Owl

Perched across a small creek....watching. Out riding bikes through the greenway, a large bird swooped overhead to perch across a creek.  He or she commenced calling to us or at us.  I’m not sure if it felt curious or if we were near a nest, but it showed little fear and appeared to be focused on my sons and on me.  We didn’t stay long and I’m guessing it wanted us to leave. 
After finishing the loop south of Jasmine, our path took us past the owl again.  Again, it swooped away to cross the creek….perching in almost the same spot.  I wonder if the behavior had something to do with a lost mate.  We only noticed one owl and it made little effort to stay hidden….other than flying across the creek to perch in a tree.  Then, it proceeded to make an odd sort of cawing noise….not anything like the normal owl sounds you expect. 
Normally, you hear these in wooded areas at sunset.  In the daytime, they will perch in a tree.  We had a pair of large owls in a large pine tree in our front yard for years, but they appeared larger than this owl. 
Quiet ride through the center of the island.If you want to hear the sound, this youtube video and background noise, sounds a lot like the Fernandina/Amelia Island Greenway near sunset. 

Owls of Florida

Memorial Day on Amelia Island

I’m thinking of my favorite Uncle today.   I can still remember growing up.  He never talked about his time in Europe during World War II, but I know many friends died and I can imagine the sacrifice he made, not to mention the4568794578_a3a1720252_o men and women who didn’t make it back.  Mom and her sisters stayed at home to work, while both brothers enlisted.  In 10th grade, Vera, my mother, dropped out of school to work and did something unusual.  At 14, she said she was 17, to get a job.   In 1939, she was 11 years old. 

We tend to think about the sacrifices everyone made, but the people who never made it back, should be remembered.  Remembering how little my Uncle talked about the war said a lot.   Later, I would see the seriousness and the way he cared about others as the after-effect. 

May we honor the sacrifices made and remember the price of freedom.  When you think about the media and little real exposure we have to war, remembering the WW1, WW2, Japan, Germany, Hiroshima and Nagasaki….the extreme price paid to end wars and the short memory we have, Memorial Day takes on a different meaning.   People tend to think about parades or and even mix up Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.  Honoring those who serve and the sacrifice of life is exceptionally important.   

One of the more famous speeches by FDR…..worth listening…..