Monday, February 20, 2017

Goosebumps, books, and birds: our weekend on Amelia Island

Sea birds on Fernandina Beach

Yep. We spent the weekend on Amelia Island! Our primary purpose in being there was (meaning, we wouldn't have been there if not for) the Amelia Island Book Festival. I take part in the Author Expo every year. A room filled with authors and their books. It's fantastic.

This year, our table was mere feet away from the Book Signing table. Here is a picture of me:


It looks like I'm standing at the book signing table addressing my many fans. When hubs dared me to weasel may way in front of Jacques Pepin (who was actually sitting at the table) and turn toward the people waiting for his autograph, he didn't think I would do it. But I showed him!

R.L. Stein spoke in the auditorium at 2:30 and before he was finished, the line started forming in front of our table. By the time he arrived, the line extended down the entire aisle and began to wrap backward toward us again. They had to enact a one-book rule! Mr. Stein didn't break the rule when he signed this kid's dummy and his book, because that's still only one book, right?

R.L. Stein signs Slappy
Amelia Island Book Festival 2017

Our best seller this year was [Surprise!] Bookish Meets Boy. We had it with us last year and only sold one or two. This year, I nearly sold out of stock. You just never can tell with these things. And a little birdie told me that while Bookish Meets Boy did not win the new Book Island Literary Award, it did score very highly. It's always nice to hear kind words.

I'll take this moment to also brag that Bookish Meets Boy received a perfect score in the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards. That, unfortunately, did not translate into a win but a great score and a wonderful review are nothing to sneeze at. (Maybe I'll post the review and score here later this week just to show off.)

While we were there, we enjoyed some of Amelia Island's natural (and not so natural) beauty. Here are some pictures!

The first four were taken on the beach accessed through Ft. Clinch State Park. The fifth is a view of the beach through one of the slit openings in the fort. The last was taken on the shore in Big Talbot Island State Park. It looks to be debris from Hurricane Matthew.

We were a bit disappointed in the lack of birds on our trip. But I did catch some pics of a few that I needed.

We're pretty sure these are black skimmers. But the white stripe separating the black on the head from the black on the back and wings is a bit odd.

Black Skimmers on Fernandina Beach

If you ask me, below is a female Gadwall. But of course, it also looks a bit like a female Northern Shoveler. Either way, it's a duck.

In a pond in Amelia Island State Park

I caught this fabulous Osprey standing in the shallows off shore in Big Talbot Island State Park.

Osprey in the shallows

And I finally got a woodpecker! There was one hanging out in my neighborhood, but he's been elusive so I was glad to find this one.

In Big Talbot Island State Park

This is almost certainly the Red-bellied Woodpecker. And naturally, once I got home, I was finally able to capture some great pictures of that one, too, plus a short video. I'll post them later.

We had a great weekend and can't wait to do it again next year!

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