Amelia Island Morning

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Since I moved to Florida, Amelia Island has become a favorite getaway. Just north of Jacksonville, it is about 2 1/2 hours drive from my home. You can choose between exploring the riverfront of the picturesque town of Fernandina Beach, with its shops and restaurants. Or you can dip your toes into ocean surf merely by crossing to the other side of town.

On two previous visits I enjoyed a riverboat tour, and the chance to see cranes, herons, egrets, and spoonbills, as well as a magical encounter with a pod of dolphins.

My quick visit in February was all about the spa. I checked into my hotel in time for spa appointments (yes, appointments, plural) and made my way back to Tallahassee the following morning after breakfast. But not before enjoying a glorious sunrise over the ocean, camera in hand. Thankfully sunrise was late — after seven — and I didn’t have to go far, just to the beach next to the hotel.

My attention was captured by a group of birds on the edge of the surf. First I lay on the sand to capture their figures silhouetted against the rising sun. Then, as the sun rose, these industrious birds used the bubbles in the advancing surf to look for food. The final treat was a formation of pelicans coming in to fish just off the shore. On the way home I ducked into two of the many state parks strung along the coast for a forest perspective.