I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Yellow Wildflowers in the Dunes

Hi! We are having our usual very hot, very sunny summer in September weather for the next few weeks. Autumn seems far far away, for now. A few weeks ago I mentioned peeking over the seawall and seeing yellow wildflowers blooming in the back dunes.

This area previously was often flooded with rushing water; not much grew there, but since the ugly faux dune berm was built last winter, the storm flooding is blocked off and the former swale is filling in with new plants--grasses and flowering weeds. (The fill in is being applauded locally, yet is not really so good. As plants begin growing, sand will accumulate and in short time---a year or two?---will fill in the low swale area that previously was a catchbasin for high tide flooding and storm surge.)

Then recently I was reading the September chapter of my Celia Lewis natural history book---I enjoy reading her observations of nature each month, despite her location in Britain and somewhat skewed seasons.

I came upon her drawing of yellow wildflowers that bloom this month.

So in the endless days of waiting to see where H. Dorian was headed, I took a small hike  out to my dunes to get a closer look.

Previously blooming were a few black-eye susans and coreopsis. Maybe washed or blown in seeds, as they don't usually grow wild here.

My fold out plant identifier here:

This time I found this familiar tall plant that may perhaps be Evening Primrose.

We call it Dune Mallow, though is fairly certain it's not a mallow. Mallows are pink and look like hibiscus. But the primrose ID is, to me, suspect too.

I saw there were a lot of these spare almost alpine yellow pompom flowers.

They grow both tall, maybe 14" and also low to the ground, 2" height. I am still not sure what they are.

The sowthistle ID says all varieties have spiky thistle-y leaves; these to do not.

Another newcomer, a grain, like rye, maybe. Sea oats? Usually the only grasses are phragmites and dune grass.

The wintering birds will like this!

Other finds: Queen Anne's lace, new to the swale area. 


and old standbys like Tumbleweed.

And pretty blue bayberry.

More Celia Lewis September pages,

and an old page from my nature diary. More on nature diaries and nature books maybe next week.

Another page from my filled up nature diary. My wildflower finds aren't as beautiful or as lush; life in the sand dunes is dry and sparse. This drawing is by Marjolein Bastin.

Have a great week! Enjoy these late summer days.



gone to the beach...

Eighteen Years, Like Yesterday

I  recently began reading a recommended novel, called Fall of Marigolds. A friend and I are both readers with similar interests and taste in books. But I couldn't read FoM,  I actually returned it to Amazon/ Kindle, something I never do. The book is about a young widow remembering the day the Towers fell. Too real, too much trauma, I will never forget that terrible day, and the days that followed.