Somehow everything seems better at the beach!
Young bakers at work
Perhaps I really should have said that one of the themes for the week will be feasting! It's definitely on the agenda!!
Tansy on the Dunes
Tansy is a species introduced from Europe when this area was settled by Europeans. I don't see it often, but it has spread and now grows wild.
It had a wide variety of uses during colonial times including preserving meat, and a variety of medical uses.
Another plant that was introduced in the US by European settlers, Queen Anne's Lace is also called the wild carrot. The root is edible - but unlike it's cultivated forms, it is white, not orange.
Queen Anne's Lace is named after Queen Anne of Denmark.
The beach pea is very widespread, native to Asia, Europe, North and South America.
Seeds of the beach pea remain viable for up to 5 years while floating in sea water - a definite advantage when you're a plant trying to spread throughout the world!
Rugosa roses supposedly have some of the sweetest and best tasting rose hips.
If we have a rainy week, maybe we'll make jam. (As if I know how!!)
Harbor across the dunes
Charlotte asked whether the grass in these photos is a special variety of grass. It is indeed.
It's American Beach Grass, or Ammophila breviligulata, and is found in the northeast US and near the Great Lakes.
It's called beach grass, sea grass or dune grass and plays an important role in stabilizing the dunes along less-developed shorelines.
Sea grass and wild roses
These roses are Rugosa Roses, which apparently are native of China and Japan, but also are widespread along the New England coast.
Wild roses and the marsh
Deanna noticed that I like to know the names and some details about the plants and animals that I see when I explore. Nature has definitely been a lifelong interest of mine.
I still have those little pocket guidebooks to trees, plants, birds, etc that I began receiving as gifts in elementary school. (Of course I've graduated to bigger, more expensive volumes as an adult).
A science project in sixth and seventh grade really solidified my tendency to name and understand plants. As a classroom assignment, we each had to collect samples of 20 wildflowers in sixth grade, and 20 tree leaves in seventh grade. We each made a notebook containing our flower and leaf samples with some information for each plant.
I really loved that project - and just like today - could not edit down to 20 of my favorite samples - so I made a big notebook with extra samples both years. (At last, a form of sampling that I enjoy!) It's definitely neater and easier to blog about plants that I see!!
Ooops - I imagined that this would be a quick post showing some of the flowers around the cottage at the beach. Once I got started looking up plant names, I might have gotten carried away just the tiniest bit! Thanks for bearing with me!!