Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sandy Beaches

Life is more interesting at its boundaries, and here both a boundary between the sea and the land and the sports field and the dunes. The redistribution of dune sand, nearly two years ago, was quite a blow to the shoreline ecosystem GNRA is intended to protect. Keeping people off the dunes is a full time job, so the Fed made the right decision when it put up a tall chain link fence instead of trying to police the summer hoards. Now, autumn brings quiet to the dunes and beach, so I took some time after tomato picking to check in on its recovery.

Virginia Creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, growing across the dune.

Solidago sempervirens, the hardiest of Goldenrod, tolerating salt and wind, drought and flood, poor soil and nearly zero nutrients.

It is hardly considered a garden plant, but its structure, succulent leaves, yellow autumn flowers, and downy late autumn seeds are perfect for the garden.

And insects love it.

In fact, ecologists recognize Seaside Goldenrod for attracting native bees and predatory insects.

The dunes, prior to Sandy, were easily 8 feet above the concrete walkway.

These are now beginning to rebuild with the help of snow fencing and simply keeping off.

I'm always impressed with plants that colonize sandy beaches. Is this because I had the darnedest time trying to grow vegetables in our Long Island sand when I was a teenager?

Cakile edentula, (American) Sea Rocket.

Kali turgida, I think, creating its own dune.

When we leave Brooklyn for another place, one likely known for draining water, not containing it, I know I will miss the beach and tidal marshes, even the scent of muck, the most. Appreciate, respect, and protect it.


  1. It looks remarkably good considering it's only been two years. Our southern beaches (Va and the Carolinas) haven't been hit that hard in many years, but one can see the ebb and flow of the dunes over the year. In this area they are in great shape. Yours will be, too, in another four or five years. Mother Nature willing ....


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