Thursday, October 05, 2006

TREE ISLANDS FLOATING IN SAND

Wow, I'm back from a week along the Oregon Coast and what a great trip. One of many amazing sights was these tree islands that look so improbable growing in the middle of enormous sand dunes. The dunes stretch for about 50 miles along the lower coast of Oregon and the "islands" are apparently remnants of forests that the sand has not covered. Yet! And I thought we had huge dunes in Colorado. So ours are just tall.

An interesting note: when we inquired at the Chamber of Commerce in the town of Florence about the ecological aspect of dune buggy rides, we were told that the state of Oregon encourages them to help keep the European beach grass in check. They spent years planting that species to try to control the dunes and now they want it eradicated! Oh, those invasives. They might need some of that beach grass on the dunes behind the local Fred Meyer store. They have to send in bulldozers regularly to keep the sand from engulfing the parking lot!

When I returned home I found the fall colors in full swing. What had been a few leaves turning when I left had morphed into a full-blown display of reds, oranges, yellows, and russets. Our higher elevation gives us the fast-forward on autumnal glory and this year seemed especially brilliant. But I think I say that every year. This photo is the view of my neighbor's yard from my front door. A few days later a strong wind blew most of these leaves off. It's fun to crunch through them as my neighbor and I take our evening walk. But I do wish the leaves would stay on the trees longer so we could enjoy our own "tree islands" of color.

7 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Oh, how I miss colorful fall foliage. Since moving to Texas from North Carolina the best I can hope for is an occasional rusty red or dusky yellow.

LostRoses said...

Pam, I used to say Colorado's version of fall was yellow leaves on the aspen and that was it. But in the last ten to fifteen years there is so much more red and orange than there used to be. I attribute it to "transplants" missing those fall colors from back home and planting accordingly. Whatever the reason, it's a treat for the eyes!

Annie in Austin said...

Another transplant to Texas here - also missing the colors. The strange part is that we want the color in fall, but you don't get it. But when you expect fresh green foliage at the beginning of spring, all the leaves fall from the live oaks into brown piles, and the red tip photinias look like they're on fire.

I'm glad you had a good trip - I had no idea there were dunes in Oregon!

Annie

La Gringa said...

I'm amazed at those dunes, too.

Since I'm still getting floral color I can't complain about not getting foliage color, but yours is really beautiful. What a nice surprise to come home to.

LostRoses said...

Annie, I'd never heard of red-tip photinias and tried to find a photo of them online but only came up with green leaves. I'd love to see them with the red-tips looking like they were on fire. As for the dunes, I was surprised too. I guess because we hear so much about the magnificent rocky coastline there, the dunes get short shrift.

La Gringa, fall colors would shrink in comparison to your lovely array of plants. Oh, and your enviable hammock, too!

Carol said...

Welcome back LR! Your trees are looking beautiful in their fall dress!

Anonymous said...

By chance, I came across your blog tonight and WOW, your pictures are fabulous! You've done a great job. Your lawn and flowers are gorgeous. Its the kind of lawn where life happens. Thanks for sharing.

Jen