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.