Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Beach: Deserted. Except for a seal or two, a couple of dogs, and a clump of artemisia.

On this sunny, breezy Monday, as a storm from the west rode the wind out over the Atlantic Ocean, almost nobody visited Nauset Light Beach on the Cape Cod National Seashore in Eastham, Massachusetts.

There were two dogs there, however. They were with me.  One of them found a dead crab and did not want to let it go.

The occasional seal surfaced in the waves.

And clumps of beach artemisia grew on the sandy dune.

This is one of my favorite plants, the icy color of its deeply-cut leaves imparting a frosty feel on the hottest day.  It's been domesticated and is sold commercially as artemisia silver brocade (artemisia stelleriana) and is also known as beach wormwood.  I have several of them at home in my garden in West Hartford, Connecticut, where the soil is somewhat too rich for its abstemious taste.  It tickles me to see them growing wild on the dunes here on the Cape.

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