Wednesday, May 22, 2013

At home on shifting sand.

I'm still sorting photos from the last two weeks, going backwards in time, more or less. These are the remainder from the walk on the Boundary Bay shore dunes last week.

The dunes make up a large part of Boundary Bay Regional Park, and a narrow strip continues south to Beach Grove, separating the fenced residential area from the beach itself. In the park, we find scrubby brush, mosses and grasses, rabbits, wasps and dragonflies, and many birds, from the ever-present sparrows and crows to the osprey, hawks, and eagles that hunt overhead. On the strip along the waterfront, the trees and shrubs mostly disappear, giving way to large-headed sedge, beach pea, sea rocket, pale montia, red sorrel, more moss, and a variety of grasses.

Large-headed sedge, Carex macrocephala. This early in the year, the heads still show some green; later they will be a dark brown, stiff and scratchy.

Lupins are native to this area.  They like well-drained soil, and lots of sunshine, so they do well on the sandy foreshore. They are another pea, like the little (for now) lathyrus that are starting to bloom around this one's feet.

The climate on this spit of land dangling off the bottom edge of the Fraser delta is warm almost year-round, and most of the residents are enthusiastic gardeners. Most of the plants stay at home, but some find the shore too enticing to resist. They jump their fences and take to living wild.

A patch of irises establishing a beachhead. The whitish flowers in front are sea rocket.

Yellow iris. Going by the water droplets on the petals, a neighbour is encouraging it in its attempted takeover. The tall stem and berries are from an asparagus plant.

Not a welcome invader. Scotch broom, one of several thriving bushes. Another big patch is behind it, on the left.

While I sat on a log, waiting for Laurie to go back to the car to drop off his jacket, this little redhead came along to see if I had any crumbs. I left a bit of bread for him and his tribe.

Ant, sand, and sedge.

And on the sandy path back to civilization, we passed this swarm of tiny, tiny ants.

Part of the swarm

Zooming in. They were so active, and so small, that I could hardly distinguish one from the next. They seem to be quite long-waisted, and have a white stripe across the abdomen Could be Tetramorium, probably an import.

Homies and immigrants, country and city dwellers, working out a life together. Very Canadian.

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