At the northern end, protected from the rush of water in the channel by a rocky spit, is the slough, with its ancient, rotted pilings left over from a long defunct marina; now they hold nest boxes for purple martins. The slough is bare mud at low tide, gluey, foot-swallowing mud. It looks solid enough until you step on it; under the crust, it oozes. A skin of rotting seaweed covers large patches, and the whole area stinks. Shorebirds love it.
|From the pathway above the water line, looking down on a piling housing an adventurous elderberry shrub.|
Between the parking lot and the slough is a dry, flat plain covered with dry, often prickly plants. Signs at intervals warn us off; some of these plants are rare, some are sensitive.
I've been spending time recently sitting or kneeling on the moss and stones, looking at plants, some thigh-high, others in mats fingertip deep.
The most obvious at this time of year is the bright-flowered gumweed:
|Gumweed, Grindelia stricta. Grows on dry land or sea shores. Salt tolerant.|
|The white exudate on the buds is really sticky.|
|Half closed at the end of the day.|
|Typical gumweed plant, this one among the driftwood lining the beach.|
Tomorrow, an unusual clover.