Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Thoreau on the Beach


Today hubby and I met a Park Ranger on Coast Guard Beach who re-introduced us to Henry David Thoreau.  Of course we were introduced to Thoreau, back in the day.  However, today, thanks to Brent Ellis, we met up with the transcendentalist, again.  Ellis was on fire about Thoreau.  We were talking about beach grass.  He told us that the first vegetation you encounter on the beach is beach grass, and then beach rose (rosa rugosa), beach plums, and bayberry.  The beach grass is important because it anchors the sand and helps to keep it from blowing adrift.  Brent would often quote Thoreau.  Here's what Henry David Thoreau said about the importance of beach grass to Cape Cod.

Thus Cape Cod is anchored to the heavens, as it were, by a myriad little cables of beach-grass, and, if they should fail, would become a total wreck, and ere long go to the bottom.

Towns even plant beach grass to slow down beach erosion.  It's rather futile, but it's better than letting mother nature have her way.  She eventually always does, but until that happens, we humans can enjoy the beach, a little while longer.