Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Humboldt Dunes

This past weekend we cast aside the honey-do list to enjoy one of Humboldt's finest natural wonders, known as the Lamphere-Christiansen Dunes up near Mad River. I was first made aware of this flowing landscape of sand a few years ago while attending a biology field trip .

I couldn't believe all the beautiful little wildflowers that nestled in among the grasses along the trail.

Dunes that spread out across the ocean's edge greeted us as we ascended the first hill. The forest that can be seen in the background is actually being slowly covered in sand as these dunes are moving at a rate of about 10 ft. a year in some areas.

Mere words cannot describe nor cheap photographs capture the intense beauty of this landscape. I was filled with awe and wonder as we hiked the few miles of trails with our guide and docent, Tamar. Along with our wildflower expert, we were joined by an entymologist (bugs) and a mammalogist from HSU. Between the three of these informative individuals, we had a wealth of knowledge that just couldn't be grasped in the few short hours that we were out there. And the weather was absolutely perfect! What a great way to spend a Saturday morning!

A Calypso orchid. It is hard to tell, but this flower is only a few inches tall.

This is a Humboldt Wallflower. It is listed as an endangered species. The seed pods can be seen
on the lower parts of the stem.

This is a beach pea.

This is a shot of what a dune looks like as it slowly encompasses the shrubs and trees that lie in its path. In perspective, this dune is about 20 ft. high and moving over the greenery and the trails at a very rapid rate.

This is a dune flower of some sort, I can't remember the name at this moment. Most of the flowers were beach, sand or dune something or other.

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