Saturday, September 22, 2018

Anne's Exuberant Garden

 It might look like plants have a free-for-all in this garden, but not really.  Yes, there is a lot of self-sowing going on, I'm a little bit envious of how much, but Anne edits them when they show up in unwanted spots.

Hibiscus coccineus

I love the exuberance.  While editing happens, plants are also allowed to seek their own equilibrium.

self-sowing Salvia coccinea

I think even some of the Acorn squash may have self-sown themselves.  How nice!

Cleome, Spider Flower

Helenium amarum (?), Dwarf helenium

Iris domestica, Blackberry Lily

Salvia 'Black & Blue'
This beautiful Salvia usually comes back for Anne.  It's in a fairly protected site in front of her house with lots of sun. 

And she is a seed collector.  Lucky me, I got some poppy seeds.  She has some beautiful colors, though I think the seed heads are quite attractive themselves.

Anne's Asters were just starting to come on when I took these photos about 3 weeks ago.  They are probably glorious now and I'll have to go back for the show as she has quite a collection.

water collection -- can waste the rain! 
Another handsome Helenium

Helianthus tuberosus is a prolific yellow composite and, of course, you can eat the tubers, though I don't really know what to do with them.  Anne says "One of my books says it 'may be difficult to eradicate.'  There's no 'maybe' about it.  After they bloom I yank them out.  I have two -- the wild one and one that grew out of a Jerusalem artichoke from the grocery store.  The difference is in the root.  The grocery store one has nice bulbous roots, like knobbly potatoes, the wild one has thick fleshy roots --like thick fingers--that break off when you yank them."

Yes, the plants are even allowed the cracks in the driveway.  The tall plant (below) is an Artemisia, which to me smells like Santolina.  The appealing, pungent aroma is released each time Anne backs out of the driveway and over the plant.   Now that's  a tough plant and a gardener who knows how to appreciate them!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Surfing with Sharks on Cape Cod

Here's Newcomb Hollow Beach this past Thursday evening.  We were on this lovely Welfleet, Massachusetts, beach for a friend's neighborhood pot luck and bonfire.  Sadly, a young man died as a result of injuries from a Great White shark attack in the middle of the following day on this same beach.

Newcomb Hollow Beach looking north

Arriving around 5:30 pm, we scratched our heads, watching dozens of surfers in the water at shark 'feeding' time.  The invincibility of youth?  The pictures don't show it, but a group of  a dozen or more surfers and a few paddle boarders were clustered together.  Supposedly there is some safety in numbers, or so I've read.  

Generally, sharks tend to hunt in the late afternoon, evening and early morning.  Yet this most recent shark-related fatality -- the first in 80 some years-- happened in the middle of the day.   

I imagine local officials are reeling from the news and the varying reactions from tourists and locals.  The sharks have always been present, but as the seal population has exploded -- they remain on the endangered list -- shark sightings are increasing.  I suspect there is also more tracking going on than ever before.  It's not uncommon to see planes circling overhead at an ocean side beach as pilots try and spot Great whites from above.  And the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy's "Sharktivity" app  has enabled thousands to follow shark sightings.   

Fisherman push to to cull the seal population (some scientists say it will have little or no effect) as they resent the competition, where as tourists resist any negative impact on the seals.   Meanwhile, sharks are benefiting from the resurgence of blubbery seal meat.  
Surfing at around 6pm.

I think this young woman came out and stayed out of the water while others carried on in the waning light.   

It was an absolutely beautiful evening.  

A NOAA scientist who spent twenty years on the Pacific in California before moving to the east coast offers this perspective: 

[In California] “There’s kind of a piece to it where people have come to accept, this is the reality of living in my environment, like a tornado or earthquake or hurricane,” he said. “I totally respect people’s fears about it, but I wonder whether, just because it’s novel here and Jaws is the bogeyman of Cape Cod, that this creates a particularly heightened awareness and cultural sensitivity.”

Can Cape Codders come to accept Great Whites and learn to co-exist?  It is a tough question when the loss of life is so fresh.  Time will tell.