Here we are, almost in the middle of May! So much is happening out in the natural world that it is hard to keep up. I think it had been over a week since I hiked at the campground which incidentally is grooming up for an opening! It had rained hard in the morning, but I took my chances that it wouldn't resume in the afternoon. The fog rolled in, and the place was deserted. Even the birds were quiet. I followed my usual path in checking out first Joe's Head, then Sanddune Beach and the Lily Pond. The Beach Peas are now green and leafy, while the dune grass is sending up green spikes. The Rugosa Rose is busy leafing out, and the Birches are flowering. Yes, I said flowering! This tree makes two catkins, one female and the other male to reach seed production. It is so interesting because you can also find the seed stalk from last year's fruiting. Look in the picture below for these birch parts! By the way, which beach is fogged in?

The campsites are starting to turn blue in places with a tiny little For-Get-Me-Not flower. These are taking over for the white flowers of Whitlow Grass which is still somewhat apparent. Of course Dandelions are adding colorful interest. How could we stop them? I was following one of the trails down to a beach and was disturbed to find the remnants of a Cecropia Moth cocoon. I looked as if some animal had ripped it apart for the moth forming inside. This is part of the natural world......life and death in a delicate balance. Who is to say that one life is more important or less deserving than the other?

Recent rains have come to the aid of amphibian egg masses, some of which were threatened by the drying up of vernal pools. Many campsites are quite wet, but frankly not as flooded as I expected. The beaches also seem to be building with sand. I see more and more barefoot tracks in that environment. I have yet to see anyone take a plunge in the ocean, though I have heard some people have succumbed to the draw of the ocean, at least for a wetting.

On this Mother's Day, may you all be in touch with your families, and that you have time to feel and absorb the beauty of the natural world. 5/10/09 Ronnie