For today's entry I thought I'd show you one of the non-beach parts of the refuge, the Pines Trail. While the beach is full of sunbathers, surfers, trespassers, and fisherfolk, and the birders are all at Sandy Point looking for the scissor-tailed flycatcher, the Pines Trail offers:
- a nice view of the osprey nest platform -- complete with ospreys who haven't left yet
- great egrets fishing in the marsh
- a peregrine falcon flying directly over my head
- beach plums
- a talented mockingbird who does eastern towhee, black-capped chickadee, American goldfinch, and tree swallow in succession then repeats
A walk all the way around the trail reveals beach plums in various states of ripeness. It seems like the ones on the north and west (or northwest) sides of the trail are riper than the ones to the south and east. The easternmost plum bushes had the least ripe plums. I never noticed that before.
Plum Island gets its name from the beach plum, Prunus maritima, not from the purple sand.
Sometimes people confuse Prunus maritima with Rosa rugosa, the beach rose. Both make great jam. I can sort of see how the plum could look like a rose hip when it's still in the red stage before it turns deep purple.
It really is a whole 'nother season now.