Fall Color

Autumn transforms the landscape. The obvious occurs in deciduous forests around the country. But in dunes and salt marshes of Hatteras Island change is revealed in other ways.

In Fall, flowering plants such as goldenrod, attract migrant monarchs.

A mostly inconspicuous coastal shrub, sea myrtle bursts out in spectacular fashion.

Salicornia bigelovii is a striking plant of the salt marsh. Also known as dwarf glasswort, it’s succulent, salty and edible. The above photo shows it surrounded by spartina and juncus grasses. Sprouting lime green during warmer months, it grows about a foot tall and gradually turns crimson as the season cools down.

Its brilliance astounds me whenever I see it.

Glasswort develops seeds to propagate and eventually decomposes, making organic matter available to a variety of organisms. The salt marsh is truly alive and a valuable resource!

 

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