Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stalking the Wild Beach Amaranth

Having spent a good portion of my childhood wandering the dunes it is a wonder that I now do this same thing for the good state of DE in search of the "Wild Beach Amaranth".
Part of the Beach Nester program is locating the plants in the very same federally protected area for our endangered species beach nester- birds. As our Director Matt Bailey says, "what is good for the Piping Plovers is good for the Wild Beach Amaranth".
Two weeks ago on a very early Saturday morning we met for our three hour survey. As we entered the dunes the heat and humidity was already in charge of the day. Our team of 5 found three plants all in a high probability area.
After a lesson on viewing a beach-nest, I thrilled to later find my first Least Tern Nest! It was like finding a miniscule version of an ancient archaeological site!
So what is the natural heritage of the Wild Beach Amaranth? I've asked and searched; no information comes forward.
After noticing that the Beach Goldenrod is in good play at this very same time of year, and knowing it is a dye plant..... I wondered if the Wild Beach Amaranth was too. Maybe for the Indians it was a very special dye plant and ritual color. The seed is mahogany red-brown...... I need a seed to test my theory!

Beach Blessings,

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