Scratch first, itch later - Zen Proverb
Here, along the coast of Northern California one easily sees the importance of these sand formations - whenever you see a sand dune - you know you are in an area that needs the protection of those very dunes. This particular beach takes on heavy winds all the time - in this photo I took, you can easily see how this linear dune protects this highly sensitive bluff. Also, when the beach itself is ravaged by storm surge in the winter months, these very dunes will provide a necessary reservoir of sand for this coastal region. Not only are sand dunes critical to the environment and ecology of the region, they are also spectacular to see - I am always awed by their smooth lines and curvatures along such a wind driven and active coast line.
So, what are sand dunes???? As sand accumulates on a beach area, several forces work together to move deposited sediments inland, where they form dunes. Waves continue to push sand up onto the shore, and winds carry dry sand away from the water. Eventually, piles of this sand become contained and fortified by various grasses, shrubs and other coastal vegetation. These piles of sand are known as coastal sand dunes. Sand dunes also provide a foundation for ecosystems made up of a wide variety of coastal life. Rodents carve out extensive burrows and vegetation and insects of all kinds have adapted to live in a dune's sandy environment.
These dunes are just one of the many incredible sights to see when visiting this region... so when you come up to Northern California give Unbeaten Path a call and let us show you something unforgettable!
Madge Malone in her blogging zone!