As we steam past Labor Day, summer seemed to have been a blip on our radar.
With June barely feeling like summer, July and August were all summer had to offer us this year. 2018 has felt like the shortest in recent memory.
One of the things that we did experience in this all too short summer, was wild weather. The plants and gardeners alike certainly did not mind the amount of rain we had this summer, but what is the net result of some of the weather extremes we had in Ocean County? Shorter bloom-times, floppy perennials, marginal beach plum yields... All of these things can be frustrating, but certainly build character. However, the wild dunescape of IBSP didn't seem to be bothered by any of this.
With the onset of fall, I may rename this piece, 'What's Fruiting in the Park?'. That seems to be what fall really has on offer, fruit. While I am not overlooking my favorite fall perennial, the seaside goldenrod (pictured below), there will not be too much else blooming, with the possible exception of an errant Aster or Eupatorium. Although, one could argue that the grasses are blooming, too. Dune grass, switch grass, and little bluestem.
More importantly, if I were a "fruit forager", especially a fox; there is no place that I would rather be than a Dune Woodland. With the changing temperatures and kaleidoscopic fall color, here are some things to keep your eyes on, whether you are on 2 legs or 4.
Fruit for the people:
Fruit for the animals:
Poison Ivy (yes:))
As we can see, no shortage of nature's bounty, welcome to Fall. With water temps remaining in the mid-seventies, IBSP remains the 'queen of the coast' with perfect conditions on tap just about every day. This is the most amazing time of year to visit the park, so come and see for yourself.