Sometimes I feel very sad and overwhelmed about what we are doing to our planet. Our government, like so many other "leaders" around the world, seem to have little care about the natural environment or the future of planet earth. But I have learned that getting upset is not helpful if that is where I get stuck, and that my energy needs to be focused on what I can do to reflect how I connect with and value the natural world. This blog is a small celebration, my awareness of what is around me, and my invitation to you to enjoy and connect and learn and value the natural world around you. And I am working on bigger projects, which I hope to share later.
In the meantime, I find solace in an amazing plant, a survivor which is not deterred by the very adverse salt desert conditions in which it grows and thrives - salt marshes, estuaries and beaches at high tide where it is intermittently exposed and dry, then bathed in salt water...
It is glasswort (Salicornia australis or Sarcocornia quinqueflora, Maori name ureure) a small succulent halophyte (salt tolerant plant) which is oddly attractive and actually edible (just don't add salt!). Here it carpets the upper reaches of the estuary at Marahau, along with the bleached brown tufts of rushes.
Salicornia species are widespread. The European version is also known as marsh samphire or sea asparagus, although to my eyes the jointed stems are very unlike asparagus, especially with their varied colouration, here orange, emphasised by the backlighting of the late afternoon sun low in the sky. It was called glasswort because ashes of the plant were used for making soda based glass. Versatile, robust, resilient, undaunted - I will take my cue from it.
The subtle beauty of a dense carpet of glasswort at Marahau estuary in the late evening on a summer's day.