We took the Beach Forest Trail. Near the beginning of the walk we saw what looked like a pond covered with ice or feathers: acres of water lilies so covered the pond that the effect was uncanny.
Odd things caught my eye: a live tree, green-leaved, that was no more than the thickness of a board carved with a heart with a hole it it; a looped tree trunk.
In shady patches hungry mosquitoes came out. I broke off a small branch from a beech tree and used it as a switch--we had forgotten the insect repellent. I twitched the branch against my back, used it for a tail, and wasn't bitten.
It's taken a least a thousand years for soil to form over the dunes so these plants can grow. All of it will be washed away some day, but not yet. The high winds have kept the trees low. The crowns of black oaks were never so close.