European beachgrass (Ammophila arenaria), a perennial plant common in the primary dunes of the Portuguese coast, is very important in fixing the sand and in stabilizing the dunes, which can disintegrate and even disappear if strong wind drags the sand away. The plant is well anchored in the substrate through strong rhizomes that aid its growth and propagation.
Walking around the Óbidos lagoon one morning this month with a strong wind coming from the sea, I marvelled to see the plants swaying in the wind, as well as their shadows (the plants had already lost their flowers and fruits, remaining only the leaves and stems), creating a dynamic play of light and shadow, which contrasted with the yellow colour of the sand and the magnificent blue of the sky.
The image evokes the extraordinary capacity for adaptation and resistance of plants that manage to live in environments as hostile as the sand of coastal dunes. The moment was captured with a Canon 77D and a 24mm lens.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor