As I mentioned in my last post, I recently had the opportunity to accompany my son on a small part of his bike ride from Amsterdam to Spain. Riding a bicycle is the best way to experience a landscape, see the plants and animals, feel the air, hear the insects, and smell the forests. We met in Bordeaux and the journey led us to the beach resort of Arcachon, past the largest sand dunes of Europe, through the endless pine forests of the Landes de Gascogne, and finally into the Basque country near the Spanish border, where the Pyrenees meet the Atlantic Ocean.
In this installment, I wanted to focus on the plants found in the dunes of southern France. Although it might not seem like it at first glance, the dunes are home to a wide array of plants and organisms. Together, they form an ecosystem that might seem foreign to many of us but is nonetheless vibrant. Below are some of my favorite photos from the dunes of southern France. (For more of my photos, please visit my Flickr page.)