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Showing posts from November, 2003

WOMAN ENJOYS ALL-NATURAL LIFE

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LIVES WHERE BYGONE COAST CAN STILL BE SEEN
THOMAS SPENCER News staff writer
Publication Date: November 9, 2003

FORT MORGAN - In the autumn, coastal dunes bloom with wildflowers few people have ever seen. Chan West introduces them to visitors by both their common and their proper names: red basil, calamintha coccinea; deer tongue, carphephorus odoratissimus; false foxglove, aureolaria flava.
She knows the seasons the plants bloom for the butterflies, and the seasons they bear fruit for the birds. After nearly 70 years of observing the landscape of shifting sands on the Alabama coast, she has a better sense than most of the cycles and the seasons, the rhythms of the place and the changes that have been wrought by modern life and development.
To get to where she lives - to the place she's known since before there were paved roads here, before power or phones - you pass under scrub oaks hung with Spanish moss and go past glades spiked with saw palmetto as you follow a rutted, sandy r…