One of my favorite places to visit on the Marblehead peninsula is the alvar in front of my friend's home. An alvar is an extremely hostile environment for plant growth, being subjected to wind, storms, ice and relentless waves. These "limestone pavements" were named for their counterparts in Scandinavia, and they tend to host very unusual plant communities. This one is on the waterfront (like the preserve on Kelleys Island), while the Lakeside Daisy, Hyemonoxys herbacea is found on another alvar-like environment where the quarry operates inland Marblehead.
While swimming here, I noticed some of the pockets carved in the rocks were filled with decaying matter, like rotting sea-weed, or more correctly, lake-weed? This must become the foothold plants need to germinate on this otherwise impregnable limestone. Even the sides of these rock formations have dwarfed flowers, mosses and grasses hanging on for dear life. Plants here become Mother Nature's personal bonsai garden.