Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September on Lake Erie

Having spanned the country and visited countless parks, forests, natural areas and sea shores, I can assure you, it is nearly impossible to find anyplace more beautiful than Lakeside, Ohio.

 There is something about this town. First it gets into your heart and then silently creeps into your very soul. The call of shore birds and gentle slapping of the waves speak to me.  The vista of Lake Erie's Islands, floral gardens and these playful stone cairns  delight the eye. They won't last for long against Lake Erie's storms, but they balance the joy of "today" against the "forever" of rock.

Jewel-weed, Impatients capensis  on the rocks.
Lakeside is well known for its history and architecture.  It is a gated community in the summer, where children rule the streets and ice cream is considered the nectar of gods. It is a Chautauqua, and I could probably devote an entire blog to that alone, if I have not already. 

But it has a compelling natural history as well.  For example, these orange flowers growing in wild abandon on the lakefront attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds which visit them for sustenance on their migration south for the winter.

Lakeside's administration has turned a serious eye to this issue and is promoting native plants and the "natural look" of our great lake, Erie. The fall migration of birds and Monarch butterflies both pass through these historic grounds. Our wildlife will appreciate the consideration we are giving to milkweeds for monarchs and bee-balms for pollinators in general.

Our native plant enthusiasts should be proud of the on-going effort to select Ohio native plants for the restoration of the west end's lakefront.  I hope you will join me for the Ohio Natural Areas and Preserves Association's Annual Banquet and field trips this weekend.  Keynote, Allison Cusick will be speaking about our native Sandusky Flora, and we will be leading tours on this lovely stretch of Ohio's Most Beautiful Mile.

The gales of September on Erie.
 And "weather" it is windy or balmy, Lake Erie and Lakeside is always my favorite place to be each fall. Every moment is to be savored...

especially, during the sun sets.


  1. Cheryl, that line '... but they balance the joy of "today" against the "forever" of rock...' is pure poetry.

  2. Thanks, Jim. I appreciate your kind words.