Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve, Marblehead Peninsula, Ohio. Just a stone's throw from the Lake Erie shore. Looks like a lunar landscape, eh? Not at all, as we shall see; indeed, the place was established as a preserve to protect one of the rarest plants in the U.S., the federally threatened Lakeside Daisy, Tetraneuris herbacea. I made two impromptu field trips here during the recent Midwest Birding Symposium, and we had scads of migrant birds in the surrounding trees. When we weren't looking up we looked down at the dazzling vegetative treats that follow.
Pringle's Aster is very different, though, both in habitat and physiology, and I suspect that one day it'll be carved from the pack and treated distinctly. It's a rarity around here, too, being found on barren limestone pavements such as we are now visiting, and ecologically similar cedar glade prairies in Adams County.
Should you find yourself in this region next May for the avalanche of spring bird migration, try and make time to visit the seemingly barren 19-acre Lakeside Daisy State Nature Preserve. Then, the rocky substrate will be carpeted yellow with the flowers of the Lakeside Daisy, creating one of the absolute must-see natural spectacles anywhere in the Midwest.