A lonely, remote stretch of Lake Erie shoreline, completely unsullied by development. I recently had the good fortune to visit this area courtesy of John Pogacnik, and witness an incredible botanical spectacle.
Fringed Gentian is a rare plant in Ohio, although one would never know it from this site. I'm not aware of any other lakefront gentian population, nor any others as large as this one.
We informally dubbed this place "Gentian Bluffs".
A rather dour-looking William Cullen Bryant, perhaps reflecting upon beautiful wildflowers. He certainly paid attention to botanical treats, and in 1847 penned the poem To the Fringed Gentian. It follows:
To the Fringed Gentian
THOU blossom bright with autumn dew,
And coloured with the heaven's own blue
That openest when the quiet light
Succeeds the keen and frosty night.
Thou comest not when violets lean
O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
Or columbines, in purple dressed,
Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.
Thou waitest late and com'st alone,
When woods are bare and birds are flown,
And frosts and shortening days portend
The aged year is near his end.
Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
Look through its fringes to the sky,
Blue—blue—as if that sky let fall
A flower from its cerulean wall.
I would that thus, when I shall see
The hour of death draw near to me,
Hope, blossoming within my heart,
May look to heaven as I depart.