Lake Erie North Shore Inventory – 2012 (Part 3)
The group began the middle of August by visiting the westerly shores of Mohawk Bay. Here the shore was not easily accessible as cottages were built all the way to Rock Point Provincial Park.
Fortunately many cottagers are interested in our endeavours and permit us access through their property.
On the negative side many parts of the beach are not in pristine condition hence a great number of alien species are evident.
There were however many of the usual beach plants such as Pale Smartweed, Trailing Wild Bean and Clammyweed. At two locations examples of Frost Aster (Symphyotrichium pilosum var pilosum) were observed. Back slightly from the beach an example of Purple Leaved Willowherb (Epilobium coloratum) was found.
Among the graminoids there were fine examples of Witch Grass (Panicum capillare), Fall Panic Grass ( P. dichotomiflorum) and Yellow Nut Sedge ( Cyperus esculentus).
The next location visited was Featherstone Point an area once again surrounded by cottages. Pleasantly however there were many interesting plants here.
Interesting graminoids were Red Root Flatsedge (Cyperus erythrorhizos), Slender Flatsedge (C. bipartitus),Fragrant Flatsedge ( C.odoratus), Tufted Love Grass(Eragrostis pectinacea) and a native Barnyard Grass (Echhloa muricata). Another plant of interest was Alpine Rush (Juncus alpinoarticulatus).
Among other flowers noted were Marsh Yellow Cress ( Rorippa palustris), Purple-leaved Willowherb ( Epilobium coloratum), Sq. Stemmed Monkey Flower and Bristly Crowfoot (Ranunculus pensylvanica).
Woody plants of note seen were Common Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), Pussy Willow ( Salix discolour) and Peach-leaved Willow.
Progressing further west an area just east of Hoover Point was investigated and it proved worthwhile.
Among the interesting plants were Common Smartweed (Persicaria hydropiper) another name for this is Water Pepper as the leaves have a peppery taste. Winged Pigweed (Cycloloma atriplicifolium), Silverweed (Potentilla anserine), Ditch Stonecrop (Penthorum pendoides) and Bulb Bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera) were among others seen.
Many of the usual graminoids were found along this shore such as Tufted Love Grass (Eragrostis pectinacea) and Witch Grass (Panicum capillare).
Woody species included the usual Eastern Cottonwood plus Peach Leaved Willow and Green Ash (Fraxinus pensylvanica).
Just behind the clay cliffs at Hoover Point proper some Wild Rye (Elymus virginica) was observed the first observation of this plant.
On the beach and at the point the expected plants were found. These were Spotted Jewelweed, Beach Clotbur , Hedge Bindweed and Spreading Fleabane. There were two plants of note however namely Small Skullcap (Scutellaria parvula) and Small Water Hemlock (Alisma subcordatum).
Woody plants were Smooth Wild Rose (Rosa blanda) and Sandbar Willow while graminoids of note were Joint Leaf Rush (Juncus articulatus) and Dark green Bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens) also seen was Three Square a sedge seen on many beaches.
After a break of a couple of weeks the group started again in late September when two visits to Mohawk Bay beach and bluffs in the Pyle Road area, The highlights being Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia glauca), Fringed Gentian (Gentiana crinata) and Small Flowered Gerardia (Agalinis paupercula). At this time of year the Asters and Goldenrods predominated. Of note was Gray Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis) and Tall Goldenrod (S. altissima) plus Frost Aster, New England Aster and Panicled Aster. Many of these plant were observed in small area where a seep ran down the bluffs to the beach.
Among the woody plants were the usual Eastern Cottonwood, Peach-leaved Willow and the invasive—Large Gray Willow that looks very much like Bebb’s Willow.
Graminoids noted were Big and Little Bluestem, Witch Grass, Switch Grass and Rice Cut Grass. In the aforementioned seep a relatively rare rush was noted—Alpine Rush (Juncus alpinoarticulatus) plus Variegated Scouring Rush.
After the second visit to Mohawk Bay a quick visit was made to Rock Point Provincial Park where a specimen of Schreiber’s Aster (Eurybia schreberi).was found while that same day Virginia Mountain Mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum) and Heath Aster (Symphyotrichium ericoides) were noted near Low Point in James N.Allan Park.