We kept exploring up the shoreline around French Harbour and Little Pine Tree Harbour, and did find one more small spot of public access. Even though it was small, it had some interesting plants.
This is pretty typical west shoreline on the Bruce Peninsula, broken rocks lying on the flat bedrock, and a few struggling plants at the water's edge. A very flat landscape in the distance.
The water is mostly shallow, but there can be deeper pockets in the bedrock, perhaps carved out by winter ice, like the dark patch here.
Immediately behind, looking inland, the sand has accumulated over the bedrock. There's a zone of shrubs (mostly Shrubby Cinquefoil) on the open sand, and then the Cedar trees begin.
And there, right on the sand there was another Monarch fluttering around.
And it sat still while I got quite a clear shot of it. I wonder what mineral it was picking up from the sand?
But the best find was a Fringed Gentian, a beautiful blue September flower along this shoreline.
It was my mother who first brought me up here and took me exploring in 1962. We joined some botanists on a walk and I've been hooked ever since. These flowers were blowing in the breeze; it took a careful balance of speed and aperture to get it clear!
Further in, amongst the Cedars, Creeping Juniper covers the ground, and at the edge of the plants on the sand, you can actually see its tendrils creeping. This is 'Juniperus horizontalis', a Latin name I always thought was particularly appropriate.
There was also a patch of Ant Lion traps. They back down the holes, throwing out sand to create an unstable little crater, and lurk in the sand below to catch unwary ants.
There were several other interesting plants around, including Harebell, Yellow Lady's Slippers, and False Solomon's Seal, but they had all gone to seed like this orchid. I'm not sure what it is, but it hints at more interesting botanizing next spring. It may be the Long-bracted Orchis, Habenaria viridis, but only seeing it in bloom will tell.