top of page
Ledge Early Flat_edited_edited.jpg

Wispy white clouds stride overhead as I leave my car by the visitor center and set out for the southern bank of the Gooseberry River early one morning in mid May. Lake Superior’s winter-chilled waters cool the air and delay the coming of spring to the shore. Yet eventually, winter’s long pall of darkness lifts and shrubs and flowers reach into hidden reserves to sprinkle the earth with tentative doses of color. For a few weeks before the unbridled greenery of summer sets in, the land displays a sparing aesthetic of growth, a sparseness and simplicity that make it easy to notice each catkin, bud, and flower. I bask in the sight of tiny leaves, wood anemones, and bird’s eye primroses, the tender, ephemeral forms by which the shore awakens from its roots and ushers in another season of transformation and growth.  


Slightly over a mile inland of the lake, the Gooseberry River drops over a succession of tightly knit waterfalls. Frothy spring currents hurtle over the broad, steplike wall of the Middle Falls and land in a shallow, boulder-strewn basin, then bound downstream and clear a smaller final waterfall before beginning to flow more placidly toward the lake. Northern white cedars hug the riverbank, but as I follow the trail into the forest cede their prominence to a mix of north woods trees and shrubs. Paper birches sport a flush of tiny creased leaves and balsam poplars tulip-like bouquets, and on the ground below wild gingers have shed their woolliness and started to unfurl. The lower Gooseberry River flows through a valley carved by glacial meltwaters after the ice sheet made its final retreat from the region around twelve thousand years ago. On stretches of low ground, moisture-loving meadow rues, cow parsnips, and fiddleheads already stand a foot above sallow mats of winter-crushed canes and stems. Clusters of wild leek dapple patches of bare earth and scattered wood anemones poke up from the duff.


Like other spring ephemerals, the wood anemone rushes to flower before the canopy overhead fully leafs out. Though it often creates large colonies by growing new shoots from underground rhizomes, I see only smaller collections of flowers along the trail. The name anemone comes from the Greek word for windflower and the solitary flowers sit atop straight upright stalks that quiver easily in the wind. The flowers open to the sun and on the shade-dappled ground along the trail mostly form nodding drops. Yet a few have opened just enough that when I lift them gently toward me, I can see the airy ring of stamens sprayed with white anthers inside.


The American wood anemone, Anemone quinquefolia, has a close European relation, Anemone nemorosa. The latter flower takes its species name from the Latin word for forest or grove and is called a vitsippa in Swedish, vit denoting its color and sippa the windflower genus. Though both species have whorls of deeply cleft leaves and nearly identical-looking flowers, the vitsippa commonly has more numerous tepals as well as regal yellow instead of white anthers. Its exuberant appearance in the forests of western Sweden shortly after that of the hepatica or blåsippa signaled the gradual movement of the far northern earth toward summer’s brilliant, short-lived light.


As I continue through the forest now, the trail moves back toward the riverbank and a broad channel creates an oxbow with an island to the north, separated from the mainland by a meandering neck of water. A footbridge crosses onto the island, where I follow a path between red-osier dogwoods, alders, wild black currants, and willows, common shrubs of wetlands and riverbanks. A few pale catkins with yellow tips dally on a willow while a dogwood shelters knobs of pink-tinged buds between semi-translucent leaves with pink veins. Dogwood shrubs are common on the shore and I often pass them by with barely a glance when they’re not in bloom or berry. Yet their early leaves and buds have an exquisitely crafted look. Toward the island’s southern tip, fiddleheads and meadow rues lace the undergrowth of a thicket of alder where an American redstart flits between the low crowns, its bright orange sides and wing patches sharp against the gray of the nearly bare branches. Despite the sparse growth, I stop often and make slow progress toward the lake.


Shortly past the island, the trail again leaves the riverbank and climbs the hillside that bounds the southern side of the valley. I stop to take in an expansive view of the bottomlands below just in time to see a bald eagle follow the river’s course toward the lake and a beaver swim upstream around the island’s tip. For many years when visiting Gooseberry Falls State Park from my home in Saint Paul, I rarely hiked the trail along the river. Instead, I drove straight to the parking lot by the lakeside ledge, eager to spend my time on the shore. I usually made my first visit of the season in early or mid-April and returned every two or three weeks thereafter to watch shrubs and flowers rise to bloom on the ledge. After moving back East, I could make only a single springtime visit in mid or late May. One year I reached the park early one morning without a valid state park sticker on my car and, instead of proceeding directly to the shore, parked in the free lot by the visitor center and followed the trail along the river to the lake. Ever since, I’ve preferred to reach the lake from the river in spring, to slowly wind downstream amid the subtle fabric of the unfurling forest.


The Gooseberry River is said to take its name either from an Anishinaabe reference to a river with gooseberries or from the French fur trader and explorer Médard Chouart des Groseilliers, whose surname translates into gooseberry or currant bush.1 Groseilliers journeyed west by canoe along the lake’s southern shore in 1659-60 with his brother-in-law Pierre Esprit de Radisson, the first white men believed to have traveled on Superior. Radisson and Groseilliers returned east in canoes laden with furs, initiating a trade in which Anishinaabe trappers exchanged pelts for European goods and cash, and French, English, and ultimately American interests increasingly encroached on the traditional lands of the region’s Native peoples.2

I pass several gooseberry and currant shrubs along the trail. Like many north woods herbs and shrubs, gooseberries and currants flower early in the season to have enough time to set seed during the short northern summer. Both belong to the Ribes genus within the Gooseberry or Grossulariaceae family, but while the northern red or swamp currant favors damper forest soils the northern gooseberry’s tolerance for thinner, rockier soils and sunshine allow it to brave lakeside outcrops.3 I stop beside a currant shrub with two racemes of rose-colored flowers, both suspended in the air under a mop of emerging leaves near the top of a smooth, woody stem. Though still tinged in bronze, the leaves are well on their way to greening up. Each flower, meanwhile, sits on a short stalk and resembles a quarter-inch round button with a slender fringe of sepals that arc lightly backward and a shallow center with an outer ring of cream-colored anthers and inconspicuous dark pink petals. The two racemes hardly make for a lavish display. Yet their flowers have a simple elegance, a subtlety of form and color that honors the unassuming decorum of the land in springtime, but still stands out against a backdrop of burlap-hued canes and stems. 


As I begin to move closer to the shore, currents of cool air drift inland from the lake. My steps quicken as the trail gradually descends to a strip of pebbly sands that reaches toward the river’s mouth. Half a dozen common merganser drakes loaf in the languid waters behind the gravel bar at the lake, their white bodies gleaming against pale chocolate-colored waters. The massive bar rises several feet out of the water and leaves only a narrow passage for the river to enter the lake on its southern side. Though the lake now lies within full view, the bar and nearby rock walls enclose me at the mouth of the river and keep me from stepping onto the open shore. 


Like much of the Minnesota shore, the river’s watershed was heavily logged for white pine around the turn of the 1900s. An interpretive sign shortly upslope of the riverbank includes photographs of a short log train and a steam tug tied up at a former loading dock along the lake. By the time loggers reached the western lakeshore, the fur trade had all but collapsed and the westward migration of white lumberjacks, mineral prospectors, and settlers put growing pressure on the traditional lands of Anishinaabe in the Superior region. White settlement and resource exploitation in northeastern Minnesota began in force after the 1854 signing of the Treaty of La Pointe between the U.S. government and local Ojibwe. Waterfalls prevented log drives on the Gooseberry and many other rivers on the Minnesota shore, requiring logs to be moved on temporary rails to the lake for rafting by steam tugs to mills in Ashland and Duluth.4 Within decades, however, the pine stands had been depleted. As the logging era came to a close, tourism increased with the extension of Highway 61 north of Duluth. The state soon began setting aside land for public use along the lake and in 1937 it established Gooseberry Falls State Park, the first state park on the Minnesota shore.


I eventually wander from the interpretive sign down a short slope to the south to reach the lakeside cove abutting the ledge that forms my destination. Craggy flanks of rock reach out from a few small pebble beaches. I step onto the rock and look out at a vast expanse of sun-struck waters. As so often, the empty horizon directs my gaze back to shore, defining my place on the narrow strip of rocky land at water’s edge. By now the morning breeze has begun picking up, though I had barely noticed it in the valley. To the south of the beaches, the boulder-fortified wall of the ledge rises gradually out of the water to end in a steep hillside toward the forest. A swash of yellow catkins plays in the breeze on the birches atop the hillside, pendulous charms strung for a few more precious days across a canvas of white branches and blue sky.

When viewed on a map Gooseberry Falls State Park approximates a nearly perfect square, with a smaller square added to the west to take in the river’s highest waterfall. A glaring irregularity appears in the southeastern corner of the square, where the river’s mouth and beaches create a wide eroded notch in the northeasterly-trending lakeshore. The ledge begins immediately south of the notch and extends along the water for over five hundred feet before narrowing and rising to a low line of cliffs, creating an unusually generous walkable platform. Though a path climbs the steep hillside from the cove, I prefer to reach the ledge from the same path that I use when parking in the lakeside lot and instead turn inland to loop uphill through the forest.


The forest this close to the lake lags slightly behind its counterpart in the valley in leafing out and abundant male catkins still dangle from the crowns of the birches. The tips of a few bobbing branches that extend nearly down to my head even offer a closeup look at the pin-like female catkins that lurk between tight bundles of scarcely emerging leaves. I soon climb the final gentle uphill stretch onto the back of the ledge. The sun already stands high in the sky, but when I leave the shelter of the forest and step onto the open rock, a rush of cool air sweeps across my face. I stop, zip up my fleece, and press my hat down over my ears. Then I smile wide at the chill in the wind, the emphatic embrace by which a northern shore gathers me back into its fold. 


Pallid, wind-wracked grasses stand like sentinels in broad islands of vegetation on the upper ledge, giving way below to a gently dipping plain of rock with a rose- and lavender-brown surface. The plain makes up roughly two-thirds of the depth of the ledge, but from where I stand its surface is largely concealed by the tall swath of grasses. At a glance, the ledge looks barren and bleak, still wrapped in an insipid palette of ochres, grays, and browns. I wonder if I’ve come too early to see the first stirrings of spring rise from hidden pockets of soil in the rock. 


I first set eyes on the ledge one windy late summer day over two and half decades ago. Goldenrods, asters, and tansies swayed in the grasses, and as I looked out at the lake I thought of the coast around our cottage in Sweden. The Swedish coast mostly fronts the sea with glacially-smoothed knolls of granite or gneiss and rocky islands. But as it moves south from the Norwegian border, it gradually loses its ruggedness and turns into a flatland of meadows, marshes, and bays dotted with rocky inlets and islands. Daisies, harebells, and yarrows swayed in a broad swath of knee-high grasses inland of our bay while restless waters dotted with boulders stretched toward the horizon. Years later, the stiff wind and swaying grasses on the Gooseberry ledge reminded me of the landscape that had held my childhood’s greatest security and belonging.


Now, as I begin to walk along the forest on the upper rock, I soon spot a few pin cherries with flower buds and three-quarter-inch red leaves. The folded leaves of large serviceberries have grown to nearly twice as long. Still reddish and hairy underneath, they part at the ends of twigs for downy spikes of red buds with slivers of whitish petals visible inside. The flower spikes on a few smaller serviceberries that lurk in the grassy islands are tighter and woollier, and hugged at the base by intensely downy leaves and bud scales. Though some of the latter spikes have begun to loosen and part, most remain flush with the stems, reluctant to reach even half an inch into the bitter air. Raspberry shrubs, dogwoods, ninebarks, and gooseberries also dot the grasses, all with emerging leaves. By the time I finish my loop around the upper ledge, I’ve even seen a few wild strawberries and violets in bloom. The shore too has moved unequivocally into spring, if at a more cautious pace than the river’s bank. 


I seem to share the ledge this morning only with a Herring gull that stands on a stone pillar near the edge of the drop-off to the cove but takes off as I approach, circling back toward the river’s mouth. The pillar is made of a black gabbro rock from a local quarry and joined by heavy chain links to a row of similar pillars, all built in the late 1930s by young men of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps. Similar blocks make up over eighty structures in the park, including the legs of a dozen picnic tables scattered amid the grasses on the upper ledge. Unlike the tables and pillars, however, the ledge is made of basalt, a dark volcanic rock that dominates the Minnesota shore. 


The basalt erupted slightly over a billion years ago from a giant rift that opened up in the crust of the ancient landmass to which North America once belonged. As hot magma rose from the earth’s mantle far below, the crust began to thin and tear apart, and for an estimated twenty-five million years lava intermittently flowed out from fractures in the so-called Midcontinent Rift. By the time the rifting ended, hundreds of basalt flows had piled up four-and-a-half to six miles thick on the Minnesota shore.5 The earth’s crust sagged toward the axis of the tearing rift under the weight of the accumulating lava, birthing the basin in which Lake Superior now sits and tilting the lava flows of the Minnesota shore toward the rift.6 Geologists have dubbed the lava flow that makes up the Gooseberry ledge the Picnic Flow after the tables in the grasses.


As I stand by the pillar looking across the ledge, my eyes fix on a large boulder toward the far end of the rocky plain. A smooth, pale reddish-brown chunk dropped by the glaciers, the boulder musters some five feet in height and creates a distinct presence as I wander across the rock. The open plain bears the brunt of fierce winds, storm waves, and scouring winter ice floes. Even at the height of summer, it harbors only a smattering of hardy plants that cling to thin-soiled nooks, crevices, and cushions of moss. Yet a few meandering islands of low-growing vegetation appear just below the grasses and fill in the occasional shallow dip and basin elsewhere.


I stop by a basin with a shrinking pool and small island of greenery not far from the northern end of the ledge. The island’s most conspicuous sign of greening up comes from cushions of new growth in the center of a few clumps of tufted bulrush, a common sedge on the shore. By now, the thin green stems have grown to four to five inches and are topped by short brown spikes that end in barely visible tufts of splaying white florets with threadlike stamens and styles. The florets will soon turn auburn, but the stems will continue growing over the summer and then wither and fold down atop a thickening skirt of dead old growth.


A shag of dead stems drapes over a bank of iron-red soil at the edge of the pool and nearly conceals a finger-tall cedar. A scrappy green alder and sweet gale shrub have also sunk their roots into the bank. Exposed to the perils of the open rock, neither shrub stands more than two feet tall. The sweet gale only bears a dozen or so small cone-like auburn catkins, but the alder’s branches dangle with a generous display of ornate yellow-green strands with tiny burgundy-garnished florets. The strands shed pollen onto short reddish female catkins that poke up above the leaves, and that if successfully pollinated eventually develop into chubby, almond-sized brown cones that often remain over the winter. Fairly nondescript when in full leaf, green alder shrubs seem at their most graceful when decked in catkins and old cones in spring. 


I take in the shrubbery and then focus my gaze on the mossy ground between the tufted bulrushes’ stems. There, almost hidden under the draping stems, I see my first bird’s eye primroses of the season. Of all the signs of spring on the shore, it’s the bird’s eye primroses that I return to see. I excitedly drop my pack and sink onto my knees for a closer look. Each flower resembles a miniature lavender pinwheel with five heart-shaped petals and a yellow eye with a faint white ring. Lasting up to ten days,7 it sits either alone or in a small umbel at the top of a short, lightly hairy stem with an upright rosette of bluntly-toothed leaves at the base. 


Bird’s eye primroses can grow to a height of around five or six inches, but most of the island’s nearly three dozen plants stand between two and two and a half inches. Many stand only half as tall and a few barely measure three-quarters of an inch, their flowers nearly touching the tips of their leaves. Even at the height of bloom, they would be easy to miss. Despite hugging the ground and sheltering between the tufted bulrushes’ stems, the flowers quiver ceaselessly in the wind. Trembling and expectant, they look both valiant and forlorn.


The bird’s eye primrose is mainly a plant of low arctic and subarctic regions. On Lake Superior’s shores, it belongs to a small group of species known as glacial relicts, plants that colonized the region following the retreat of the glaciers around twelve thousand years ago. Relict plants likely initially joined other tundra plants in spreading onto patches of glacial till and thin soils atop a still largely frozen land of bare bedrock, glacial debris, and meltwater lakes. Yet once the land thawed and deeper soils formed, spruce and eventually other trees moved in and as the climate warmed, the cold, damp, open environments preferred by tundra plants largely disappeared from the region.8


Some tundra plants, however, survived in microhabitats on the Superior shore, where they sometimes became separated by significant distances from their primary range on the arctic tundra or mountain slopes of western North America.9 The lake’s deep waters are slow to warm in summer and combine with frequent fogs to depress temperatures during the growing season. While wave spray and seepage create cool, damp pockets in dips and crevices, the inability of many other plants to survive the thin soils and harsh exposure of lakeside outcrops keeps competition at bay. Glacial relicts favor the lake’s cooler Minnesota and Ontario shores, along with the exposed tip of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.10


Like most of my favorite plants on the shore, the bird’s eye primrose reaches its range into the continental United States mainly around the upper Great Lakes and, to a lesser extent, New England. Its scientific name Primula mistassinica was given by the French plant collector André Michaux, who in 1792 spotted the plant while paddling west along the Rupert River from Lake Mistassini in Quebec.11 A subarctic plant, it grows on lakeshores and rock outcrops in the vast boreal forests of Canada and, like many arctic-alpine species around Lake Superior, prefers the less acidic soils produced by the erosion of volcanic rocks such as basalt.12 While also known as a Mistassini primrose or dwarf Canadian primrose, its genus name Primula comes from the Latin word for first, a reference to the early blooming period of primroses. 


From the island of greenery, I slowly wind south across the ledge peering into dips and corners in search of flowering primroses. Each faint veil of lavender in a crevice, cushion of moss, or tussock of tufted bulrush stirs a quiet wonder at the ability of life to not only survive, but find places to thrive atop the exposed rock. While occasional plants grow alone or in pairs or threesomes, most cluster with a dozen to three dozen kin. A long, shallow dip with widely spaced clumps of tufted bulrush includes half a dozen clusters containing a total of sixty flowering plants. While most of these plants only bear between one and three flowers, in a large gathering of seventy-five flowering plants along the more sheltered margins of a rock pool higher up on the ledge I spot several tall plants with umbels of four or five flowers. A nook slightly to the south even hosts a six-inch-tall plant with seven flowers, the most I see anywhere on the ledge. The same nook, however, includes an endearingly small plant with a quarter-inch-tall rosette and a lone flower that sits only a third of an inch from the ground. The flower looks awkwardly oversized atop its short stem. Yet what it lacks in stature, it more than makes up for in poise, holding almost entirely steady as its taller relation bobs relentlessly in the gathering wind.


Though the wind easily lifts their petals, even taller plants inhabit a calmer and balmier microclimate than that which exists only two or three feet above the surface of the rock. Each time I stand up after bending low over a cluster, the cold rips through my fleece. The lake by now looks steely and inhospitable, darting with white caps that send small shattered panes of spray onto the lower rock. By the time I reach the far end of the ledge, where the low-lying plain rises inland and pinches off to a line of cliffs, my fingers are stiff from cold. I sink my hands into my pockets and follow a footpath of bared rock onto the gently sloping land behind the cliffs. Sheltered from the worst tempers of the lake, clusters of quaking aspen, spruce, and fir spread out amid patches of tall grass. The wind loses some of its bite as I wind inland, only to regain it on the rim. But even there, young serviceberries and mountain ashes dot the grassy outer rock.


Massive boulders have piled up in the water in front of the cliffs, helping to break the force of storm waves and offering a sanctuary along their inner edges for a few young birches and balsam poplars that reach their crowns toward the rim. One balsam poplar crown rises above the rim to give me an eye-level look at its smooth auburn branches and red-tipped catkins. Swaddled in thin sheaths at the base, a few of its buds have opened to reveal tightly wrapped lime-green leaves with copper-tinged undersides. But none have developed into the glossy bunches that I had seen on trees along the river. 


I soon turn from the rim to retrace my steps toward the low-lying plain and before reach a short wall just shy of the boulder near the southern end of the ledge. On days with a cold northern wind, the wall provides a trusted shelter in which to sit cradling a hot thermos cup while looking out at the lake. I sit down and as the sun’s rays warm my face take off my hat and unzip my fleece. A handful of flowering bird’s eye primroses lurk in a tussock of tufted bulrush to my side. Parting the light ashen weave of the tussock’s dead stems, I see underneath a few tiny rosettes, each a pinch of three or four leaves that stand no more than one or two millimeters tall. Even when magnified by my hand lens, the rosettes look hopelessly small. 


Bird’s eye primroses take several years to flower, but if all goes well the tiny plants will continue to grow and one early summer raise a flower stem with a tight umbel of green buds. The occasional bud may be dusted in a pale yellow or whitish powder called farina, which sometimes appears on bird’s eye primroses, especially on younger plants.13 Farina is more common on the farinose primrose, however, a nearly identical-looking species that grows on Europe’s northern meadows and alpine slopes and in Sweden is known as a majviva, viva being the common name for primrose. The presence of farina on plants on the Minnesota shore seems exceedingly sparing. Yet as I get up and wander around the edges of a scrubby island of vegetation only a few steps from where I sit, I spot a lone plant with glittering specs of evanescent dust scattered across the petals of its open flower. 


As the flowers age, they arc their petals gently back and fade to a smoky lilac or pale lavender-blue. Unlike the harebells and three-toothed and shrubby cinquefoils that color the rock for long weeks in high summer, bird’s eye primroses bloom only during a brief window in mid to late May and early June. Many of the flowers I see have already begun to fade. Though the primroses alone stand at the height of bloom, the flat, starlike rosettes of another arctic plant, the common butterwort, also brighten the island’s damp margins. By now, the lime-green rosettes have grown to one to two inches and in their centers sport hairy flower stems with large solitary nodding buds shrouded in a dense white wool. 


I kneel down next to a cluster of bird’s eye primroses not far from a few butterworts, steady a stem with my finger, and peer into the yellow eye of a flower. Near the top of the throat that drops down from the center of the eye is a button-like pale green pin. Easy to spot against the shady throat, the pin forms the flower’s pollen-receiving stigma and has a slightly sunken center and crisp outer margin. Next, I shift slightly to the left and peer into the eye of a flower in a nearby cluster of plants. Instead of a pin, I see five yellow pollen-producing anthers with tapering tips that angle upward to create a tight ring with a hole in the middle. Whether pin or ring, the reproductive parts of a newly opened bird’s eye primrose exhibit a striking perfection of form. 


Like many primroses, the bird’s eye belongs to a small minority of flowering plants that produce two different types of flowers, or occasionally three. Whether a flower has a pin or ring in its upper throat depends on the length of the style that connects its stigma to the nectar-producing ovary below. The different placement of the stigma and anthers decreases the probability of self-pollination,14 and since each bird’s eye primrose produces only one type of flower it needs to cross-pollinate in order to set seed.


Not surprisingly given the low morning temperatures and brisk wind, I see only one insect pollinator around the flowers, a common hover fly known as a margined calligrapher after the telltale yellow margin around its patterned abdomen. Yet like the wood anemone, the bird’s eye primrose also clones itself by growing new shoots from underground rhizomes. Either way, as a flower opens its anthers to release pollen, the initially tidy ring in its throat becomes looser and less distinct. Already, several flowers in the island have withering anthers and petals bleached nearly white by the sun. All across the ledge, anthers will soon crumble and petals scatter to the wind. Rosettes will gradually flatten against the ground and grow in size to compete for sunlight with the slowly awakening plants that begin to crowd the limited nooks and crevices of soil and shelter on the rock. Having ushered in another season of renewal on the shore, the bird’s eye primrose reverts to largely inconspicuous growth for the rest of the summer.  


After half an hour of hunkering low around the wall and island, I’ve warmed enough to begin circling back across the windswept ledge toward the river’s mouth. One faint glint of lavender after another draws me forward, returning my gaze from the open rock and water to small, sheltering corners of the land. In each pearly petal lies the expectant promise of another season on the shore.  


1. “History,” Gooseberry Falls State Park, Minnesota Department of National Resources.; “Gooseberry Falls State Park,” MNopedia, Minnesota Historical Society, last modified Dec. 21, 2022.

2. ”Exploration and Fur Trade (1650-1840),” History of Minnesota's Lake Superior (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society, n.d.),; Thomas F. Waters, The Superior North Shore: A Natural History of Lake Superior’s Northern Lands and Waters (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 47-50.

3. Katy Chayka, Ribes oxyacanthoides and Ribes triste, Minnesota Wildflowers.

4. Grace Lee Nute, “Gooseberry Falls State Park: Its History and Natural History,” Minnesota Conservation Volunteer (May-June 1947): 27-30; Waters, The Superior North Shore, 111-12.

5. John C. Green, Geology on Display: Geology and Scenery of Minnesota’s North Shore State Parks (St. Paul: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 1996), 8; Jim Miller, “What’s This Rock Too?: Unraveling the Geologic Story of Minnesota’s Central North Shore” (workshop, North House Folk School, Grand Marais, MN, August 17-19, 2018).

6. John C. Green, “Why is Lake Superior?,” Minnesota Conservation Volunteer (July-August 1978): 13-14.

7. Brendon M.H. Larson and Spencer C.H. Barrett, “Reproductive Biology of Island and Mainland Populations of Primula mistassinica (Primulaceae) on Lake Huron Shorelines,” Canadian Journal of Botany 76, 1998: 1820.

8. E.C. Pielou, After the Ice Age: The Return of Life to Glaciated North America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 88-90, 168.

9. Chel Anderson and Abdelheid Fischer, North Shore: A Natural History of the Minnesota Superior Coast (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015), 335.

10. Anderson and Fischer, North Shore, 336.

11. J. F. M. Hoeniger, “MICHAUX, ANDRÉ,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 5, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed April 16, 2018,

12. David R. Given and James H. Soper, The Arctic-Alpine Element of the Vascular Flora at Lake Superior, Publications in Botany, no. 10 (Ottawa: National Museums of Canada, 1981), 43; Sylvia Kelso, “Taxonomy of Primula Sects. Aleuritia and Armerina in North America.” Rhodora  93, no. 873 (January 1991): 87.

13. Sylvia Kelso, "Primula Mistassinica," in Flora of North America, Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico [Online]. 25+ vols. Vol. 8. Accessed January 14, 2019.


14. Larson and Barrett, “Reproductive Biology,” 1825.

bottom of page