Friday, July 27, 2012

The Wonderful World of Ferns

"Ancient, mysterious (Did you know that ferns can make you invisible?) and marvelous. Come and learn about the feather-leaved plants that carpet much of the forest floor, border streams and brooks and alternate their life cycle. Some are edible, others cure worms (How do you know a worm is sick?) Come and find out as you learn to identify many wild ferns of the Goodwin Forest." 

That's just how the email read.
How could I resist?

Fern Fossils

As the early morning raindrops fell to moisten the ferns on the forest floor, greedily they took it in.  

That's pretty much how I felt when I went on a Fern Identification walk last week at Goodwin State Forest.   We were able to find and identify thirteen different species.  It was amazing!

Eagerly Entering the Forest

Christmas Fern
Interrupted Fern
See how there are pinnules missing along the stipe (the stalk, stem below the blade).
If you look closely at the picture, you'll see what appears to be dried brown stuff rather than
the consistent pinnules...hence the name "Interrupted".

As we trekked through the forest, more and more of my Botany class re~surfaced!

Spinulose Wood Fern (upper)& Evergreen Wood Fern (lower)
I learned so much in such a short time!
  Things like:
Did you know that ferns date back over 350 MYA. (million years ago)?
Did you know that back then ferns were as tall as a T-Rex dinosaur?
Did you know that millions of spores (housed in sorus) can be cast into the air by a single fern?

Sorus

I could go on and on but instead I'll simply tell you this:

Nature is Powerful!

6 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

....and ferns are pretty.

Amy Burzese said...

I agree. I love ferns. I just don't have enough shade to be able to have them.

TexWisGirl said...

i just don't get to see ferns here. too hot and dry.

Inger said...

I don't see them here, of course, so this was such a refreshing walk among ferns in a cool and shady forest. Thank you so much, I think I really needed that.

laura.forestdreams:) said...

we have lots of ferns out back...in the wooded shade...lots of different kinds...one of these days i'll have to figure out what they are!!

the fern fossil is the coolest!!

Nancy Claeys said...

I love ferns, but it seems they do not want to grow here on the farm.

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