Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Ferns On Shale Ridge

Christmas Ferns added a splash of green to the otherwise dull-colored woods when I took some of the cousins out on a Christmas day ramble while the family was at a cabin on Shale Ridge.
Here we are looking for over-wintering insects on some fallen timber.  The Christmas Ferns are about the only green things left from last summer.
Christmas Ferns at Christmas
The fern's fronds are laid low for the winter. They flatten out after the hard, fall frosts.
   The photo below shows a very young Christmas Fern in the spring (early May).  Some dark green fronds from last year are visible on the lower left.
Christmas Fern in the spring
   The Christmas Fern's fronds stay green throughout the winter and actually looks nice with a bit of snow.  

 The Christmas fern has a scaly stem and eared leaflets.  In the picture below, those "ears" are near the stem and all pointing to the left.
 This fern grows singly, in groups of two or three, or sometimes in colonies (like in the picture below).
Colony of Christmas Ferns
   I suspect these ferns got their name from being used for Christmas greenery and wreaths.  Christmas Ferns definitely decorate the forest floor with a welcome, rich-green color. 

1 comment:

  1. Dana,

    I love seeing bright green moss and winter ferns a midst the snow or dull browns of the winter woods.

    Lovely post.

    Sybil in Nova Scotia