Seasonal Almanac

Limit of heat: raptor sacrifices birds (1 of 5)

February 20th, 2009

Limit of Heat 1 of 15I can’t remember when I fell in love with ferns: bird nest, herring bone, tree, button, and maidenhair are some of my favourites. The first time I really looked a fern was after I read about how ancient these species of the Pteridophyta division are. They first emerged some 360 million years ago and fossil records of the species such as Dicksonia antartica link us to the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana.

The presence of fern adds a magical quality. Perhaps their ancient ancestry tantalising offers us a glimpse of an immensely deep past, or may be it is because it is easy to be enveloped in their fecundiy, or their self-affined fronds (that lends so well to their facsimile in alogrithmic programming) are simply wondrous to behold.

I bought a potted maidenhair fern before we went to Hong Kong. The plan was to divide up the plant and transfer these into new pots, but we ran out of time and left it in the laundry (thinking it would be damp enough). Upon our return we found the plant dried up and its mass of little green leaves turned into brown and yellow crisps. Redmond cut off the dead fronds and assured me it would recover. When doing the laundry I discoverd new green fronds reaching out from the brown mass.

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