May 19, 2011

A Walk in the Woods: The Dance of Unfurling Ferns

Last week, when there was sun, I noticed the ferns in the woods starting their new growth. Each variety has a different pattern of stems rising and uncurling. Each is graceful, and heads nod graciously toward each other.

I couldn't help but think of dance in the bobbing and weaving forward and back, as though each emerging frond is a participant in a baroque gigue.

These plants are turning outward,

and these in.
This week, the fern fronds are opening, the brief time of rising and uncurling nearly past.


  1. I love the word "unfurling" as well as these tender ferns you have shared with us.

  2. thanks megan, I'm glad you enjoyed them. I like the word 'unfurling' too, though it's usually used for a flag.

  3. Isn't it amazing the many ways they unfurl? And at such different rates. I've got some ferns in the garden that are fully up and others that are finally just visibly pushing through the mulch.

  4. I can never get enough of ferns unfurling...I like yr idea of the gigue because of the association with Bach and Handel, two favorite composers...also the fleeting nature of the ferns' transitional process.