Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First Ferns and New Arrivals

A day of drizzle followed by heavier April showers, ushered in fresh green growth and new arrivals. The first ferns pushed up through the forest duff, seemingly overnight. Their fronds still coiled in the bud.

By all accounts the cinnamon and interrupted ferns, with fuzzy fiddleheads, are not edible, while the lady fern, with only a few papery brown scales is one of those fine woodland foods. We do not have an overabundance of the latter, so I have not collected them for a saute; instead I leave them to unfurl and go about their seasonal growth.

The curled tips of the young fern look like the scroll at the top of a fiddle, hence the name fiddleheads. I learned just recently that they are also called fern crosiers, named after the stylized staff, a crosier, carried by high ranking Roman Catholics. (Crosier and fiddle photos from Wikipedia)

The spring migrants are arriving too. The sweet palm warbler with its rufous cap and bright yellow body below, bobbing its tail as it hops about the red maple. The yellow-rumped warbler, with a patch of yellow on its head and yellow near its wings, and of course on its rump, its loose trill trailing off. Ken reminded me of the yellows in our spring migrants - I saw them today!

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