I am completely and utterly enchanted. Look at this:
The exquisite curling shape, the soft fuzz of brown on pale green . . . gorgeous. But it gets better.
Look at the markings on these . . . like some sort of alien animal print.
And spirals! Those of you who are familiar with my artwork know how fascinated I am by spirals. And most of these fern shoots are coiled into soft, perfect little spirals. These, with their golden fuzz, once again seem almost animal. And I love the way they echo each others shape, formation unfurling, synchronized sprouting. Fascinating.
This one has almost finished uncoiling, and reminds me of a snake.
These are further along, the green bits unfolded halway up. Again, though, look at the elegant way they’ve arranged themselves; they are aware of each other, dancing together in sloooooooooooowwwwww motion.
So soft looking. And here you can begin to see, not only does the entire frond begin in a tight spiral, but each leaflet, too, coils in toward the spine; a spiral of spirals.
I think this one is a bracken fern. And it takes the spiral habit a step further. The entire frond is furled; each little leaflet is curled inward, and each part of each leaflet is also a spiral. (Someday I will actually learn all the correct terminology, so that I can write intelligently about the parts of plants. Really.) I can’t tell you how much of my walking time is spent staring at these little fern babies in awe. This is the kind of thing that makes my heart ache at how much of a miracle everything is.
And it helps me understand how we recognize the symbolism of spirals instinctively, how they have come to represent the cycles of birth, death, rebirth for so many of us. It makes sense, when you watch the world around you; each year, these same spirals unfold from the roots of the same plant, from the middle of last-years dead or faded leaves. Each year the same plant dies and is reborn in spiraling green.