Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Can anything in nature be more geometric than ferns?

At this time of year the spores are mature and the sporangia, or spore-bearing structures, are beginning to rupture and discharge their contents to start the life cycle one more time.

Each species of fern has its own way of maximising the space available for spore production. This is Lady Fern - Athyrium filix-femina - which has very delicate fronds with curved sporangia:

Scaly Male Fern - Dryopteris affinis - on the other hand, has very round sporangia in much straighter rows.

I'll try for shots of other ferns in the next couple of days.


The Weaver of Grass said...

The symmetry is exquisite Stuart - like all your photos you take us right up close and that is when we really see.

Stuart said...

Weaver, you have stated the point precisely. If my work enables someone to appreciate the beauty of a fly or the skills of a fungus, the science of a moss or the myriad capabilities of a wasp, then I have done my job. Thank you.

Gerry Snape said...

Thankyou once again for the superb photos. I remember seeing the emperor fern [I think it's called] in a bank on the coast road from Killybegs to Glen columkille..I had never seen such a wonderful one in the wild.