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March 10th, 2011

Morris Arboretum part 3, the Fernery

It’s springtime in the Fernery at the Morris Arboretum. I ducked into the Fernery to escape the bright sunlight before I finished my witch hazel tour.

01Fernery

Normally, I’d take the greenhouse/indoor photos first, but I was really there for the witch hazel. It’s hard to go from cold and dry to humid and warm, and I needed to walk around for awhile to let my camera acclimate. After a mix of impatience (remember I had two sweaters and my wool coat with me) and inspiration, I started to take foggy photos while my camera body warmed up.

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Lots of people came in and out while I was taking my photos. It’s too bad they passed by so quickly; they completely missed out on all the new growth. Diane and Cheryl were working in the greenhouse, and they showed me all kinds of hidden worlds. Then I went off and wandered on my own. When I stood up from taking this shot, I heard one of them say, “You’re smiling! I love when people make their own discoveries in here!”

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02RabbitFern

This rabbit’s foot fern is one of my favorites. It looks like something out of Pan’s Labyrinth, or The Muppet Show. I was waiting for some part of the plant to open its eyes, sigh, and lumber away from my incessant picture taking. I was also wishing I was about a foot taller so I could get closer to the plant. This one is growing over the top of a little passageway that houses a Buddha statue and many plants.

06bud
Warm air, gliding koi, Buddha, what’s not to love about this Fernery? I think I’m lucky there were no benches, or I would’ve been tempted to take a long winter’s nap.

03bearFern

The bear paw fern

04newgrowth

Normally I don’t care for direct sun and harsh shadow in a photo, but I really loved the dark black shadows with the fresh green leaves. And who can resist the beauty of backlighting? There are a lot of red ferns making an appearance. I learned that like the tree outside my office window, all the red parts of these ferns are new growth. Everything is uncurling and unfolding and waking up. I guess I went to the arboretum so I could start to wake up, too.05ferns

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January 3rd, 2011

Notes from my commute

It’s a new year and I’m back in the office after a long winter’s nap. It is COLD today, which is why I saw the seasonal curling of my rhododendron leaves. Normally I would panic and think the plant was dying, but I’ve learned a thing or too from my Organic Gardening stock searches.

Chilling with my Rhododendron

Rhododendron leaves curl up into tight little cigars to reduce the amount of exposed leaf surface—it protects the leaves from drying winds. The editors told me this is called “transpiration”. I took a couple of pictures of the curled leaves, then I too curled up tight and headed to work.

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