Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Three-and-a-half kinds of ferns at Garden in the Woods

with 18 comments

One pleasure of traveling in the Northeast is getting to see lush ferns in many places.

Hay-scented fern, Dennstaedtia punctiloba

In particular, today’s green post shows you three species of ferns I photographed on June 12th at the Garden in the Woods in Framingham, Massachusetts.

Northern maidenhair fern, Adiantum pedatum

Thanks to horticulturist Anna Fialkoff for identifying them.

Maybe cinnamon fern, Osmundastrum cinnamomeum

The half is this shadow of a fern on a stone:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 8, 2018 at 4:38 AM

18 Responses

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  1. I adore fern shadows!


    July 8, 2018 at 5:07 AM

    • I’m fond of shadows in general. Up north I got to see some that are different from the ones in central Texas.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2018 at 6:23 AM

  2. Purchased the first ferns on our property to plant in a wet shady spot. They seem to love it there .. we’ll see how they do through August.


    July 8, 2018 at 7:12 AM

    • Your description the spot as wet and shady sounds like a prescription for success. Let’s hope that’s right.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2018 at 7:16 AM

  3. The fern shadow looks like a fossil imprint, Steve, very evocative.


    July 8, 2018 at 7:25 AM

  4. The photo of the maidenhair fern reminds me of the tree fern photos you took in New Zealand. The fronds radiating out from that dark central core suggest a tree fern trunk and its leaves.

    What’s really striking are the shadows in that last photo. On both my PC and iPad screens, the shadows have a distinctly green cast to them. I remember seeing both masses of yellow flowers and green leaves appear to tint tree trunks or other objects; it looks as though the same thing’s happened here. It’s lovely, and eye-catching.


    July 8, 2018 at 8:24 AM

    • Ah, New Zealand. What would New England be if tree ferns grew there? You’re free to imagine it.

      From time to time I’ve seen the light reflected from a colorful mass of leaves or flowers tint a nearby object. I hadn’t noticed that effect here till you pointed it out (you’re good at noticing such things). When I went back to look at my raw files just now, I found that I took the shadow photograph in this post at 1:42:19. The picture taken two seconds later shows about the same amount of green, which to my eyes is slight. In contrast, the next picture, at 1:42:25, shows markedly greener shadows. The remaining four photographs, taken over the next 18 seconds, similarly vary in the amount of green in the shadows. My guess is that because the camera focused in slightly different places in each frame, it ended up with a somewhat different white balance each time.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2018 at 10:00 AM

  5. A wonderful, fern-filled post!

    Susan Scheid

    July 8, 2018 at 9:21 AM

  6. At my former home, there was a cliff above Zayante Creek that was completely covered with our version of the Western maidenhair fern. Nothing else would grow on the cliff. It was always damp because it was where the water seeped out into the Creek. It must have been twenty feet high at the apex, and maybe thirty feet wide. The ferns were not very fluffy, but enough to make the whole cliff look softly shaggy.


    July 8, 2018 at 4:40 PM

    • I have a good idea of what you’re describing. Along a highway here on the west side of town there’s a cliff with water seeping out in one area that supports a large and lush column of ferns. I may show that in a future post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 8, 2018 at 4:58 PM

  7. The three ferns look beautifully soft; the shadow on stone makes me think of a hard copy, light and fleeting as it may actually be.


    July 9, 2018 at 4:27 AM

  8. […] already seen some close views of ferns in eastern Massachusetts. Now here are a couple of pictures showing ferns in the landscape. The scene above, from May 26th, […]

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