Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Ferns in the landscape

with 38 comments

You’ve 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, is along the west branch of the Farmington River in the Berkshires. I took the picture below two days later in a different place on my way back to the New York City area.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 17, 2018 at 5:48 PM

38 Responses

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  1. I love ferns and live in Massachusetts.


    August 17, 2018 at 5:54 PM

  2. Nice to see that beautiful spot again!

    Marcia Levy

    August 17, 2018 at 6:39 PM

    • It is! Too bad the drive from my house to there isn’t the half hour it takes from your house.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2018 at 6:42 PM

  3. Your pics are so beautiful Steve. You inspire me a lot.

    3C Style

    August 17, 2018 at 7:04 PM

  4. I love using ferns in my photographs!


    August 17, 2018 at 8:47 PM

    • I don’t blame you. I wish we had as many of them in central Texas as I found up north. That said, I plan to show some local ferns in the next post.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2018 at 8:53 PM

  5. That`s a significant growth spurt, Steve! Very impressive.


    August 17, 2018 at 9:27 PM

    • I may have inadvertently implied that the ferns in the two photographs are the same; they were actually in different places. The second group attracted me because of the plants’ verticality, while in the first case I liked the horizontal nature of the colony, which paralleled that of the river.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2018 at 10:11 PM

  6. I’ve always loved to see ferns, and it’s reassuring to see the fossilized ones, from millions of years ago, and then see something amazingly similar, still thriving.

    Robert Parker

    August 17, 2018 at 10:29 PM

  7. Beautiful. Fern used to be a popular name for a girl in New Zealand. I see one site on the internet which says the name Fern was at its peak popularity in the US in 1910. I wonder if it will make a comeback like Holly, Ivy, Lily, and Daisy have in recent years. Our most popular Ferns at the moment are the Black Ferns who are playing the Wallaroos in Sydney tonight. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12109120 As for the fern in my garden; it is still dormant.


    August 17, 2018 at 10:50 PM

    • I remember your silver ferns but never knew about your Black Ferns.

      Now that you’ve brought up Fern, I wonder why a name with such a pleasant referent fell out of popularity. I’ve been trying to recall whether I’ve ever known anyone with that name. I looked in my computerized address book and the closest I found is in a last name, Lisa Redfern:


      May the fern in your garden soon unsleep itself.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 17, 2018 at 11:10 PM

      • And of Red Fern, do you know this book ( which appeared in my google search)? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_the_Red_Fern_Grows


        August 18, 2018 at 2:17 AM

        • No, I’ve not heard of it till now. I see that the tale is set in eastern Oklahoma. Speaking of that and of red, I’ll add that we drove through the mountains of eastern Oklahoma five autumns ago and found the countryside scenic due to the changing color of the leaves:


          Steve Schwartzman

          August 18, 2018 at 7:00 AM

          • I enjoyed your story of that trip.


            August 20, 2018 at 2:50 AM

            • I just commented on the other post, saying I’d forgotten that incident. It makes me wonder now whether people are influenced to take worse photographs than they might otherwise take by the poor pictures they see so many other people have taken. Here’s another incident to support that hypothesis. One time when I was at the Wildflower Center, a couple asked me to take a picture of them using their camera. I composed the portrait with them at the bottom of the frame, from the waist up, and filled the rest of the frame with scenery. When I showed them the portrait, the woman asked if I could take another, this time with their feet included. Of course that meant backing up and wasting space in the picture to show the ground, which was of as little interest as the people’s legs. But that’s what the woman wanted, so I took another picture that way for her.

              Steve Schwartzman

              August 20, 2018 at 7:19 AM

  8. Nice cluster by the river. The second, I think, is Interrupted fern, Osmunda claytoniana. I am lucky to have several varieties of fern growing in our yard.

    Steve Gingold

    August 18, 2018 at 4:06 AM

    • I’m happy your comment interrupted my ignorance about the kind of fern in the second photograph. Now that I have a name, I compared some pictures online and see the resemblance. Good for you to have several kinds of ferns in your yard.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 18, 2018 at 7:05 AM

      • I just found this at the website of the Missouri Botanical Garden:

        “Genus name honors Osmundus or Asmund, c. 1025, a Scandinavian writer of runes who helped prepare the way for the Swedish acceptance of Christianity.

        “Specific epithet honors John Clayton (1686-1773), who came to Virginia from England in 1705.”

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 18, 2018 at 7:08 AM

  9. Hey, that is my topic for Monday, although it refers to exotic ferns.


    August 18, 2018 at 5:20 PM

  10. The bright green of the ferns is striking, and contrasts nicely with the surrounding forest. Still, lovely as the ferns are, it’s the river in the first photo that most appeals to me. The smaller, rounded rocks seem approachable, and just the right size for the river.

    Did the water burble? I suspect it does from time to time. The scene brings to mind some lines from Wendell Berry:

    “The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
    The impeded stream is the one that sings.”


    August 18, 2018 at 9:31 PM

    • If I’d brought my rubber boots with me I’d have walked out into the river to compose pictures in other ways. Even from the bank, I managed to frame a few good things. I was so caught up with taking pictures that I can’t remember whether the water burbled. That word reminds me not of Wendell Berry but of Lewis Carrol, who wrote in “Jabberwocky”:

      And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
      Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

      Who’d have thought I’d end up with a picture of the tulgey wood in Massachusetts?

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 18, 2018 at 10:49 PM

  11. Love the Green colors, they really “pop” and draw your eye in to the image!

    Reed Andariese

    August 19, 2018 at 9:29 AM

    • We’ve got the right rhythm to change “Pop goes the weasel” to “Pop go the green ferns.” Fortunately you’re in a part of the country where you can be drawn in to such scenes without having to travel too far.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 19, 2018 at 11:30 AM

  12. Ferns are a favorite of mine, and these are beautifully portrayed.


    September 5, 2018 at 8:53 AM

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