New growth as the old fades away.
I have been watching the grape ferns at our favorite spots, waiting to see the new life as last year's growth fades away. I don't usually catch the transition from old to new, but I did this time at Mt Toby this week.
Here is a new Dissected Grape Fern (Sceptridium dissectum) just emerging and unfolding. You can see the stem of the fading older grape fern to the left on the ground. The new frond on the left is the fertile frond. If you zoom into the photo a bit you can see some of the little grape-like sporangia. The taller frond to the right is the sterile frond. The sterile frond sepearates from the fertile one at or above the ground surface with dissected grape ferns.
It was a wonderful surprise to see this! I hope you get out and are able to find some of your own to enjoy.
We had a nice fern walk with a dedicated group last Sunday. Saw 17 different ferns, plus an Appalachian polypody hybrid, and a cool stone mill structure on Briggs Brook. Thanks to those who came! We are deciding where to go in August now.
321 Montague Road
Shutesbury, MA 01072