Pioneer Valley Fern Society

Update on Sunday Fern Walk

Mt Toby Waterfall, Leverett MA

This Sunday is our first Fern Walk of the 2023 season, at the Mt Toby Waterfall in Leverett. Unfortunately the forecast is for rain that day, and for many days afterwards too! Good for the ferns, but not so good for our planned walks!

We are going to wait until Sunday morning to decide whether to cancel or not. We will post the decision on our website by 10AM this Sunday April 30th, and I will also send it out as an email. If the forecast is for occasional rain showers, we might still go with umbrellas, and anyone who wants to join us can. If it is likely to rain steadily in the afternoon we will cancel. There is not much opportunity for a rain date with the weather forecast as predicted. Our next scheduled Fern Walk is Sunday May 14th at Chard Pond in Sunderland. See the Events Calendar for details.

The photo today is a fiddlehead of a Hay-scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula), which are in abundance right now. You can see the many fine white hairs and the rather unusual way the fiddlehead starts to unfurl. I think it looks rather like Yoda, with his big ears coming out the sides. You will find them growing in sunny to partly shaded woods, roadsides, fields, and even on rocky slopes. It is one of our Top 10 Common Ferns in this area.

I attach a pdf document I created recently with some information on how to differentiate Cinnamon & Interrupted fiddleheads. It has taken me some time to finally be able to figure it out, but I still can't be sure when some are very young and just covered with a thick layer of fine white to tan or brownish hairs. I am going to try and do a few more comparison pages like this. I did quite a few pages of just one species of fern on each page in 2020, the start of my fiddlehead studies. You can find them on this website under Downloads/Fern Photos Selection.

Hope we get a chance to enjoy the fiddleheads and wildflowers together soon!

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