Studies in Green

Forest Floor Study in Green and Decay
Forest Floor Study in Green and Decay

I took the luxury of driving an extra 5 miles yesterday after dropping goodies to be sold at the High School for last night’s Bluegrass Benefit for Floyd’s new park.

What a wonderful thing to be able to “kill time” on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the late spring on a clear, cool afternoon. The biggest photographic problem with this time of year is that landscapes tend to be monochromatic studies in GREEN.

But there are nuances of green and at times you can find some blues and yellows that work together nicely. This week on Fragments I’ll have an image a day for you from my hour on the Parkway.

Where I took this shot, the Buffalo Mountain vista I’d been concentrating on was behind me. But when I finally stood up to leave, I discovered there’d been this composition waiting there for me all along. A flatter lighting might have been more desirable, but the shafts of late sun on this delicate fern (Hayscented Fern, say it with me: Dennstaedtia punctilobula) arranged around a fallen trunk (complete with woodpecker holes) was certainly worthy of a long look, if not a photograph.

Google Images of Hayscented Fern.

Serving Suggestion: now that you know the name and will recognize this very common fern (so common an easily spread it is referred to as a “native invasive”)what will you do? Scratch and sniff! Wad a frond up in your palm and inhale deeply. Ahhhhh!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Come to Arizona! You’ll never see another fern again. 😉 Your comment about the monochromatic green made me think of another blog I read. She dyes yarn based on the colors in photos she takes. I am always amazed to look at a photo of a green leaf, and my mind says it’s green, but when she pixelates it, suddenly there is gray and purple and blue and yellow – all the things that my mind says are “green in shadow” or “green with reflected light”. Here is an example of what she does.

  2. Ferns are amazing and they proliferate at an incredible rate. The Old World Climbing has really taken over in our neck of the woods and we are fighting it constantly.