The ferns have been unfolding.
|This pic comes from Book 15 of the 4th edition of Meyers Konversationslexikon (1885–90). Public domain.|
This fern-unwinding process never fails to take me back to, oh say the Carboniferous Period 350 million years ago.
Mastodon trunks, right in our back yard.
A related plant, Equisetum (or horse tail), also hearkens waaay back. In those days when coal was being formed these guys grew as big as trees.
There are no seeds or flowers because, like ferns, this is a spore-bearing plant. The strange white cone-like stalk is where the spores are, completely separate from the leaf-bearing stalks.
|John Napier developed the logarithm from observations of Equisetum, noting how the spacing of nodes decreases from bottom to top of the shoot.|
"A living fossil" is its nickname. Here in Oregon, despite its interesting history, Equisetum is officially called a "noxious plant." Oh well, I still think it's amazing.