Ferns have always been one of my favorite plants. It thrills me to discover them in the spring, when they pop out of the ground and begin to unwind. Here is a photo of one I saw yesterday.
I think one of the reasons I am attracted to them is because they remind me of the primeval past. During the Earth’s carboniferous period, 250 million years ago, the plants that eventually turned to coal were growing in swamps and jungles. Ferns were one of the ancient plants that grew then, and amazingly, they are still with us today.
In my youth, when I started collecting fossils, one of my most memorable finds, were some rock concretions from an Indiana strip mine, that when struck on the edge with a hammer, would split open, showing the imprint of a fern in its center.
I am also reminded of my first visit to Hawaii, when I got to walk on a lava field of a fairly active volcano. The lava field was only a few years old, and ferns, which are the first plants to establish life on the hardened lava, were beginning to grow up through the cracks.
I found that resurgence of life on solid rock quite inspiring, and ferns have always represented a source of hope as a result.
To view my paintings, go to www.davidmarchant.ca