We’ve dug out and/or gathered so much trash in our Greenbelt restoration site. Most of it is garbage and is hauled away. One day last year, though, a student found a plastic dinosaur and put it on a protruding tree root in my yard. I loved the gesture, and the dinosaur, and decided to keep it. I ended up giving it a home in one of my ferns. Since ferns were in existence before dinosaurs, that fern seemed like an appropriate home.
A few weeks later, I found another dinosaur and placed him in the same fern. This is a photo I took of the dinosaurs last July.
The fern has grown so much since then. Here is a photo I took this week!
I suppose once the fronds get bigger, their weight will bring them down and the plant won’t be as high as it is now… but I wonder if the dinosaurs will ever be able to see each other through the fern again.
Perhaps they are playing hide and seek, dashing from one place to the next!
One part of our Greenbelt restoration site has so many ferns. I decided to read some articles about ferns and was fascinated by what I learned.
- Ferns have been on earth for 360 million years.
- The type of ferns we see now have been here for 45-50 million years.
- Dinosaurs ate ferns, conifers, cycads and mosses.
- Ferns were on earth 200 million years before flowers.
- Ferns are helpful in preventing or eliminating pollution because they remove heavy metals from the air and the soil.
- Today’s ferns are not edible because of toxicity. [Note: Maybe that is because of the heavy metal mentioned above.]
- Some ferns have a life span of 100 years.
- The height of ferns ranges from 2 inches to 30 feet.
- Compressed ferns turned into fossil fuel and became the basis for oil, gas and oil.
- Ferns reproduce from spores. They don’t have seeds or flowers.
- There are at least 12,000 types of ferns on earth today. There may be up to 20,000 different species.
- In North America there are 441 varieties of native ferns.
- Ferns are vascular, circulating water and nutrients through their veins.
- In the past, there were people who believed if they ate ferns they would become invisible. Still others believed ferns protected them against goblins and witches.
When I took this photo today, I imagined dinosaurs walking through this forest. Doing that reminded me of the Jurassic Park movies!
You can learn more about ferns from the articles below:
Fern Facts (Casa Flora)
Fern Facts (Soft Schools)
Five Fun Fern Facts
Daily Prompt: Taper
On May 13th, we had a work party that included 20 University of Washington students needing volunteer hours for an Introduction to Environmental Science class. A few days later, I discovered that one of them had left me a surprise. The student had placed this toy dinosaur near, but not in, a pile of Greenbelt trash. I’m not going to throw it away either.
At the time I found it, I washed it and waited for the pile of trash to be picked up. Today, I put it back where the student had left it. I hope it enjoys its new home. I’m imagining it experiencing a sense of freedom and triumph after having survived 30-40 years buried in the dirt.