It’s the shortest season here in the North. We’ve had snow and cold, freeze warnings in the mornings, and then it’s spring. All around plants, birds, animals are emerging. The ground is littered with leaves, pine needles, twigs, and branches. The trees are budded so there is no shade over the garden. But if you get down to ground level and look closely there are signs of spring. The trillium are up above the dead leaves and some of the other wildflowers are poking their shoots and leaves up. These ferns are about eight inches tall now but they will be hip height in a matter of a week. The fernheads are wrapped tightly in a ball but they will unfurl and spread their own shade over the ground below. And quickly the temperatures will rise, the humidity will increase, the lightning will crack and the thunder will roll, and spring will have passed to summer.
The seasons move quickly from spring into summer and this year seems to have moved faster than normal. Everything has turned to a beautiful bright green — the color of new growth, late spring, and early summer. We’ve had enough rain to keep things fresh and the heat hasn’t set in yet. This graceful fern was backlit in the garden, accentuating each leaf and its lovely color. Its beauty was stunning, and I also know it will be fleeting as the green will become darker and not nearly as bright. It’s a reminder to me to appreciate the season and the time we’re in now as it changes ever-so-quickly and what we see today will not be the same tomorrow.
I spent a couple of hours this morning at the McNeely Conservatory at Como Park. The flowers were beautiful and the rain gradually cleared away while I was there. But today I was seeing lines, rather than colorful flowers. I spotted this fern near a window. Gracefully it arched upward, and its tips hung down and even swirled over itself. I walked around the fern and photographed many of the branches. And then I saw this one as I was looking down. Its green color was complimented by the flooring stones and it spread and twirled below where I stood. For some reason this image became all about the simplicity, the lines, the colors, and the gracefulness of the fern.
As quickly as winter left, spring has arrived. Minnesota spring-time is short and condensed. It’s almost as if you can watch the flowers come up through the thawed and warming ground. Our lilacs are bursting forth, the peonies grow inches overnight, and the greenest of ferns have started to unfurl. From a tight bud to the gentle arches, they are a study of delicateness and beauty. Soon the fronds will be straight and upright, but I love the soft curves that they now show.