Photo Submissions: Ferns & Unexpected Blooms

One of the things I remember the most about textbooks and displays about dinosaurs is that if they often showed the dinosaurs in their natural environment, which included big Jurassic era fern. It was then that I understood that ferns were very old plants. Next time you’re going for a prehistoric look in the garden don’t forget the ferns and maybe some palms!

Fishtail Fern (Nephrolepis falcata) By Lisa Troute Jan 2023 South Florida, USA.

It just so happens I got to see this lovely fern and the Staghorn Fern (below) in person! On my annual trip to see my mother-in-law, Mary Reynolds, who follows this blog. These ferns are in Lisa’s yard which means, yes, yes, I got to meet Lisa herself! It was a genuine pleasure to meet you Lisa and I hope we can catch each other again next year!

Lisa has contributed a photo every month since the start of the photo submission requests back in August of last year and she’s usually the very first person to email them to me!

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium spp.) By Lisa Troute Jan 2023 South Florida, USA.

The Staghorn fern is one of my favorite plants! I tried to take care of one for years. I thought my bathroom with a skylight could offer the perfect habitat, but alas, no matter what I did, the poor thing died a long and slow death. That was about the third or fourth fern I’d tried to keep as an indoor plant that died. I’ve decided to abstain from being a fern killer and now I only appreciate my native ferns outside.

Asparagus Fern with berries (Asparagus densiflorus spp.) By Lisa Troute Jan 2023 South Florida, USA.

This fern is an imposter! It’s a warm weather perennial that only looks like a fern. The telltale is that the berries contain the seeds instead of naked spores on the undersides of the leaves. It’s still a lovely plant though and I’m happy to add it. We could call it an “unexpected bloom” because while it does get small white flowers, they’re often hard to see without close inspection.

I’d also like to thank Kerfe for taking her camera with her on her walks in Central Park in New York.

I’m pretty sure this is a variety of Hellebores. They’re a popular plant where I live because they grow well in damp lowlight areas. They are often one of the first things to bloom which is why they have common names like Lenten Rose, Winter Rose and Christmas Rose, even though they are not true roses.

Hellebores spp. By Kerfe Feb 2023 Central Park New York USA. &

I like the way the light through the leaves almost makes this look like a painting. Also found in Central Park:

Snowdrops ((Galanthus nivalis) background & Forsythia (Forsythia spp) foreground By Kerfe Feb 2023 Central Park New York USA &

and this nice droopy fern:

Fern (Unknown) By Kerfe Feb 2023 Central Park New York USA &

Our last picture comes from a new Nature-led friend, Amy Law! Thank you for offering a photo for this month, Amy!

Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule) By Amy Law Feb 2023 Foothills west of Denver CO USA

Amy’s link goes to a specific blog post where you can see an even closer picture of these lovely purple flowers and some birds! While I’m currently battling some Lamium ‘Archangel’ on my property, it’s hard to begrudge a spot of color in the winter.

Lisa, Kerfe, and Amy, Thank you again for your submissions! If I’ve somehow missed anyone’s submissions, please let me know! I’ve been really busy and a bit brain fogged lately.

What about next months photo submissions?

Good question!

If we want to continue doing monthly photo submissions, I’m going to need your help with some suggestions! We haven’t done grasses or water plants. Maybe a month of “Your Favorite plant” or “Your Best Shot Nature shot?” I’ve tried to pick fairly broad nature-inspired themes because it’s difficult when half of the planet is in winter while the other half is in summer. Not to mention the variety of different biome regions! At the same time, that very diversity that provides a challenge also provides more interesting variety to the submissions overall.

Here’s what we’ve currently done so far:

January:  Moss & Lichen

February:  Ferns & Unexpected Blooms






August: Unknown Paths (First submission request, 2022)

September: A Tree

October: Leaves

November: Mushrooms/Fungi

December: Nature at Rest

Should we continue with the monthly photo submissions? Is there other content you would like to see here on the Nature-led site?

Please be aware that I’m currently looking for a job in Environmental Sustainability, Disaster Mangement or related fields. I’ve submitted a few applications and have already had a couple of interviews. I also have a family member who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Between these two things and life in general I’ll need to balance my time efficiently. This Nature-led website is my passion project though and I don’t have any plans to abandon it. Doing the photo submissions once a month is really not much of a time commitment and I’m happy to continue doing it if enough people want to keep submitting photos.

I’m also interested in expanding our number of contributing authors here. My friend Mary King has agreed to write a few posts so keep a look out for those! Also, if you have a post in mind that fits the Nature-led theme, send me an email to be a guest author or a link to a post you’ve written to re-blog that you feel is a great fit. I’m sorry I can’t visit everyone’s blogs as often as I would like too. I know it’s a common problem for all of us. Take care my Nature-led friends and remember to get outside!

Thank you for stopping by!


Tang, Carol Marie. “Jurassic Period”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 26 Dec. 2022, Accessed 1 March 2023. (Scroll down near the bottom for the “Plants” section.)

American Fern Society:

20 thoughts on “Photo Submissions: Ferns & Unexpected Blooms

  1. Melanie, enjoyed seeing photos of my friend Lisa’s amazing yard. Your “gang” is so diverse – I wonder if your idea of “favorite plants” might be fun. As always – enjoy your Blog. Mary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ack, I missed another deadline! How did February, which felt like it lasted forever, pass me by? These are lovely photos and I’m so glad Amy joined the effort. I’m sending all good thoughts on your job applications/interviews and to your family member dealing with cancer. As for ideas for future submissions, maybe something to do with Vertical or Horizontal plants (vines and such)? We could also focus on a specific color. Or how about “On My Street”? Okay, I’ll stop here. Thank you for this project that brings us smiles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Tracy for sending Amy this way and for the good thoughts! I love your suggestions! I think “Vines” would need to be combined with something, maybe? I don’t know how common vine plants are for most people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right about the Vines topic…I guess I was thinking about vines growing up telephone poles around here and on my neighbor’s retaining wall and was thinking “they’re everywhere!”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie, it was a joy to meet you and share my yard when you were in FL. Thanks for letting me know that asparagus fern isn’t a real fern–I should have known that ferns don’t have berries!! I’m always learning new things from your blog, and noticing things I’ve formerly overlooked. While I hope your Nature Led Life blog will continue, I understand that it is time consuming. I wish you the best of luck with your job search.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I took photos for you and then forgot to send them as February just sort of stopped and then it was March. My real excuse is dental.
    You sound like you have a lot on your plate – maybe you could have a ‘missed submissions’ post to allow us forgetful slackers to catch up!
    Good luck with the job – when in doubt go tree planting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We’ll see, maybe March will be slacker month? Hahaha. Plant trees? Are they hiring? I don’t think grocery stores and health bills will accept leaves as a form of legal currency. It’s a shame really. Sorry your dental is still bothering you!

      Liked by 1 person

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