WHEN AND WHERE TO FIND FERNS
fruit now, with its delicate, tendril-like fruit, climbing three or four feet over the asters, golden-rod, etc., on the edge of the swamp."
In moist places now we find the triangular much dissected leaf and branching fruit-cluster of the Ternate Grape Fern.
When October sets in, many of the ferns take their color-note from the surroundings. Vying with the maples along the roadside the Osmundas wear deep orange. Many of the fronds of the Dicksonia are bleached almost white, while others look fresh and green despite their delicate texture. On October 4th Thoreau writes of this plant:
"How interesting now, by wall-sides and on open springy hill-sides, the large straggling tufts of the Dicksonia fern above the leaf-strewn green sward, the cold, fall-green sward! They are unusually preserved about the Corner Spring, considering the earliness of this year. Long, handsome, lanceolate green fronds pointing in every direction, recurved and full of fruit, intermixed with yellowish and sere brown and shrivelled ones, the whole clump perchance strewn with fallen and withered maple leaves, and overtopped by now withered and unnoticed osmundas. Their lingering greenness is so much the more noticeable now that the leaves generally have changed. They affect us as if they were evergreen, such persistent life and greenness in the midst of decay. No matter how much they are strewn with withered leaves, moist and green they spire above them, not fearing the frosts, fragile as they are.