Fern Frozen Against A Mossy Moor

Frost-covered fern lying on moss

An old, unflattering rhyme I’ve never liked calls my home town’s moors bleak and barren. Perhaps if you don’t like moorland or have never taken the time to walk on it, you might think so. I suppose some people might care little for what walkers can find on a winter day up there by venturing a few steps off the path.

If you follow my blog you can expect to see brighter, bolder pictures of plant combinations taken in gardens or at flower shows, where skilled, creative hands have put together their best for public consumption.

I’m not sure you’ll see any plant combination I could look at with much more pleasure than this.

In the textures of the frozen vegetation, I seem to see fabric: the fern becomes lace; the moss, wool or velvet. The colours are alluring too: sage, mint and chocolate, the latter frosted to mink. Nothing is jazzy, all is harmonious. I’d love something to wear in a design inspired by this.

It may appear haphazard – there are a few wayward stems, but the fern and strands of grass have surrendered to the frost gracefully and a natural order is appearing – of sorts. Towards the top left, a thaw has started. 

I’m adding in a similar shot taken a few minutes later as it helps highlight the luxury and movement in the first shot:

Fern frosted against wood

The frost has laid a heavier hand in this one, and the fern is fractured in places, but the effect was still interesting enough to persuade me take my gloves off again on a cold winter’s day.

33 thoughts on “Fern Frozen Against A Mossy Moor

    • susurrus says:

      Oscar Wilde said, ‘We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the skies’ – I sometimes get called out for looking at the floor when I’m out walking, but ground can be almost as interesting as the skies.

  1. dawnkinster says:

    It’s beautiful. I took a similar photo of a brown fern against the frozen wetland it had grown in last summer. I’ve noticed several really pretty brown plants lately…nothing is totally bleak and barren!

  2. Old Herbaceous says:

    So beautiful, delicate, and subtle! I love moors although I didn’t grow up with them. Some of my family is from Yorkshire, so I come by it honestly. On my first visit to Yorkshire, I immediately felt at home and fell in love with the moors there.

  3. Oddment says:

    Definitely worth taking gloves off! I seem to see more of that sort-of-mahogany color in the second photo, and I love the contrast with the frost, but both photos are worthy of gloves-off. You are right that these images, apparently effortless in nature, hold their own in artistry against any formal arrangement.

    • susurrus says:

      I enjoy having four distinct seasons, although when summer first starts tipping into autumn I do feel a twinge of regret – about the time when you start to notice the summer flowers getting straggly but before the rich colours appear.

      • wanderessence1025 says:

        I also like four seasons but for me, summer is my least favorite. Here on the east coast of the U.S. it’s very hot and humid and buggy, so I’m always relieved when the twinges of fall arrive! 🙂

  4. Laurie Graves says:

    Living in Maine, I have a special fondness for stark beauty, for frosty photos. So I really liked the pictures of the ferns. If your fingers can stand the cold, keep snapping those pictures.

    • susurrus says:

      I sometimes wish we had more snow and frost so I could practice taking pictures, but I have a lot of respect for the practicalities wintry conditions bring – burst pipes, tricky driving conditions, etc.

  5. tonytomeo says:

    Bleak and barren? Do you believe it was written by a native, or at least someone who should have a better appreciation for them, or are they really bleak and barren?

    • susurrus says:

      I think of it as a taunt from a neighbouring town – that’s the way I was introduced to the rhyme as a child. They aren’t bleak to me, but I can see that someone from elsewhere might need time for their eyes to tune into the landscape. Think of ferns, wild blueberries (wimberries), heather, gorse, the odd rugosa, blackberry or raspberry here and there…

      • tonytomeo says:

        I resent how my town is often referred to as a ‘suburb’ of San Jose. Long before we even developed our famously snooty attitude (and long before my time), we prided ourselves on being the major town in the Santa Clara Valley, . . . . and that San Jose was okay too.
        One thing that really makes natives cringe is the term ‘Silicon Valley’. YUCK!

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