hunting for cinnamon fern

4.2.24 ~ ‘old blush’ rose arbor
North Carolina Botanical Garden

It was spring vacation week so we had a chance to take Katherine with us on one of our walks at the botanical garden. Like her grandmother, she was enchanted by the rose arbor. And we finally saw tadpoles in the frog pond!

And of course we saw lots of flowers…

lobed tickseed
Florida flame azalea
Virginia spiderwort
wild geranium (with tiny ant)
great white trillium

Katherine knows a lot about cinnamon ferns and she located some starting to come up in the Mountain Habitat (above). And then, in the Coastal Plain Habitat (below) she spotted some more that were taller and starting to unfurl. My granddaughter informed me that, among other things, cinnamon fern is the oldest species of fern on earth. (70 million years!)

learning about cinnamon ferns from Katherine
(photo by Tim)

Of course there were some birds to enjoy and a couple even paused for a photo or two…

Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal
he was feeding her but I couldn’t capture it!
northern cardinal
white-throated sparrow

What a blessing it was to share a beautiful day with our granddaughter, to share our interests with her and to have her share hers with us.

37 thoughts on “hunting for cinnamon fern”

  1. This looks like an enchanting visit for all, how very sweet, Barbara. I love that Catherine knew about the cinnamon fern and shared it with you. And I love how her pink outfit matches with the pink roses on the trellis. Great photos of the plants and birds. Exciting to find the tadpoles and I really like the bogbean photo with the bog in the background.

    1. Thank you, Jet. We had so much fun with all the colors and textures and habitats that day, and I’m happy you enjoyed it, too. That was my first encounter with a bogbean plant — those feathery stars are captivating. I had no idea it is found in bogs all over Europe, Asia and North America. Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

  2. So wonderful to live so close to your granddaughter to be able to know each other, share knowledge, and watch her become the woman she will be! Great timing for Tim to get a photo!!

    I think I would have named the bogbean flowers something like a spider web… and yet I don’t see anything that resembles a spider in the spiderwort.

    I love the photo of Mr & Mrs and my thoughts of Mr flirting with Mrs by feeding her has me grinning!

    That’s a white throated sparrow with yellow eye brows! Did you see those eyebrows on that bird!!!

    Glad that you remembered to check for the tadpoles.

    Such a lovely interest to have in common with your granddaughter. This walk reminded me of my childhood memories when my grand-relatives took me on a weeks vacation to explore Florida, all that we learned and found in our common grounds! 🤩🥰🫠

    1. It was such a wonderful day, TD, a bright spot in my week. I was so delighted to find out Tim had whipped out his cell phone for that picture. 🙂

      According to the internet the bogbean gets its name from its leaves which resemble a broad bean. I didn’t get a look at the leaves, but it was growing in a bog. Also found this: spiderwort is called “spider” wort or spider lily is because when the stem of a spiderwort is cut, “a viscous stem secretion is released which becomes threadlike and silky upon hardening (like a spider’s web), hence the common name.”

      It’s always enchanting to watch the male cardinal feed his female. One of these days I will finally capture it in a photo! It’s true, the white-throated sparrow could just as well have been named the yellow-eyebrowed sparrow. 🙂

      I hope Katherine will have the same kind of childhood memories to treasure as you had with your grand relatives.

        1. Hmmm… I found your comment in my spam box this morning — WordPress seems to be buggy again.

          1. Buggy WP! Laughing here! I just watched Lypside Sulfer butterfly migration by chance out her in my backyard! I had to flea bomb my house so I did an errand, went on a Baywalk, then got home to open 2 screen windows set the AC to fan and wait for it to air out in my backyard with Yorkie. And all theses yellow butterfly beauties started coming in by the 50s. I’ve never seen or heard about this, but apparently it happens in spring and fall. Incredible!!! You would have loved it!!!

          2. I looked up lyside sulphur butterflies and it said they have frequent massive migrations in Texas. They look so delicate. That must have been a completely unexpected and exciting thing to experience! You never know what mother nature might decide to send your way on any given day. 🙂

          3. Yes, it was completely unexpected! I suspect that it is so common here that the local news channels don’t even cover it. Nothing about them coming and not anything in the evening about them passing through. I also had to consult with google to figure out what I was seeing. 😉

            Since I was outside I decided to call a neighborhood friend to tell them and he was outside with his niece watching the butterflies and welcoming a new arrival of her just born brother.

            It was magnificent for me! This was a very nice surprise from Mother Nature!! 😀

          4. Mother nature keeps us dazzled and impressed with so many delightful surprises! 🙂 🦋

  3. How wonderful to have a grandchild share botanical interests, as I know they all don’t necessarily! I love her skirt… I would have killed to have one of those at her age! 😉
    The bog bean is a standout, love those fringed petals and pink buds. Bet you are seeing lots of lovely native azaleas, too, my favorites over the overblown hybrids.

    1. Katherine’s first passion was bugs but her range of interests is definitely expanding. That lovely dress has been getting a lot of wear since I first saw it on Christmas day. 😉 I’m in love with the bogbean, too, and share your opinion about the azaleas. I spotted my first wild one down here in the woods a couple of days ago and a picture of it will be in my next post.

  4. I’m impressed at your granddaughter, Barbara — what a delightful day you had, making memories that will last a lifetime! Great photo of the Cardinals — I find that ours are so skittish, it’s hard to get decent shots of them.

    1. Thank you, Debbie! Katherine is such good company and is brimming with curiosity. She seems to have a good memory for lots of interesting information. It is very hard to get good pictures of cardinals as a couple!

  5. I was impressed with Katherine back in Connecticut when you took her on a nature walk to see your Mama Goose and she was taking photos with her iPad and clearly enjoying herself. What a blessing she is and following in the footsteps of her grandmother. Your bird photos are awesome once again Barbara and I like the rose arbor that you mentioned to me when I was amazed at your already blooming rose. The Bogbean with its pentastar petals and frilly edges is unique and I like the perfect Trillium and the Wild Geranium – it’s really difficult to pick which of the wildflowers I liked best. Your tadpoles brought back memories of tadpoles I captured with a pickle jar and took home back in the day.

    1. I was remembering that walk with Katherine at the nature center, too. I do miss seeing that mama goose and sometimes feel a pang of homesickness… But here we are with our grandchildren now so it is feeling more and more like home, even if I can’t go see mama goose! It’s a good thing we don’t have to pick which wildflower we like best but that bogbean totally captivated me on this day. There was so much to love about it, from the colors to the textures. I also loved the tiny ant on the wild geranium. And Katherine has me looking forward to seeing that huge ‘cinnamon stick’ protruding from the fern someday soon. 🙂

      1. It is nicer with family – I agree and you have fostered an interest in nature with Katherine that will last the rest of her life. So many delicate flowers you are seeing. Katherine is very knowledgeable for her age. We have an unusual flower called a “Corpse Flower” blooming right now in one of Michigan’s botanical gardens (not near me). It is one of the largest flowers, blooms every few years and has a putrid smell. People come from miles around to view (and smell) it.

        1. You know, there was a corpse flower in the greenhouses at UConn, where I grew up, and I never went to see (smell) it! Just did a search and they have one down here, about 45 minutes away at NC State. It might be fun to take Katherine there if I’m feeling well enough one of these days. They seem to have more than one and they seem to be growing outside, but I can’t figure out from the website when it blooms.

          1. I’ll bet Katherine would like that Barbara. I know they only bloom for a few days – ours has been blooming two days now. At least if it’s blooming outside, the smell might not be as bad. Our corpse flower must be outside as well because the story on our local news today was that the flower attracted some turkey vultures because it smells like rotting meat. Hmm.

          2. Oh well, maybe next year I’ll catch one blooming in time. Apparently they have more than one there. I wish it wasn’t quite so far away.

    1. Thank you, Ally. That was one of my favorites, too. The ant was so tiny I wondered if it would show up in the photo and it did!

    1. Thank you, Donna! I’m so glad we moved down here because we would have missed so much of our grandchildren’s childhood had we not. It amazes me how much they’ve grown in the ten months we’ve been here. 💕

        1. Thank you, Donna. I know what you mean, the world is a brighter place when grandparents and grandchildren are sharing it together! 💕

  6. My goodness, Katherine is so grown up now! Doesn’t she like being called Kate any more? (I’m sure she was Kate when she was a baby?) Again, you have shared so many beautiful, and unfamiliar-to-me flowers, and how I would so love to see a Cardinal in “real life”! They look so lovely. ♡

    1. Katherine was going through a spell where she kept changing her preferred nickname and I couldn’t keep up! Lately she goes by Kat or Katherine. When she was a baby we did call her Katie. We are so fond of our beautiful red cardinals. ❤️ It’s the state bird here and in six other states, too!

      1. Aren’t they funny little things? Our Braxton, who is eight this year and we have called Braxy forever, recently announced he wants to be called Braxton now. He has his little brother trained to call him by his “new” name, but these days I tend to call him Brax – if I say Braxton, it feels to me like I am saying he is in trouble over something! 😂

        1. It must be something about eight-year-olds! That’s about when all this name changing began with Katherine. She’s nine now and seems to be settling in with Katherine at home and Kat at school. Maybe. We’ll see – lol. My parents always called us by our full names. So when we were in trouble they would add our middle names. Whenever I heard Barbara Lynn, uh oh…

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