...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

20 May, 2011

fiddleheads unfurling

One of the fun things about spring in the woods of Maine
is watching the unfurling of the ferns.

In Maine, the "fiddlehead" stage of the ostrich fern
is a seasonal delicacy.  They taste somewhat like asparagus,
and you can buy them at the side of the road 
and even in some grocery stores.

I don't know what kind of ferns these are.
I caught these photos one day on a walk
the week I got back from Hong Kong.

By now with the time that has passed, and all the rain, 
I am sure they are fiddleheads no more;
instead, glorious ferns carpeting the woods 
everywhere the soil is right and the sun peeks through a bit, 
but not too much.

(Do people eat fiddleheads where you are, too?)


  1. Mike, what a coincidence! I posted a Fiddlehead today on my other blog: http://robinsdaily.wordpress.com/
    Your shots are better than mine!
    Fiddleheads aren't a big thing on the west coast, but you can by them frozen in the bigger supermarkets!

  2. i was just going to say, i saw a fiddlehead on another blog today - it was Robin! :)

    we don't have ferns here so no fiddlehead feasting in texas.

  3. Fiddleheads! I know the term FIDDLESTICKS but fiddleheads are new to me. I am not to swift in the nature department though...so maybe I have passed them and not known! These are great shots!!

  4. Love fiddleheads, but I don't trust myself to know which ones are real when looking for them out in the wild. I'm thinking they're supposed to be papery looking though. It's so nice to see green again. ~Lili

  5. I've never seen these before! Interesting.
    Found your blog through Run*Around*Ranch. I LOVE your header photo!
    We've visited the coast of Maine a couple of times; it's beautiful! We love on the coast of Virginia.
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts!

  6. I've never had fiddlehead ferns and have no idea if people around here eat them. But I do know that I've never seen them at grocery store. Nice photos!

  7. I've never heard of fiddleheads, but I live very close to TexWisGirl and we have lots of ferns in our woods!

  8. I have eaten and picked many, many, fiddleheads in my time!! Growing up in "the County" Aroostook that is,as I was growing up helped my mother clean, wash,and freeze them as a very important part of our winter food supply, along with fresh water smelts and brook trout!!
    The photos you have here are not fiddleheads, but are lovely photos all the same.. so wonderful to see...now if it will just stop raining. lol

  9. Amazing photos!

    I love ferns, though have never eaten fiddleheads. I love the way ferns unfurl, especially the first ones as spring emerges. Our ostrich ferns are about two feet tall now, but, a very pretty maidenhair fern is sitting right where I can see here (and the deer can't) in front of my livingroom window.

  10. Never heard of fiddleheads but I love ferns! Not sure about eating them though!

  11. Yes, I'm in Virginia and people do eat fiddleheads here too.