Tuesday, June 12, 2012

a maiden's hair

Flat fronds splayed horseshoe-like and borne on a thin black stem. Delicate. Dainty. Another world kind of beauty. That's maidenhair fern, (there are several species) so called because some Native American women used its oils to rinse their hair. The emollients gave it a shiny luster.

The photo was taken beside Baskins Creek in Gatlinburg near my boyhood home. Rain had fallen overnight. Morning dawned damp and dripping, but the fern did not seem to mind. Ferns and frogs are such a sodden lot.

Smoky Mountain folklore says that if a maiden handles a stem and the leaves do not flicker, her virtue is assured. A man's virtue is determined by altogether different means.


Aby said...

Ohhh finally I've found a tree that's so commonly found in India. You can see this tree on almost every road side

Marie said...

I never knew this about maidenhair fern! So interesting!