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Licorice Ferns On Mossy Tree



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Silver Falls State Park, in Western Oregon, USA, is one of my favorite places on earth. Thousands of visitors never get very far from the parking lot at the popular South Falls, and they miss seeing many sights like this, just a few miles down the trail.

This photograph was taken in late winter -- my favorite time to visit the park. True, there are fewer people on the trails, but to me the real delight is that the alders and maples have shed their leafy cloak, exposing their fuzzy green underwear.

These Licorice Ferns are epiphytes, or "air plants." They manage to subsist without soil, yet are not parasites, which steal food from other living things. Rather, they get all the nutrients they need from the air and rain. Of course, the tree's mossy covering helps by retaining nutrients long enough to allow the delicate ferns to be nourished.

Category: Botanical
Updated: 2004-11-08 22:06:33

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