This month we start a new year of sharing our creativity and goodness with each other. Today I took a nature walk in the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary near Naples, Florida, hoping to see the world in a new way and make some new images with my camera.
When I spotted a newly unfurling fern, I thought, “What a perfect way to say Happy New Year.” The fern is as ancient as the dinosaurs*, yet today this new frond showed me the delicate shapes of new life: the unfurling spiral. In New Zealand I learned that the spiral of a new fern, the “koru,” is a symbol of eternity — as it combines the very old and the newest forms of life.
Today, my new year’s wish for you is to hold fast to the wisdom of the past generations, while you use your energy to create bold new connections, relationships and improvements. You can do it!
Most modern ferns are descended from the ferns that coexisted with the dinosaurs 40-50 million years ago. The first ferns appeared on Earth 360 million years ago.
Tillandsia, or “air plants” for short, are magical. They attach themselves to trees and grow without soil, taking in moisture and nutrients through the air. They aren’t picky eaters: bugs, dust and decaying leaves will do. They are evergreen perennial plants that flower and make babies. You can see them everywhere in the Tropics — like in your back yard! — but you can also observe dozens of them in cypress swamps. These two caught my eye in Six Mile Cypress Swamp in Fort Myers, Florida, as they were gently lit by the setting sun.