May 18, 2015

Simple Gifts: Spring Colour

Fiddleheads splash green along the banks of Pine Brook, a short walk from our new home.

After a bleak winter of black and white (mostly white) it is nice to have a bit of colour creeping back into the local landscape. Fern fronds called fiddleheads are part of that colour, and are excellent evidence of Spring's exuberant pallet.

Fiddleheads are a nutritious wild food that have been eaten in Nova Scotia for hundreds of years. Scientists have discovered that this green delicacy contains omega 3 fatty acids, and more anti-oxidants than blueberries, another wild food that grows here.

The trees in town are greening out, but up here on the ridge the buds are just beginning to break with the green applied sparingly at the moment.

A few more warm, sunny days and 50 shades of green will flush across the valley below, a pen and ink drawing of tree skeletons no more. 


  1. Anonymous5/19/2015

    Now that's interesting! Here in central Germany, five degrees north of Novia Scotia, spring has been in full swing for two months now thanks to the North Atlantic Current (otherwise the climate here would equal that of interior Labrador), and everything's greening and blooming - but the fern fronds are sticking their "fiddleheads" out only now, just as in your area. I wonder whether they're following an older calendar from a colder climate? Come to think of it. with the North Atlantic Current endangered by the melting polar cap, this might be a prudent strategy... I didn't know they were edible, by the way! I thought ferns were poisonous; as a budgie owner I was advised to move the potted fern out of their reach, along with the poison ivy. But maybe then, those potted ones are a different species.

  2. I would have enjoyed an extra two months of spring this year. That is what we are used to from the west coast. Interesting about the fern frond timing.

    Ostrich ferns are the ones that are eaten locally here. Other kinds are not as palatable. The ostrich ferns must be prepared properly, then boiled or steamed for 15 to 20 minutes to make them safe.

  3. Lovely picture, hard to believe all that snow melted! Fiddleheads are a powerhouse of nutrition for a plant with a silly common name! I learn so much from your blog.

    Spring was particularly long, cool and dry compared to our usual May weather here in southeastern U.S.A. I know it isn't officially summer yet, but temperatures have soared, humidity has arrived. It feels like summer now.


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