Fiddlehead ferns are amazing. I guess when you are among the most ancient of plants, you have had time to think about your strategy. It’s all a race for height, winner shades out the competition. But if you jump the gun and start growing to soon, you risk getting frozen and/or snowed on. So, the problem becomes: How to wait til it is reasonably safe to emerge, but then get really tall really fast. And there are limits to how fast you can grow through sheer metabolism.
The fiddlehead solution: Build a tall structure ahead of time, in a freeze-resistant underground bunker, all coiled up and ready. When the time is right – DEPLOY! They don’t have to grow tall, just unfurl.
And boy do they ever! They get taller almost as you stand there watching. They also grow plenty fast as well, but it’s the coiled-up tower trick that really gives them the edge over everybody.
Reaching for the sun.
About 2 days worth of height. Notice how far ahead of the competiion they are - almost everything else is brown.
Beavers around here do not lack for ambition. That’s my hat in the picture for scale – the cottonwood is about 6 feet in diameter. They DO take them down this size! I’m not sure if it is done in a single generation, though. Luckily this one is downwind of the cabin.
I know of few things more peaceful than watching the light fade ever so slowly on a spring evening in Alaska. The sunset is in the north, and lingers on until it becomes the sunrise. I am always reluctant to light a lamp at this time of year, preferring to let that magical twilight fill the cabin. Beats the living hell out of TV.
In the great Alaskan tradition of moving into your house while you are still building it – if not sooner – I am going ahead with adding content here, as I continue to build the site itself. Heck, why change my habits now?
Also traditional for it to rain EVERY STINKIN' DAY while you build. (see also: Ark Syndrome)