This polypody fern is growing as an epiphyte on a crooked old hawthorn on by the nature trail at the National Coal Mining Museum, Caphouse Colliery. Epiphyte is simply a plant that grows on another plant: the fern isn’t parasitic on the hawthorn. This reminds me of the mysterious Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor where old stunted oaks grow up amongst massive tumbled slabs of granite and every surface, rock and tree, is covered with moss, lichen and fern. This is on a much smaller scale of course but it has the advantage for me that its just a couple of miles up the road.
As I shelter under an umbrella, I realise that to draw all the pinnate indentations on each leaf is going to take me a lot longer than the time that I’ve allowed, so I outline all the fronds and decide to come back another day to complete the drawing and add some colour.
Link: National Museum for Coal Mining for England, Caphouse Colliery.