Summer is on its way! The leaves are exploding out everywhere, and closer to the ground, the ferns are coming out in their own way. The tightly-curled immature fern fronds are called fiddleheads. As a fiddle player myself, I can verify that they do indeed resemble the top of my instrument. It only takes a few days for the young ferns to unfurl, so it is a fun discovery to spy these young plants before they have their big flat leaves of the summer. We found these on a day trip this week into the BWCAW, on the Isabella River.
Bracken ferns are an abundant plant in the BWCAW. Some people say that bracken ferns are good mosquito repellent. Just take one full-sized leaf and set atop your head or stick in your hat, and see what you think.
Entry and photos by Wilderness Guide Kate Ford