Happy Earth Day!
In celebration of Earth Day, I am honoring two of my favorite beings on the planet, ferns and whales.
Ferns are believed to date back to over 360 million years ago. They are members of the botanical group known as Pteridophyta and there are approximately 11,000 species. One of the features of ferns that make them unique is that they propagate by spores, these spores can be found on the undersides of the leaves. This fern from my garden, is an Ostrich fern also known as Metteuccia struthicpteris.
There is an old belief that ferns, if planted around one's home, protect the abode and its inhabitants.
While the evolution of whales still remains a mystery, there are fossils of what are believed to be their predecessors that date back 52 million years. These mysterious creatures are believed to have originated on land and slowly adapted to the ocean over time. Many indigenous cultures believe that whales are the memory keepers of the planet.
I took these pictures of a playful humpback calf (Megaptera novaengliae) in the waters off the island of Vava'u, in the Kingdom of Tonga. It was a magical day.