December 13, 2007 By: erik Category: Colindres, Geeky, Photos 955 views

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These are some photos I took the other day about 150 meters from my house. Actually, I’m beginning to expect that these aren’t ferns, but I like the title, so… I would love for someone to identify them for me.
Ferns and Lichen

This one almost comes out of the screen at you.

Did you know that lichen is symbiotic controlled parasitism? I learned that the other day.


See all those little circles on the leaves?

Fungal Fern

What the heck are those? Part of the plant or some sort of fungal parasite? Did you notice them in the first picture above?

Vertical Vine

Vertical depth of field vine.

Crumbling Mansion

After the photo above, I figured I should give you an in-focus shot of this beautiful crumbling mansion. I’m not a construction expert, but I suspect this house is not salvageable.


Are these berries?

I feel so ignorant…

  • I am no expert, but I would bet that those plants do indeed classify as ferns. And I think that the little round bumps you’re wondering about are related to the plants’ reproduction (which, being too lazy to visit Wikipedia at the moment, I think would mean where the spores are produced…?)

    I’m curious about the rooftop architectural feature on the decrepit mansion; in the part of New England I come from this is very commonly seen atop affluent homes built on the coast 200 to 150 years ago. It’s called a ‘widow’s watch’ (or ‘walk’), with the (for all I know apocryphal) explanation that they were built so that the wives of sea captains and whalers could sit there overlooking the harbor and wait for their husbands to return (or not, in the case of the widows) from their long sea voyages.

    Is that a common thing in northern Spain? Does that architectural feature seem at home there? It sure looks familiar to me.

  • Interesting. Wikipedia agrees with you, so you must be right.

    Colindres has always been, at its heart, a fishing village. This particular house isn’t that close to the water, although, at the time of its construction, the water could probably be seen through binoculars, at least well enough to make out large individual boats.

    This architectural phenomenon has heretofore been absent in my conscious thoughts, but I will be on the lookout for other instances and report back.

  • Mystery solved! Sgazzetti was correct in his guess. I popped these photos into the Identify that plant Flickr pool and got the following comment:

    Polypodium; I don’t know which Polypodium, though, since I don’t know the European flora…

    The little guy in the background is Asplenium ceterach.

    Wikipedia explains what the little brown spots are:

    The sori or groups of spore-cases (sporangia) are borne on the back of the frond; they are globose and naked, not covered with a membrane (indusium).

    Hee hee! Globus and naked. Ain’t the internet amazing?

  • Most of all I am impressed that Flickr has an “identify that plant pool”.

    Erik when are you going to buy that run down mansion and give it the love it needs (if it is salvageable). After that you can gain some weight, run for mayor and smoke some fat Cuban cigars. I have it all mapped out …

  • Just as soon as I can find a monocle that fits well. Your plan’s not worth doing if I can’t do it right.

    The sentence, “That’s Mayor Rasmussen’s house.” does have a nice ring to it.

  • This just in. The berries have been identified now as well. They are the fruit of the common ivy plant, Hedera helix. From the Wikipedia page:

    The flowers are produced from late summer until late autumn, individually small, in 3-5 cm diameter umbels, greenish-yellow, and very rich in nectar, an important late food source for bees and other insects; the fruit are small black berries ripening in late winter, and are an important food for many birds, though poisonous to humans. The seeds are dispersed by birds eating the fruit.

    I wonder how poisonous?

  • I hate being late to the party. I could have told you those were ferns and seemed really smart. Too late for that now.

    I’ve seen a couple of houses in the mountains* that have what appear to be widows watches on them. They’ve always bothered me given my understanding of their purpose.

    *Of Virginia. The ones that are hundreds of miles from the ocean. WTF?

  • I suspect that, even though their initial purpose was marine-based, the widow’s watch structure serves a purpose anywhere there there is a nice panoramic view to be seen.

    And I know the mountains of Virginia have some fine vistas.