Microsorum scolopendria at Night

Power outages can be a fact of life in Indonesia sometimes. During the day, when it is hot and humid, it means a loss of cooling, and you're left to steam inside your building, working through the outage in whatever way you can—or napping through it in whatever way you can. At night, the problem is a loss of light, and the options for what to do are significantly more limited. In the age of the internet, we might just spend the time scrolling through our social media accounts, until our batteries die, following which we spend the rest of it twiddling our thumbs. On this night, I decided to go out and film my "fern forest", the clump of monarch ferns (Microsorum scolopendria) in the rabbit pen.

I do think it's fair to call this a forest for what it is, because these ferns tower over the pen like giant trees. They're also aided by a competitive edge that allow them to outgrow the weeds. Rabbits and other creatures don't seem to enjoy munching on them. Indeed, when I would put the rabbits in the pen, they'd wipe it clean of every plant except for the ferns, leaving them to grow freely.

Consider this your biology lesson for the moment: rabbits don't like monarch ferns, but they're also beautiful plants, so I don't mind. And besides, like other ferns, they give the pen a real primordial feel, reminding me of the ancient, wet forests that were once more common on our planet. I really do love ferns and the memories they evoke in me.

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By Joaquim Baeta. The files associated with this video are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. You are free to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon them in any medium or format, even for commercial purposes, provided you give appropriate credit to Joaquim Baeta.

Example attribution: "Microsorum scolopendria at Night" by Joaquim Baeta, https://scenoptica.com/footage/microsorum-scolopendria-at-night.html, CC BY.