Pattern of nature, Showerfalls Cave track, 'Eua, Tonga

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Comments (5)

Marilyn Whiteley on July 3, 2008

Beautiful and delicate, Ian. Is this back-lit? I assumed it was front-lit until I saw it full size and then zoomed in again. All the little spore things showing! I suppose I shouldn't get so technical about beauty, but "inquiring minds want to know"!

Thank you for all this new upload. Marilyn

Ian Stehbens on July 4, 2008

Thank you for you visit, Marilyn. I like creating images to share with you, and to exchanging stories. You are a great story teller too. I just loved the exploration, this day.

The Tongan companions had never been here, but I had heard there was a cave, a waterfall, and a deep gryke. It was I who did the leading, for my geomorphology and my navigation skills allowed me to work out the most likely place for the cave. I first found its very small lower outlet, and that was only just big enough for a skilled caver to enter. I then led the party in the most likely direction to the gryke, and the falls that pour into the top end of the cave. On the way, we met some locals harvesting kava from a small plantation, and they confirmed that I was right, and that we were right there! My Tongan companions were impressed and we all enjoyed the new discovery and the beautiful forest environment.

As the sunlight poured from above the canopy was magically lit.

Thank you for appreciating this, Marilyn.

Kind regards,


©Toodleberry on July 9, 2008

Really incredible capture, Ian,

Went to a neighbor's place for a bit while looking at your collection. I zoomed in as Marilyn suggested to see if it were back lit or not, but "inquiring minds want to know" ;) (to you Marilyn), and I can see what she observed but in zoom the sun is to the right and behind the camera. I really like the little tiny leaves showing the growing or perhaps gestation (using this word loosely) as it grows sequentially. Not sure if I explained that well? I am not a nature person but I do like ferns. They are older than grass in Earth's history--so ancient. So beautiful. When I say I am not a nature person, meaning I love nature and learning but I am a city boy and if you were to see me in nature whether water or on land, I run from wildlife. I was followed around by 6 inch fish while snorkelling in St. Thomas, USVI and actually screamed underwater. My heart went pitter-patter but at the same time I went back in the water with a bag of fish food. I'm a glutton for scaring myself. LOL!!!

I like this photo and it gets a star in my book. :)


Ian Stehbens on July 10, 2008

Dear Marilyn and Chris,

I didn't answer the backlighting question before, so now I must now, Chris. This is a from-below picture, so yes it is backlit from above, though I would have been aiming at 60 degrees, and towards the North, so that means the sun at around noon at this time of year would have been about 23 degrees plus the 90-60 degrees (= 53 degrees) behind me. Yes it is back lit and side-lit at the same time, as I am under the frond.

As for your observation, Chris about the spores, the brown spots, or sori as I know them as, do create a remarkable pattern on the frond. They become bigger and eventually dry out and as they do, the spores they contain are released or ejected.

But aprt from all this technical stuff, the beauty of the fern is what wins me, and that you see the beauty too, and have given this image a Y* truly surprises me and delights me.

Thanks and kind regards, Chris.


Pat Williams FL on October 4, 2013

A lovely image of ferns. Your invited to join my group: "Ferns" at link

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 2, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens