Rock Walkers

Marble contains calcium, a mineral needed by “calciphilic” plants. On this cliff face are thin green leaf-like fronds of a rare calciphilic plant, Walking Fern. Ferns reproduce by spores, but Walking Fern also spreads by sprouting new frond where a frond’s tip touches down.  That clone also sprouts a new frond and so the parent fern “walks” across the rock!

Macnamara discovered this colony more than 100 years ago. It was re-discovered by Gordon Vogg tracking a Porcupine back to its den under the large slab of rock at the escarpment’s base. Incidentally, those round “pebbles” under the slab are Porcupine poop!