Midway through our visit at Monte yesterday, dark clouds rolled in and torrential rain fell shortly afterwards.
Boom the sound of thunder and the heavens poured. Not entirely unusual for Madeira, one moment it is sunny, the next very rainy.
Fortunately there were plenty of spaces to seek shelter in until the rain has subsided (they rarely last long it seems on this island). Whilst in that particular shelter our views were obstructed by columns of towering tree ferns, which in a way I thought was great. Oh to have tree ferns as a cause of obstruction! Not soon after though we heard an audible snap.
And then a crash.
Then as the rain has subsided we checked out what made that noise. And there it was, a tree fern that snapped.
|Close up of the snapped base and its stele|
In a garden where towering tree ferns are aplenty I suppose this is a rather regular occurrence. Every so often a tree fern succumbs to the weight of heavy rain or gusts of wind, just like in the wild. Wandering through the garden you do see stumps of them around, some even hollowed and planted with orchids.
|Where it originally stood|
|Stele seen from the stump|
It's almost a shame to see it lying there, what a waste! But on the scheme of that garden it's just a 'drop in the ocean'. The tree fern that snapped is more likely to be Cyathea cooperi.
Will it re root if the trunk were to be buried and given TLC for quite some time? I'm sure I've heard one or two individuals before, claiming to have done such a thing with success, or so they claim. But unlike Dicksonia antarctica which re roots from nothing from a sawn trunk, the case is not the same for Cyathea. It's unlikely to carry on living without a root ball intact.
To be in an area where you can take tree ferns for granted...