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The Tasty Fern

One summer day, when I was walking along a wetland trail in New York, I was about to cross a small spring fed brook, when I happened across a muskrat. I stopped dead in my tracks to observe it without frightening the muskrat away. It walked up to a four-foot tall royal fern and proceeded to pull it down, eating it frond by frond. I watched it devour the entire fern leaving behind nothing of the p0lant behind.

The royal fern is a plant that prefers wetlands often growing side by side with skunk cabbage. It has two types of fronds (leaves) – fertile fronds that have the spore cases and sterile fronds that are the leafy part of the plant.

I shall always remember my encounter with the muskrat eating the fern. I am not sure I would find quite as delicious.

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