Sunday, December 06, 2015

Senses of Fern / 覺蕨


     The TAI Herbarium has recently hosted an exhibition with Alpha Jade and a series of talks. It's my first-time experience to learn about plants in a cafe. 


     Idea Cafe, located on the second floor of a traditional apartment building right across from the back gate of NTU, is a very fascinating place. 


     Along the staircases are exquisite pictures of ferns. I feel like attending a pompous fern party! 


     The cafe is filled with lush green ferns. 


     There are less than twenty guests, but it's a low-key yet luxurious party. 


     Every guest gets a bottle with Java fern swimming in it as a souvenir. 


     Even the ceiling is decorated with projected images of ferns. 


     The lecturer today is my idol Dr. Chen-Meng Kuo. Today the professor teaches ferns in a super understandable manner. He says that though ferns have no flowers or fruits, the variation of leaf shapes and patterns is amazing, just like Bach's music. 


     Guess what? Then two professional musicians appear to perform Bach's music for us during the intermission. My heart totally melts at the surprise! 


     After the talk, we move on to the gardens and greenhouse of TAI for the exhibition of ferns and artworks. The host organization Alpha Jade invites Dr. Kuo and several artists to collaborate and come up with an extremely impressive exhibition.  


     The host organization makes use of the fantastic space of the gardens and the greenhouse. Many forms of art such as paintings, sculpture and ceramics are employed to highlight the importance and beauty of ferns. 


     I think nature is the most fantastic exhibition isn't it? 


     Every fern is attached with a name tag for the visitor to know and learn more easily. 


     The fern families that date back to ancient times mentioned by Dr. Kuo can all be found here. This is psilotum nudum, with sporangia visible to the naked eye. 


     Delicate spikemoss: The branches are flat, with four rows of leaves. 


     Horsetail: Verticillate leaves, with a cone-like sporangium spike at the tip of the branch. 


     This is Java fern, which I've mentioned earlier. 


     The exhibition will last two months from 1st December, 2015 to Jan. 31st 2016 in the TAI herbarium gardens and the greenhouse. It's open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. The night view in the greenhouse is a huge surprise. There are guided tours at 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. For more information, please go to Alpha Jade

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