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The ferns in the photograph above belong to the group called fiddleheads. The fern emerges from the soil tightly coiled, and as it grows the top unrolls and resembles the head of a fiddle or violin. Fiddlehead ferns contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and are high in iron and fiber; people in some parts of Europe and Asia eat them. The indigenous people of North America ate fiddlehead firns, but the population of that continent doesn’t much dine on them today. Nobody at Critical Pages has tried to eat a fiddlehead fern and we hasten to add that some varieties are said to be carcinogenic. But we like the way ferns look and we think their design is terrific. In fact, when we took the photo we were reminded of this remark by Thoreau — “God made ferns to show what he could do with leaves.”