Hawai‘i’s forests are home to over 170 native species of fern. These fern, whether indigenous, endemic, or introduced, form a verdant sea of green life amongst a myriad of towering trees and fragrant flowers. For the casual observer or infrequent visitor to the forest, most or maybe even all of the approximately 170 native species of fern may easily go unnoticed. With no other color besides green, no obvious fragrance, no demonstrative height, nothing really to bring it to the foreground – it is quite easy to walk past these green palm-like clusters.

But for that one observer or those few who stop to take notice, they will discover something entirely new about nature’s extraordinary existence in the fern life of our forests. They will discover the beauty of design and patterns. But you need to look closely; you need to avert your attention from all that is tall and substantial in size and appearance like the obvious brilliant flower in full bloom that your eyes automatically went to, and look closer at the low-lying fern.

When you do this and look closer at that which is not so outstanding, you will see something quite extraordinary. You will see the details of nature. In the fern you will find that it is quite unique. And what makes it unique is its intricate detail, the pattern amongst its leaves and fronds.

Hawai‘i’s ferns are a keen reminder that the small things in life are sometimes the most meaningful. They remind us to be appreciative of the big and small, the colorful and the colorless. For it is when we discover the significance of these simple things that a renewed appreciation for nature’s extraordinary design is unearthed and we able to see the magnificence of our world with new eyes.