|Moss is some of the easiest wildlife to observe. This patch didn't even try to get away from me.|
I've always loved moss. Perhaps it's because its physiology is so primitive, being based on a design about half a billion years old. Maybe it's because its texture and colors are a study in greens beyond the works of any human artist. Or, most likely, it's because you can find a hundred dramatic examples of moss in a few acres of woods on a rainy December day in northern Michigan when not much else is going on.
|This stump appears to be being consumed by moss.|
|A fallen log enshrouded with moss, as is its stump. How many times was this scene repeated in just a few acres?|
|This moss (Hypnum sp. ?) is exploding out of a hole in the log.|
|Here's some lichens joining the moss. Probably Cladonia sp.|
|Cladonia macilenta. A lichen called "Lipstick Powderhorn" by some.|
|Cladonia macilenta again.|
You'll notice I don't even attempt to identify the moss and lichens in many of these pictures, while in others I make only a guess. Does this mean I don't know what I'm talking about? Yes. Yes, it does. I'll talk a little about moss identification in the next installment. It's a horror story.
All photos here were taken by me near Big Bear Lake in Otsego County, Michigan.