My First MOSS Photos were of–LICHEN

Lichen & Moss Trees
Lichen Covered Trees Stanislaus National Forest

My interest in photographing moss began several years ago when I spent some time on my own at a trailhead in the Stanislaus National Forest. My family and I and my husband’s brothers and their families were vacationing in the vicinity of Pinecrest as we do most Thanksgivings. My young son had fallen asleep in the car and I decided to hang around the car so he could sleep while the others went to look for a sledding spot.

There was snow on the ground and I was walking around when I noticed these bright green Dr. Suess-like-rings on many trees. There were a large number of trees on the snowy landscape next to the parking lot. Each tree had identical concentric circles of chartreuse lichen and the snow greatly highlighted the color. (Moss and Lichen are closely related.)

Lichen Ringed Trees

I’d never seen this formation before though I’ve noticed it a handful of times since but with the snow the rings were more visible and beautiful. I haven’t stopped wondering what makes this cool rings. My best guess is it has to do with the way the snow melts off the trees.

Close Up of Lichen Ringed Trees
Close Up of Lichen Ringed Trees

I used my point & shoot camera to take photos that day. It’s not pro equipment but this camera always took great photos. Emotionally, I know these lichen photos to be the inspiration for what became my moss project. The project seems to be about nature authentically observed but including a quirky or unexpected angle.  Dr. Suess and Andy Goldworthy rolled into one.

4 thoughts on “My First MOSS Photos were of–LICHEN

  1. You’ve earned my gratitude Loren. Next installment today. Forthcoming once a week on Sundays.


  2. I love the composition of these photos, my favorite is the middle one. It is such a simple color palette: green, brown, and white.
    I never knew Pinecrest was the genesis of the moss love!

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