Recently my family and I visited Tennessee to see my father-in-law. There a number of sites we revisit each time we are in Morristown, TN. One of them is a tavern Dave Crockett’s parents owned and he lived in as a boy. He was born in 1786 and from what I read the tavern was build in 1795 (though this structure is actually a reproduction built in the early 1900’s.)
My interest (of course) is to show you this roof covered with buttery dollops of moss, though I’ll include a few photos of the location overall. It’s so ball-like that must be a feature of how this moss grows. Love these moss pom-poms.
I think these are the kinds of photos I try to avoid taking. No chain link fence or edgy details to play off, but beautiful nature photos. This mossy glade is a mini-park at Oxford and Indian Rock Road in Berkeley in case you want to visit. It’s one block up from Indian Rock.
Bright Yellow Lichen, Moss & Wild Strawberry Cute Green Mossy Rock Cute Small Mossy Rocks Sun Dappled Mossy Rocks
Karen Nierlich is a photographer and avid moss enthusiast in Albany, CA. She’s working on a book of moss photos tentatively titles “Moss in the City.” Subscribe for weekly updates. Or follow her on Twitter at Karen Nierlich.
I found this super bright green neon moss in my neighbor’s front yard. I’ve gone by many a time to check on it and it’s been this color for a few weeks. It’s brightness peaked my curiosity about what kind of moss it is. (There about 8-9,000 kinds of moss worldwide.) In four or more years of taking moss photos, this is the first time I’ve thought about what kind of moss I was looking at.
I’ve done a touch of research and don’t have much idea yet about what kind of moss it is. First I went through the book I have on Mosses, Lichens and Ferns of Northwest North America. I found a west coast moss called Isopterygium elegans that was described as “bright, shiny yellow-green”. However, when I compared the sample to the photo in the book, they looked nothing alike.
I also compared my sample to the very very small # of other moss samples I’ve collected — just 2. Actually, this moss looks just like the moss I’m photographing in cracks in the sidewalk of my Albany, CA neighborhood. Seems likely it’s common to this area and what I’ve liked about the sidewalk moss is how bright even a tiny little strip of it in a crack or crevice it can be after a rain.
Next stop is the botanical garden in Tilden. I want to find out if the mosses I’ve been photographing there are “special specimens.” Are they mosses that have been collected and brought there or did they just happen to grow there? Fine either way, but I want to try to ID them and see if they match or differ from the mosses in my neighborhood.
One more thing — I found this one moss in the book called Bryum argenteum that is small, compact and silver green. It occurs throughout North America and is often found in “cracks of pavements, yards, roofs and building crevices.” Maybe this will be the first moss I learn to ID.
When I first started this blog I promised moss facts, poems, arts and craft but no recipes and no cookbook. I don’t yet know why moss isn’t edible and isn’t eaten, however to the best of my knowledge it isn’t eaten by animals or humans.
I consulted the book Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Botanist and Native American Robin Wall Kimmerer (Oregon State University Press, 2003) on this matter. In the book Kimmerer says moss is used by birds as a nesting material and animals use it as bedding, however she doesn’t know of any animals eating moss except for bears prior to hiberation. In the story it says bears eat large quantities of moss just before they hibernate and the theory is that it “plugs” them up for the winter.
A situation arose in my neighborhood recently involving the removal of a mossy specimen I’d been photographing. There is this one spot I’ve been really keen on. (Said with a fake British accent.) For one reason or another, I’d been photographing it over and over — over 3 years.
I did get this photo recently –though the moss is on the dried on side and not brilliant green as I’d like. I went back about a week later, after a good rainy day expecting to see more moss. However, there was less moss.
I’m pretty certain the homeowner scraped it away. I might have put that moss at risk by calling attention to it. Must be more careful.
Let me explain what I love about this photo. I love most anything fuzzy. I love the bulges of protruding pom-pom like fuzzy moss. Above and below is a different plant that I think is Spanish moss. It has tiny dot-like leaf. Finally, the chain link fence.
A straight up nature shot isn’t interesting to me anymore. Well, OK. I do take some straight up nature shots. I can admire and appreciate an Ansel Adams shot. They are brilliant. But they also seem part of the past. (Continued below.)
Moss and Chain Link Fence Tilden Botanical Garden
In my mind, the chain link stands for contrast. Or human kind’s intrusion. Or nature’s imprisonment and encirclement by humans. Oh, I’m sounding like a 10th grade English class. I’ll stop.
So moss and chain link fences are what I like, and I can accept it might be unappealing or esoteric. As a younger person I tried to be true to my aesthetic but I also found I really wanted to make things others would like. As an older person, I know it doesn’t work to try to make things others will like.
It’s great to make things for particular people. That can work well for the creative process. Imagine your friend, lover, child, mother, father or other dear person in front of you and create something for them. As does making things for yourself.
But making things that you think others will find cool, intriguing, beautiful etc. doesn’t work. I can’t prove it to you. I’m just saying that’s been my experience and what I’ve heard other artists say.