Mossiest Trees Ever (I Say)

More moss photos from the Dipsea trail

Mossy Tree Trunks, Dipsea Trail Marin California
10 Mossy Tree Trunks, Dipsea Trail Marin California

We found the mossiest trees I’ve ever seen while hiking the Dipsea Trail from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach! You can see them right here—the pose makes me think of rock album covers. You know the ones where the band members are all spaced out and looking cool. I was hopeful that this spot might be mossy all summer, but I’ve already been back and not so. A month later and there is nothing but drier and dry moss.

Mossy Tree Trunks
3 Mossy Trees Close Up, Dipsea Trail, Marin CA


Mossy Trees

Kids Walking the Dipsea Trail, Marin CA

Dave Crockett’s Tavern and a Mossy Roof

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.

Mossy Shingle Roof


 Carriage House at Crockett Tavern
 Crockett Tavern Sign
 Crockett Tavern
 Fence at Crockett House

Sun Dappled Mossy Glade

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.

Mossy Rock Berkeley, CA

Yellow Lichen, Moss & Wild StrawberryBright Yellow Lichen, Moss & Wild Strawberry
Green Mossy RockCute Green Mossy Rock
Mossy RocksCute Small Mossy Rocks
Sun Dappled Mossy RocksSun Dappled Mossy Rocks

Karen Nierlich Moss Enthusiast
Moss Enthusiast Karen Nierlich

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.

Then There was No Moss

Moss & Shoes
Moss Curve and Two Shoes; Cornell & Washington, Albany, CA

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.

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.