20170412-18 Spring microgardens: mosses and lichens

Every spring I enjoy cruising past rock outcrops to see the mosses and lichens flourishing in the rain and sun after resting under the snow all winter.  There is a huge variety of shapes, colours, forms and stages.  I wish that I had noticed these little gems earlier in my life … and to have learned more about them.   Here are some examples….







This is something different, an early spring flower seen on rocky outcrops, Pale Corydalis:

Back to the mosses, some with bursting spore capsules…




The water droplet always seems to cling to the bottom of the capsule.  I wonder if there is some sort of special anatomy there to exploit that phenomenon?


An overwintering fern recharging with chlorophyll to start producing sugars again:

The chlorophyll is changing form in this Wintergreen leaf also …


Up really close to a British Soldier with my treasured Olympus 60 mm Macro lens:

Instead of labelling the above with IDs I thought I’d lead you to some internet references that I am  using to learn more about mosses and lichens:

The first is the classic  MOSSES AND LICHENS  a popular guide to the identification and  study of our commoner mosses and lichens, their uses, and method of preservation by Nina L Marshall  1919

You can download this book in pdf if you have high speed internet, a reasonably fast computer and some patience.  The file size is 27.2 MB.


It is worth doing as it will become a source of rich enjoyment, living as it does, up to the hope expressed in the Preface:
has been written with the hope that it may meet a need often expressed, for a book with pictures which will help to identify some of the many beautiful growths which, winter and summer lin wood and open, excite the admiration and arouse the curiosity of all nature lovers.
Here are some more helpful links:
Andy Fyon’s very useful focus on N. Ontario: http://www.ontariowildflower.com/moss.htm
Good if you have an idea of what you are looking at: http://www.borealforest.org/lichens.htm

Or simply google: “Lichen (or moss) identification Ontario (or wherever)”

Have fun!




4 thoughts on “20170412-18 Spring microgardens: mosses and lichens

    • Thanks Pat! I agree. There is an endless variety of scenes when you look a bit more closely at nature. All stunning. The trick seems to be to first: look, second: enjoy and maybe third: try to photograph. I had some trouble with uploading this one. If you go back you might see some text changes, especially at the end.

  1. Thank you for these views and these mosses and lichens are also present on rocks .. l. BEAUTIFUL. xoxo

    • Thanks Krys,
      My 400 mm (800 mm full frame equivalent) telephoto lens has a minimum focus distance 51″ which means that I can get close to interesting subjects and shoot from the car window. Amazing what can be seen from a car window!

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