Friday, March 27, 2009

Nature Notes: Fairy Forest

Golden Moss

Elvish Lanterns

Fairy Forest

Michelle at Rambling Woods has challenged us to take a look around at the natural world every week and tell about it in a post on Thursdays. We're to look for things we might otherwise not have noticed; to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

I saw my inspiration for the week as I was coming home from work Wednesday, driving up the driveway. It was very late afternoon, and the slanting rays of the sun filtered through the bare trees and lit up a fallen log covered in moss. It was like an island of life, glowing from within, floating in the drifts of dead leaves.

Unfortunately, it was on the other side of a low area that is still under water. My crappy telephoto feature just wasn't up to the task.

So it was that Thursday evening found me shin-deep in the swamp in my husband's waders. It seemed like a good idea at the time. I quickly discovered that putting one's feet into the muck was much easier than pulling them back out. I kept having visions of myself being extricated from the swamp by my hubby and his tractor. Fortunately, it didn't quite come to that.

There wasn't anywhere to perch the camera or a tripod, so the photos don't really do them justice, but I hope you can get a sense of how intricate and lovely the mosses are. The moss is in its reproductive phase, sporting tiny forests of golden strands above the emerald green. There are other patches with red strands, as in the last picture. It may be the same moss at a different phase, I'm not sure.

At any rate, this has given me a whole new area to research and explore. Apparently, there are such things as moss gardens, and you can actually buy ground up moss to seed areas with. (Check out

I'll be looking into all this when time allows. Again, Michelle, thanks for the great meme! It's a darn good 'un.

*Stop by at Michelle's place, Rambling Woods, for more nature stories and photos, OK? Nature Notes.


Ed said...

Hi, Is that moss in the photos?
If it is I havent seen moss like that before You have a good day Bye Bye Ed

Anonymous said...

That is moss? That is so cool. I didn't know that those little stringy things were part of reproduction.

My husband gave me an article from the NY Times on moss and how people are paying a lot of money for it from mossacres and how we already have a lot of it on our lawn already so he thought a moss lawn would be great as you don't have to mow it.

So I asked a gardener how to transplant it and she suggested taking a patch and feeding it buttermilk when putting it in its new spot. I haven't done that yet, but I am going to try it.

This was a great post for Nature Notes and I am so happy that you didn't have to be rescued from the swamp having gotten stuck in the muck. LOL....Michelle

kden said...

I can't believe how detailed those shots are, so beautiful. It was worth the swim in the swamp then, right? I love your entire blog with the pictures and funny stories to match.

Anonymous said...

You can tell spring is settling in. Interesting shots of this untypical moss.

healingmagichands said...

I have spent many moments in similar contemplation of moss. Your images are wonderful. I enjoyed the story along with them too, feeling the deep muck sucking on your feet as you try to move away from your photo vantage point.

JC said...

That is cool, fairies indeed! Glad you were able to get out of the muck safely, lol... I sure do know what you mean about that!

Wildeve said...

Hello, thanks for visiting my blog. You are living my dream- I'm looking forward to reading more. I love moss! Great photo.

Carver said...

That really does look like a fairy forest. You did a great job with the shots particularly since you were sinking into the muck.

Anonymous said...

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sallyacious said...

Oh, I think these photos are lovely. They're enchanting.

MyMaracas said...

Yep, guys, it's moss. They're about an inch to an inch and a half from the base of the plant to the top of the capsules. Thanks for all the kind comments on the photos!

Michelle, maybe I've discovered a new revenue source here. LOL And I'm looking at those sources you sent for hosting audio. Next week this blog may croak ... so to speak.

It was worth the trek into the swamp, everyone, but I didn't think about the snapping turtles until it was all over. I don't think my rubber waders would have been much defense, had I stepped on one.

So many newcomers this time! Welcome, and thanks so much for your comments and for the Follows.

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