Thursday 3 May 2012

Mosses and Lichens

From time to time I get a burst of enthusiasm about mosses, lichens and fungi. I know very little about them, except that they often make good photo subjects! A few days ago, I saw this tiny clump of moss at the edge of a paving-stone:

In due course that photo led to this one:

For the photo enthusiasts amongst you I would like to record the fact that this was taken with a standard 14-42 lens, and NOT a macro lens.

So, inspired by this little clump of moss (and confined indoors because of the rain)  I had a look at some of the other photos of moss that I have taken in the past, and decided to include several of them in my post.

This first one shows the luxuriant moss at the base of one of my standard Bay trees, before I started using gravel to suppress it. It looks almost like a series of miniature lawns, doesn't it?

Moss at the base of a Bay tree

This tidy little clump of moss was photographed out on Velmead Common, a patch of heathland near where we live.

Heathland moss

This "Light and Shade" photo is of an old dead tree-stump, down by Fleet Pond.

Moss on a dead tree stump

This is also moss growing on a tree - live this time. A huge conifer tree with scaly bark.

This is almost a Jungle photo, with ivy, bracken and brambles - and luxuriant swathes of moss growing up the tree.

Woodland moss

My next group of photos is not of moss at all, but a type of lichen that grows on the trunk of my Bronze Maple tree. From a distance it's just a splash of silver-grey, which doesn't seem to have much texture:

But look closer now...

Each patch of silver-grey is a series of lumps in varying sizes. They remind me of Amoebas viewed under a microscope!

What is the significance of the black dots, I wonder? Does this represent a stage in the evolution of this lichen, or is it a different type altogether?

Wierd, isn't it? But fascinating. I hope it won't do the tree any real harm, because there is a lot of it!


P.S. Here's a picture of the latest addition to the family - our granddaughter Holly:

Isn't she lovely?


  1. Lichen isn't supposed to be in any way harmful so your tree should be Ok - the trees in Scotland were swathed in silver grey branching lichen! Healthy lichen is a sign of good air quality.

    I can see you have found yourself a non gardening subject to photograph - wait until those eyes are staring at you!

  2. Aw, the last picture is the best!
    We have very little moss here because it stays so dry I in the summer, I guess.

  3. Oh she is so sweet-many congratulations to the family on the new addition!

  4. Great photos as always - but I have to confess that the one of Holly stole my heart

  5. Lovely photos - beautiful baby - what more can you ask

  6. Aw! Your granddaughter is so cute!

  7. I enjoyed the last photo most too. She's lovely. Pre children I didn't really like babies and now I go all gushy at the merest mention of them - let alone a photo.

  8. Love the moss around the base of the tree. And, of course, the pic of your beautiful granddaughter. She is a cutie!

  9. What a little beauty, you must all be over the moon with the latest addition. The moss growing around the base of the bay tree looks great.

  10. Welcome to baby Holly, what a sweet picture.

  11. hello...
    im new here
    i love the moss aroud the tree
    i once read in a magazine,we can use the moss to cover potted plants to retain moisture and to enhances its appearance.

  12. Congratulation to the new family member. She is adorable.


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