Moss swathes the forest floor, old stone walls, and creeps leisurely onward.
It drapes the trees and cloaks the ground in a jewelled garment of green.
Moss creates its own miniature ecosystem – a forest within itself.
My favourite colour is very much lead by nature and lends itself to my romantic soul which finds delight in anything serene and beautiful. My favourite colour is the honey green of moss, the earthy colour of the forest floor softened by the peridot jewel tone.
When I need to unwind or just return to my roots, I wander in the forests and the earthy tones of green and soft breeze lull my soul.
There are over 1,000 species of moss in Britain, with more yet to be discovered, though many people only notice two or three varieties. If you get right down on the woodland ground you’ll see the intricate detail and real ecosystem living right there in amongst the moss and lichen, especially if you have a magnifying glass. Moss is nature’s carpet.
Moss and lichens don’t have root systems, they anchor themselves with rhizoids. They don’t draw nourishment from the ground but through photosynthesis, air and water. They hold many times their own weight in water and aid the forest as sponging, cooling and humidifying systems. They are also able to go dormant when they’re under stress.
They have great strength, especially as they grow dense and low to the ground, but they are still vulnerable. They are stripped for the florist industry and are constantly trod upon. As our society, towns and farms spreads into their territory they try to grow, as you’ll see on walls, paving slabs and rooves, but many new building materials are not moss friendly. Many people will also treat moss with weed-killer killing off their tiny ecosystems. My garage shares its roof with my neighbour’s garage and my side of the roof was blanketed with little hedgehogs of cushion moss, and my neighbour, who follows a regimented gardening style used a weed-killer to remove the moss and thereby prevent damp in the garage. This made me sad – I suppose I don’t mind a little damp…
One of my most favourite places locally is the Brechfa Forest. It’s like a fairy-tale forest and I expect to bump into Galadriel. Moss covers the forest floor in a springy carpet and drapes like feathery curtains from the fir trees. It’s a magical walk, and the dog loves it too!
What do you love about moss? Or do you have a different favourite woodland flora?
One of my most favourite photos is one I took on Exmoor of a tree swathed in moss…pure magic…
I love moss too, such beautiful colours. I often photograph it when we’re out and my husband thinks I’m slightly mad. That’s a beautiful post to wake up to on a freezing snowy morning.
Thanks, Sylva, I’m slightly jealous that you have snow though!
I’m always stopping when we’re out walking – hubby has come to expect it and when he sees a pretty patch of moss, or snowdrops, or bluebells, or leaves he tends to stop automatically now as the camera slips out of my pocket!
An eye-opening post, Lisa. I don’t know much about moss. When I visited my sister in British Columbia over the New Year, we had her birthday party on an island (About 30 of us stayed there three days). On New Years Eve afternoon we hiked about eight kilometers. I never saw so much moss as the trees wore there, all on the north side. Even the cracked road asphalt didn’t escape it’s velvet decoration. 😀
Moss shows the forest/woodland is healthy too, and did you know that if the moss is only on part of the tree, it’s always the north side, so you can use it for directions 😉
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