Friday, April 24, 2009

Ozarks 16.3.03: Silver-Leaf Lichen and Starry Mosses

The new cabin—right outside our doorstep are at least five distinctly different mosses. One is the velvet green moss of lore, the kind you imagine when you read an English mystery novel set in a moss-covered cemetery.

Another—tiny light green stars in clumps, set among yet another brownish-red moss that runs from the base of a tree. Then there’s a slightly twiggy green moss with a pile like carpet, and one small splotch of a graybeard variety like Spanish moss growing on the ground.

Oh, and up the hillside, I see beautiful gray lichen like silver leaf to be applied to a statue, growing amidst the venerable green moss. And is that a separate variety up the hill, that seems to have tiny . . . blooms (does moss bloom?) . . . or is it the star kind again? My eyes are not good enough to see.

The stones on which I’m sitting are foliated with the lichen, but now on closer inspection it’s a very pale green with lacy edges. One could write a treatise on the mosses and lichens alone, which grow at the doorstep.

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