Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mosses and Lichens

The forest floor

Sunday was a gray day, lovingly wrapped in low hanging clouds, serenaded by spits and spats and pittering and pattering of soft drizzling showers. Slowly driving through the State Park along curvy roadways the carpeting of mosses seems illuminated from beneath the earth, much like the glowing forest in Avatar, in amazing shades of green, blue and purple. I find a safe place to pull over to explore and attempt to capture the magic.


Never having researched mosses and lichens I cannot describe any varieties seen here, but to me that isn't quite the point. Textures and colors create an Earth Painting of a sort when shot at close-up range. The new macro lens is quite the challenge and I've lots of learning to do, but viewing them at home on a large screen I found things I didn't see while there.


Glowing moss caresses a rock


What struck me upon looking at the photos later was some black gooey stuff that was prevalent. While there, I was only seeing the glowing colors, but I think the shiny black substance is what made some of the colors "pop." I could sure use a Botanist's opinion.

Tree lichens were like the webbed feet of futuristic waterfowl clinging to Eastern Red Cedars, their deep russet bark set off the light green and blue colors.


This globule of lichens fascinated me most. I see it in the topmost photo on the forest floor, but most prevalently clinging to the sides of Cedars. Fine black hairs rim the edges, it looks like an alien needing a shave.

A macro lens is throwing challenges my way, and is enabling me to get lost in another view of Nature. Any macro photographers out there who can give me good advice? Most of my shots are blurry. Depth of field is a huge issue. I need a tiny tripod. As it is I tuck my elbows in and stop breathing to shoot, but what I get now is just luck.

12 comments:

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Mosses and lichens are just so cool, and so often overlooked. Another blogger is developing a moss garden in her yard, which delights me. Meanwhile, I get questions from people on how to get the moss out of their lawns, to which I always reply "why would you want to?" People have an odd idea of perfection. A moss is perfection in its simple complexities. A monoculture, chemicalfed lawn of grass-not so much.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Jodi. If lawns were filled with mosses instead of chemicals imagine how much cleaner our water would be, eh? Mosses are so much more fun to peruse.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Debbie, these are beautiful photos of natures wonders. I love my macro lens and I know you will too;-) I just got your note about my blog link. I had taken it off-line from Nov to early January but am back on now, so it wasn't a problem with your link. I just noticed I wasn't 'following' your blog...how did that happen? I'm back on again...hope you are well;-)

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

PS I need to stop by again and spend a little more time here. It's been a while since I've visited, I'm sorry to say! I love your header photo and all of your bird photography is right up my alley!

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Hi Debi- nice photos. I love photos of Lichen, Mosses, and other fungi. Our front "lawn" is mainly moss. It is very nice- however it doesn't tolerate foot traffic very well. Grass doesn't grow well because of all of the trees- but the moss seems to thrive. I like it because we haven't had to mow the front yard since we moved here. I just use a weedeater to knock down the few weeds that spring up. :) Spring is creeping closer.... :)

Gaelyn said...

I love to look into all the dimensions of the forest. This is a world of its own. Your macros look pretty good. Must take lots of practice. Most of the macros I take are blurry and I'm too lazy to use a tripod.

KaHolly said...

Your photos are stunning. I truly enjoyed your walk today. I use alot of macrophotography, but don't get too fancy with tripods and "stuff". An amateur but lover of nature, I just hope to get lucky once in awhile. A few of my posts feature macro, esp: http://kaholly.blogspot.com/2009/04/wordless-wednesday.html
I'd love to have you stop by. ~karen

Bo Mackison said...

Yep, love mosses, lichens, why would people try to get rid of them? I love that last photo - looks a bit monster-ish, and very explorable.

And I love your description of gray - the low clouds lovingly holding...nice, Debi.

Eve said...

Great post Debi! I've never noticed the little fuzzy black hairs on the lichen either! Good job! The pictures all look great! A moss yard is what I'm talkin bout!! I plan on relocating a few at a time to where they need to be in my yard. And the "steppables" are great.
What fun I had with you today, I'm so glad we're friends!

Deborah Carr said...

We miss so much, don't we...living here on the surface of things.

It's good to be back...I love your new look and music and images...it seems as though you've grown in leaps...

The Garden Ms. S said...

I just love the mosses and lichens. I think they have a mysterious, luminous presence in the woods. They are all about "Verdant" - one of my favourite words :)

Lovely photos!

kendalee said...

These pictures really appeal to me - so lovely, all that texture! Like a magical miniature world... :)

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