Tag Archives: moss

Into the woods – Photo Wednesday

Above: true Pacific Northwest rainforest… abundant mosses draping every limb.

This post is a bit of reminiscing about past outdoor trips. And dreaming of new trips in the future.

Secret waterfall, from a forest service road. Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The photo above was taken from a forest service road on Vancouver Island, BC. I have no idea where I was (I leave the details to the trip leader) exactly, but I remember it with great fondness.

Big trees. Vancouver Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredettte

I wanted to show how dwarfed we are by the forest giants. We humans are such small creatures…

 

Big trees, hard route. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Getting to the big trees is not for the faint of heart. Hard route, uphill mostly.

 

July forest floor contrats. Photo by Andrée Fredette

The forest floor also offers interesting contrasts.

 

How tall are the firs? Very tall. Photo by Andrée Fredette

How tall are the Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii), you ask? Very tall. Look up, go ahead.

And in late spring, those fir trees are procreating. Have a look at Douglas fir female cones, in the spring…

Douglas Fir female cones. Photo by Andrée Fredette

While we are on reproduction, here is the Salal (Gaultheria shalllon) version, beautiful dainty blossoms…

Salal blossoms. Photo by Andrée Fredette

“How I go to the woods

Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”  ― Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

****

Me again, I will finish with a photo of an orchid that is sweetly growing in my garden… and nobody has witnessed me talking to it…

Orchid in June, Saturna Island. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Looking closely – Photo Wednesday

Above:A jewel-like line-up of mosses in the glorious late afternoon light at the Lyall Creek Trail, on Saturna Island, BC.

Practicing with the close-up views of the world around me. It is a very verdant and natural world at the moment: it rains practically every day, and all this “wet” nourishes the greenery.

Have a look.

(Psst: if you find that I have incorrectly identified one of the following tiny denizens of our forest, feel free to use my contact page to let me know. I will be very grateful to make a correction!)

Moss outpost in my rockery, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Those are the blooms (or capsules) of a new moss colony in my rock garden. The sun showed up that day. It is gone now.

 

British Soldier Lichen (Cladonia cristadella), Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And in the forest around here, little treasures on the forest floor, in the mosses… if you look really closely. Above: British soldier lichen (Cladonia cristadella).
British soldier lichen (Cladonia cristadella), Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Another view of these interesting tiny lichens. It looks like when they bloom, the “mouth” of capsules opens. Just my observation, and I am not an expert by any means.

 

Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia chlorophaea), Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: some Pixie cup lichens (Cladonia chlorophaea) sometimes find it useful to grow on top of each other. I guess the space available on the right side of rocks is getting tight. Location, location. Competition!
Liche colonists in the moss. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A new lichen colony, standing up in the mosses.

 

Leafy lichen on a fallen branch, resting in the mosses. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: on a branch that had fallen in the mosses, some really leafy lichen. No idea about ID (my middle name!). Admire the texture.


Liverwort with bloom capsules. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: Grand foam lichen (Stereocaulon grande),  with bloom capsules. Our forest floor is full of little treasures, you just have to look closely.


Freckle pelt lichen (Peltigera aphthosa) with capsules open. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: another very common lichen: Freckle pelt (Peltigera aphthosa) with its capsules opening.


Little treasure in the moss. Photo by Andrée Fredette

And I leave you with the above delicate little treasures: mosses sending up a couple of “beaky” seed capsules. Had to hold my breath to get that shot.

Happy trails.

A walk in the woods: Lilliput world!

Above: one of the forests in which I wander, and its emerald carpet of mosses. A magical world…

Forest path, into the green. Photo by Andrée Fredette

 

I take a walk in the woods almost every day. These days, the air is moist, the ground is alive with mosses. And there are treasures everywhere!

 

Moss cushion in the sunlight, close-up. Photo by Andrée Fredette

A moss cushion in the afternoon sun, enjoying its position on a very wet rock.

A drop, almost ready to fall off the moss. Photo by Andrée Fredette

That was a very wet spot, really. It was dripping in the late afternoon sun. I tried to capture a drop, about to fall off the moss, but not quite yet…

 

Moss close-up. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: a moss close-up.  I have a new toy: a set of diopter filters (magnifier-like filters, in different strengths, and you can stack them to increase magnification). These are my first attempts are seeing how much of this mini-world I can get into focus.

 

Moss in bloom, January on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Blooming club moss, above.

And then, there are the lichens… A whole new lilliputian world has opened up, through my lens.

Cladonia pixie cup and other lichens on a log. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: on a log, an entire miniature habitat where competitors reach for the moisture and nutrients.  The tall ones are “pixie cup” Cladonia lichens, along with other lichens whose names are still a mystery to me, and some moss.  (Note: I found a great lichen reference page here. Please have a look, if you are intrigued by lichens.)

 

Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia) macro shot, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: macro shot of Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia) and its “warts”… With the diopter filters, the depth of field is so shallow that hand-held shots are a “no breathing allowed” moment…

 

Jelly tooth mushroom (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum), Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Once your eyes get used to the very diffuse light, you notice all kinds of details in the mosses. Above: a jelly tooth mushroom (Pseudohydnum gelatinosum), and it is a very gelatinous thing. Almost glows in the dark, that tiny one!

 

 Bright orange mushroom, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

After the rains, there is a great deal of mushroom variety. Little ones, mostly. Like the orange guy above. Sorry, I have no idea about ID!

Coral mushroom (Clavulina) peeking out of the forest litter, Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above, in the darkest part of the forest, some coral mushrooms were peeking out of the forest litter. Maybe Clavulina cristata

Little grey cap mushrooms, all lined up for a dance. Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Delicate little “grey caps”, all lined-up for a dance.

Witches' Butter (Dacrymyces chrysospermus), a yellow jelly mushroom on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Above: Witches’ butter mushrooms (Dacrymyces chrysospermus) on a fallen log.

Tender Duo

And this lovely duo, basking in the afternoon light, in the clover…

To close this post, a shot of the seasonal creek that makes its way to the ocean, near my house…

Winter rains feed a seasonal creek on Saturna Island, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Eyes to the ground: payoff!

November is a windy and grey month on the Gulf Islands of BC. The wind topples trees and causes power outages. This is sort of expected, and means that we rely on generators and fireplaces or wood stoves to stay warm, keep the fridge going, and have a light or two to read. And a purring cat never hurts.

All that rain produces all sorts of blossomings in the mosses on the forest floor.

The moss, which had gone “brittle” over the dry summer months, has now regained its emerald green lush and springy thickness.  And some version of it are blooming.
Blooming Mosses, November

Then, mushrooms are also making an appearance. On my morning walk, a couple of days ago, here is what I found next to the path…

November Mushroom

I have to admit that I don’t know the name of the cup-shape mushroom (although it could possibly be the brown-clustered ear cup…), nor of the little one that is poking up in the mosses, in the lower left corner of this photo. Obviously, I will have to start carrying the mushroom identification book, and highlight the ones I recognize.