Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Up close and personal... with mosses and lichens!

While examining the rhododendron as a whole, I also took some time to investigate the rhododendron’s partners and neighbors. Today we’re looking at some of the mosses and lichens growing on and around our subject rhododendron.

Sadly, I never had the chance to research each one and learn their names and attributes… so all you moss and lichen buffs out there, speak up!

The most exciting thing for me about studying this part of the rhododendron’s life, is to observe the ways that these mosses and lichens behave in different weather conditions. Here you see them on the day before a rain. They are beautiful, but dry. On the following day when the rains saturate their bodies, each moss seems to grow to twice its size, and reach out into the air with a just-audible sigh of contented “ahhhhhhhh!”

Remember to click on images for more detail.


  1. Fascinant votre travail sur les arbres.Merci!

  2. Ah oui, mes chers amis les arbres! Merci Manu!

  3. JLB, Pelos vistos gostas muito do ambiente!? É preciso preserválo e tem que haver quem o defenda. Parabéns. Um abraço.

  4. You said that when it rains the moss doubles in size but when it's dry does it return to its original size?

  5. Yep! It just slowly shrinks back as it dries out... in the summer time, all the mosses seem to do this - but it's simply amazing to see what they'll do when the slightest bit of rain/moisture comes their way.

    I haven't figured out yet whether this expansion is strictly owing to the massive absorption of water, or if there is an accompanying burst of growth as well, followed by die-back in the dry months.

    Perhaps, it is a combination of both?

    Clearly more research is in order! :)

  6. Obrigado Soslayo! Thank you for visiting. :)

    I think I understand what you've written... There is indeed a great deal of pressure on the environment these days.

    Perhaps in my own small way, I will help people to connect with the natural world around them, and realize that it's not actually separate from us humans, but an important part of our lives, and our future! :)


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