Sunday, May 6, 2012

Fresh mosses!

After three months of looking at dried specimens, it was refreshing to take a hike and look at some FRESH mosses. It's been rainy the past week and everything was lush. Many of the Plagiomniums and Atrichums had new leaves which were a nice light green compared to last years leaves. The first stop on my hike was near a limy boulder. The side was covered with Mnium marginatum and below that was Anomodon rostratus looking like a pile rug:

On the top of the boulder was a nice patch of Rhodobryum ontariense, very nicely opened with the wet weather. Its older name of Rhodobryum roseum seems much more appropriate with its nice rose-like growth form.

 All over the ground, tops of boulders, covering logs was the fern-like moss, Thuidium delicatulum: 

The next stop was on a powerline cut and the Polytrichums were wonderful! If you want to look at several kinds of Polytrichums, a powerline is the place to be. 

Polytrichum juniperinum is shown here next to Polytrichum pallidisetum. Note the nice silvery bluegreen of P. juniperinum on the left:

Here's a lovely picture of the male splash cups of P. juniperinum amongst some lichens on the top of a dry boulder:

Here's a close-up of the splash cups

Polytrichum piliferum has long, white hairpoints

A deep cushion of Polytrichum commune

And i couldn't help but notice all the other nice things happening in the woods:
All the ferns were unfurling

Saw several nice patches of the downy rattlesnake plantain.
Goodyera pubescens

Who doesn't love Jack-in-the-pulpit?

Lots of sweet white violets, Viola blanda

And, unfortunately lots of other, not so nice things are out this spring:
an adult female deer tick....yuck.
came back with 2 deer ticks and 2 dog ticks.