Monday, December 19, 2011

Ground Moss

So, as my next section in the book covers mosses on the ground, i went for a hike up to McLeod pond on Catamount looking at the mosses. One thing you'll notice if you go anywhere in the woods is that under the trees, there aren't many mosses on the ground due to the accumulation of leaf litter. the mosses like to be someplace where they won't get covered...logs, rocks, ledges, root tip-ups, banks, etc.  Up at the pond there's a lot of ledge and this has a nice little mossy group with a boreal flavor to it including lots of Pleurozium, Dicranum polysetum and the liverwort Ptilidium ciliare.

Many bryophytes like disturbed places in the trail edges. One of the most common mosses here is Diphyscium foliosum. If you're lucky you might also find Buxbaumia aphylla, also known as 'Bug-on-a-stick'.
Diphyscium foliosum - has little capsules that sit right on the ground surrounded by hairlike leaves.

Bug-on-a-stick - Buxbaumia aphylla

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