Mosses and lichens

In winter, I look for mosses and lichens for some winter color:

The showiest of these is the British solder lichen. The cup lichen in that image is a species in the same genus as British solder lichen, Cladonia. The haircap moss flower is last year’s flower, and may be the male flowering part. The tiny insect in the haircap moss (I think it’s an insect) was a surprise. I also saw tiny insect-like creatures in the crustose lichens. I haven’t identified the rock moss, found on the vertical face of a granite boulder in the woods.
My interest isn’t the taxonomy, it’s more the bright colors, graceful branches, and interweaved patterns I see in them.


9 thoughts on “Mosses and lichens

  1. Nice catch of the one with the insect. The British soldier lichen, it resembles some of those artist renderings, and some false color high magnification views, of the COVID virus.

    • The insect (or was it an arachnid?) was colorful, it had an orange patterned back. But it was quick moving, this was the best pose I captured. I’d rather not think the lichen looks like the virus!

    • Over the years, I’ve noticed the bright red many times in winter. The neighboring mosses seem to respond to rain and weather. The haircap mosses were pretty green after a rain, and went blackish after a cold, dry spell.

  2. The behavior of the haircap mosses seems to resemble our resurrection fern. You’d think they were dead as the proverbial doornail after a dry spell, but one day of rain brings them right back to life: green and ‘ferny.’ My favorite photo is the rock moss, although that soldier lichen is darned attractive. We have something similar, with orange cup-like structures, but I looked around enough to know it isn’t the same as yours. Your photos are just fantastic. I suspect you might have added a little ‘oomph’ to a regular macro lens!

    • Thank you so much! I like the rock mosses as well, like a little landscape, but on a vertical surface. This patch was pretty with green growth, other patches nearby were blackish. No added oomph, just lucky I guess 🙂

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