Moss 101

Here's a pic of my latest indoor moss effort. I commend to you indoor moss gardening, especially in winter, when anything green and growing is a delight. It's hard to collect moss when the ground is frozen, but since we've had a warm winter, I've had plenty of luck collecting a variety of mosses (wooded areas are fruitful places for finding mosses growing on trees, boulders, etc.). So here we have Hygrohypnum luridum I found on the margin of a brook in West Woods in Guilford; Claopodium crispfolium, one of the many bark-inhabiting mosses, also from West Woods; and my favorite, Leucobryum ("cushion moss") I found at the Branford Supply Pond while geocaching last autumn. Tucked together under a cloche, with an iron bird I found at an antique shop, and some stones from the beach. Every few days, I tip up the lid of the cloche and gently mist the moss with water. Inside, it's nice and warm and moist. This moss garden will go on indefinately this way. Eventually, the mosses will form a pelt over the figurine, but that's a long way off and I'm not sure I'd want to obscure this sweet little bird.

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