I watched the mist, as it rolled across the choppy fields, and felt the air pressure settle in behind my eyes.
With my blurry eyes to the ground I headed back home. Stepping carefully around holes and dried leaves; I noticed the moss growing in the bald areas on the path. The same type of moss grew prevalently in the low areas. It was the only thing that made and attempt to grow while ignoring the on coming winter. It stood out nice, bright Easter grass green.
I stopped and stooped down to get a better look. Uriah wasn’t watching were he was going and ran into me. Then, quickly he caught himself and put his nose to the ground. He looked up at me, when I didn’t respond, then he stood directly over the moss I was examining.
“Hey, Uriah! A rabbit!” I pointed to the tall grass. He didn’t believe me until the grass shook a little. “Thank you chipmunk!” I muttered, as he took off happily. Which gave me a chance to take a good look at the moss.
It resembled fine, green string with evergreen type of leave. I used the end of my ski pole/walking stick and got underneath the patch, I lifted up a piece that fit in my hand. It was a lot easier to look at the moss with Uriah’s nose further away.
I headed into the house with my little mossy friend in hand, and I checked my books. Then I looked on line. I thought my moss might be a “common feather liverwort -Plagiochila porelloides”
I may be wrong. There are over 16,000 Different types. Not all in Illinois and where they grow depends on the soils pH, how acidic or alkaline. Do they like sun or shade?
This section is from a nice PDF, “Illinois Bryophytes” (1)
“Bryophytes, numbering about 16,000 species in three phyla of the Kingdom Plantae, are second only to flowering plants (about 250,000 species) in the number of plant species known to exist on earth.”
I pulled out my trusty notebook and made a notation- to crawl around and list all moss and ferns on my property in the spring. I will check out areas, before the snow hits, that may be inaccessible to me later on.
But for now, that name- ‘The Kingdom Plantae’ sounds like a great start to a story…
This site shows pictures of different types of moss.. http://www.andrewspink.nl/mosses/thumbnails.htm#l(1) Illinois Bryophytes http://bryophytes.plant.siu.edu/PDFiles/Bryo-poster%201.pdf http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haeckel_Muscinae.jpg