Moss  ©Janet Allen
Moss in the Adirondacks

Although we always enjoyed camping on the lakes of the Adirondacks, I've always found forests to be more interesting than lakes. One of the reasons is the moss and associated plants. It's like a miniature green world with a diversity of species.

I'm glad we've been able to establish some mosses in our own yard. I'm puzzled as to why some people view moss as a problem!

Moss near waterfall  ©Janet AllenThe moss grows especially well near our stream and waterfall

Moss isn't something we've ever ordered from a catalog or bought from a store, though we have quite a bit, especially in and around the pond and stream. I can identify almost all of the hundreds of plant species in our yard, but I have to admit I don't know much about our mosses. I'm assuming they're native, but who knows? When I get a chance, I'll have to do some research and try to identify them.

Some of the mosses came dried on to the rocks and boulders we bought for the pond. They seemed to magically come alive and thrive in the wet environment.

Moss on stone  ©Janet Allen
Moss makes stone look like it has always been there

Some of the moss I have to admit I picked up in the middle of a mall parking lot amidst broken glass and weeds. I don't collect plants from the wild, but rescuing some moss from this otherwise trashy area seemed pretty innocuous. It has done very well.

Some of the moss is just bits and pieces here and there as it is in any yard I suppose, but it thrives in the shade and the moist areas that we created over the years.

Our mosses

Here are some photos of some of our (unidentified) mosses.

A nesting material

Moss in nest ©Janet Allen Moss in a chickadee nest

Robins and other birds often use moss for nesting material. Robins seem to choose the moss in the stream, but chickadees seem to prefer the moss growing on our shed roof. We always find moss in the chickadees' old nests.

How it grows

Moss ©Janet AllenMoss

Moss has an interesting two-stage reproductive cycle consisting of gametophytes and sporophytes.

Moss(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen

Moss in one reproductive stage.