In a swampy area a little bit north of Spring Garden in Pittsylvania County I ran across this Tree Moss (Climacium americanum). Its growing site was well established on a half-floating rotten log. On handling the moss I was surprised to observe that the moss displayed a tree-like habit — fortunately, a habit that made the moss identification fairly easy.
With a relatively inexpensive microscope, studying the mosses that surround us is a satisfying hobby. There are plenty of moss species around us, and they are easily collected and preserved. Unlike working with most botanical specimens, studying mosses can be a wintertime, fun-type occupation.
Also see this illustration in larger format.
Copyright © 2007 William T. Hathaway.