Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Warm Springs!

I've often heard that there are warm springs on the mountain but I've never been able to find them. Well, yesterday I was bound and determined and finally did find one! It isn't hot (which I would love) but it is warm. A whole lot warmer than the spring water we use here in the house! It was a fantastic hike. I saw so many different varieties of plants in the area I hiked through. Ferns unlike those down lower near the house. Lots of wood orchids too. One was just done blooming - how I wish I had seen it in bloom! The mosses were much greener as there were so many streams still flowing in the area. Very lush! I want to head back up there this weekend and do some more exploring. I did see an area that was an old dump. I wondered if there were any old dishes or bottles in there.
I started out hunting for liverworts and ended up coming home with lots of cushions and a few lichens. I had enough to make up a package for a customer so off they went this morning in the mail.
The woods are ever-changing with the weather. You can tell fall is fast approaching. I feel somewhat sad at the thought of cold weather. I don't enjoy my hikes in the snow and ice!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tonight's Hike - Pink Mushroom, Moss Ring, Colorful Moss & Lichens, Sphagnum Moss

Pretty pink mushroom!
There are a few trees back there that have rings of moss around them. Love it!

A colorful combination of cushion moss and lichens with haircap moss sprinkled through-out.

Sphagnum moss growing in the boggy areas. Once we get some rain, it will perk right up!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Long Day!!!

Long day today! The office was really slow. It was great to escape and head home to do some things I enjoy. It was a beautiful day out today and a crime to be at work. After work I fed the animals and then headed out to do some yard work. The drought killed all my grass in the back but now tree moss is everywhere. I found some weeds that were among it and pulled them. I'd love to have a whole yard of that stuff!
All along the back edge before the woods begin, is a patchwork of all different kinds of mosses,. There are lichens sprouting up throughout. Reindeer mostly. I am looking for some pixies. Hopefully there will be some. I'm listing lichens tonight on Ebay and getting some ready for Ecrater. I will list those tomorrow evening if I have time.
Well, off to bed for me - the end of a glorious day!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pixie Cups!

I am doing better walking on this foot. They gave me a walking cast. Doubt they want me hiking but I did just fine :)
Tonight I hiked along an old logging path and found some wonderful rock moss for a customer of mine. Everything is so green up there now after the rains we had over the weekend. I love it. I was pretty bummed that I could not for the life of me find any liverworts. I'm thinking that once things dry out some they will be easier to see. The woods were so quiet tonight - I didn't see any deer or turkey. They must be up on the mountain.
After the hike, I decided to go to this park in town and look around. There I found a ton of pixie cups! They were really hard to see at first. They are all in among stones and other mosses. I gathered up about 6 pieces and took them home to soak as they were pretty dried up. They all sprang to life and are looking wonderful! I will start to list some on Ebay and Ecrater tomorrow night.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sphagnum Moss and Dendroid Tree Moss

Here I am, the Great Hiker with a broken foot. NOT GOOD. I am bored, cranky and want to get out and move around. I did just that today although I didn't go far - just a short distance in the woods and around the yard a bit.
I heard the thunder in the distance so I headed back to the woods and dug up some nice sphagnum moss to try on Ebay. I had to get it before the rains got here. That stuff holds water like a sponge. I did spritz it some when I got home and it greened up real nice and gained some weight but not too much. I also decided to get some dendroid moss. That stuff is my favorite! I had to scoop up a good bit of dirt when I took it so it stays in a clump. Again, I spritzed and it has greened up but I don't dare touch it for a bit. That stuff isn't a clump like regular moss. It is all individual little trees. So beautiful! I am so blessed to have a side yard full of it. It's like walking on a big fluffy cushion - total heaven! And it never needs mowed! I hope eventually my entire yard is covered with it!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

New Ecrater Store for Mosses, Lichens, etc.

I did it!
I worked most of the evening and opened a new Ecrater store just for my mosses!
Check it out! Lots more to add yet but it's a start! Still need to add my Logo too!

Lots of Lichens!

So many lichens are popping up everywhere! They look so beautiful mixing in with the deep green rock caps! I need to take my camera tonight when I hike. I want to do something with them in a terrarium. I decided to try to harvest some sphagnum moss. That stuff really absorbs the rain - it was so heavy the other day but now seems dry enough to ship to someone without too much cost. I'll need to get out there this evening. More rains are predicted this weekend. We sure need the rain so I'm not complaining...
I sold some moss on Ecrater! I will list more this evening. Ecrater is great but sales are not near as good as Ebay. People just don't know about Ecrater plus so many sellers really jack their prices on there. Anyway, my Ecrater store has always been for clothing but I've now added some mosses. I would like to start a store just for that but then I'd be starting with zero feedback and I don't know if I want to do that. If anyone wants to check it out, my store is at:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Big Change in the Woods!

Things sure look different now in the woods after all that rain! The ferns have perked up and the mosses are like little sponges, full of water. Everything seems so much more alive! I had a great hike this evening. Found some more of this unusual moss I love. I have tried everywhere to see what it is but haven't been able to find it anywhere. It's awesome! It's like a hi-lo shag carpet. Dark green on the bottom with light green feathers all over. When it's dry the feathers look twisted. It's fabulous! I don't want to take any more as I want it to keep spreading. I had taken a 4 x 4 piece about 3 weeks ago and bagged it up. I keep checking it and it still looks the same. I had figured it was a common moss that looked weird because of the drought but that's not the case. I am going to use the piece in a terrarium. If I see a large amount of it somewhere in the woods, I'll take more and offer it on Ebay. It's such a neat little moss!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Heart Shaped Moss!

I was out hiking between rain showers and found a heart shaped cushion moss! I was so excited. I went back to the house and got my tools and a bag and was able to get it without too much trouble. I was so worried I would break it. Right now it's sitting on a plate. I watered it because it was under a tree and wasn't getting much moisture from the rain showers today. Once it's in good shape I will list it. It will make a sweet piece for a terrarium.
While I was out shopping today, I stopped at a sale and picked up some nice small cannisters with lids. I am going to make another terrarium this evening or tomorrow. I'm going to use some of the tree moss along with some cushions. I want to place a little house on it and have a "forest" of tree moss behind it. Kind of like my house :)


It's raining! It's a nice soft rain which the ground is soaking up like a sponge. The mountains are covered with a light fog. What a beautiful surprise! It will be so much easier finding the pixie cups now. The last time I hiked up to hunt them, they were so hard to find. With the drought, they dry up and look like little dots. They will perk up now and be so much easier to locate!
I have been researching Paludariums. I have a very large aquarium and I've decided I will build my first one in there. For those of you who don't know, paludariums are a combination aquarium and terrarium. On one side I will put plants and on the other I will put water. I want a small waterfall running down through the plant area to the water side. I will use one of my pumps. I can put fish on the aquarium side and perhaps a frog on the plant side. I want to use mossy rocks along with other plants. I will start planning it out.
Well, off to get ready to hike in the rain!

Friday, August 5, 2011

So Dry!

It's been dry here in South Central PA. Very dry. We got about an inch of rain in July. The ground is cracked. I haven't mowed the lawn in weeks. I grabbed my bag and spatula and headed for the woods. We got a bit of rain on Monday and that helped perk things up but the ferns are dying off and there's very little underbrush left alive. In areas, where the underbrush is gone, the cushion mosses are getting too much sun and they are bleaching out. I decided to head way back in the woods where it's more dense. I wanted to explore new areas where I haven't been in a long time. I found an old logging road. The road has grown over with grasses. There are huge ledges of rock. peeking out of the earth. They are covered with sheet moss. Some of the nicest I've seen in a while. Huge sheets. I took one sheet about 12 x12 and bagged it. I walked back about 2 miles and came to an open area. It was too sunny for moss so I decided to turn around. As I was heading back I spied an area of cushion moss beneath a tree and found a fabulous piece that looks like a patchwork. It's a deep green rock moss with small cushion mosses throughout and a section of liverwort embedded. Just beautiful!
I headed home with my finds. Tomorrow I will head to the area where I found all the pixie cups and hopefully find another piece. There was plenty last time I was there. I hate to take more than I need so I always leave some. That's the law of the land. Never clear an area of plants!

My Mossy Musings Blog

I love the woods. I hike nearly every day. I started hiking to get exercise. To explore and see the wildlife that surrounds my home here in this valley. To clear my head. But then one day I started to look down instead of ahead. I discovered a whole new world - The world of mosses and woodland plants.
From there I learned as much as I could about moss, liverworts, hornworts and other woodland plants. I moved some to my shade gardens. It was as if the mosses were drawn to me too - I discovered an area of tree moss that started creeping out of the tree lot into my yard. It is now nearly 1/4 acre in size. I love it. It's like walking on a cushion.
I started to build terrariums for myself and as gifts. I now sell lots of moss to other people. I don't make enough to quit my day job but I love it. They say the Lord gives us gifts and we should use those gifts. My gift was a love of nature and an artistic eye. I have discovered that when you use your gifts, you are the happiest. I want to share my love of nature and moss with everyone who will listen. Thanks for listening.