WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 16th, 2012

March 2012 – Moss Madness

Mar 16

I’m back. For me, March brings madness. Not basketball, mind you, it’s more the Mad Hatter type. It’s been a long (but unusually warm) winter and I’m a bit late starting my treatment. Nothing like fresh air, some moss and discovering a couple of other oddities while wandering about to make me feel better.

March Moss

A moss covered rock doing a hillside imitation. I should bring it home. It’s big enough to make a very nice miniature moss garden yet not so large I couldn’t budge it.

Moss covered rock

Shrink enough to step into the photo and enter an alien world.

moss and lichen covered rock

Water droplets cling to what looks like the heads and necks of some strange bird.

immature spore pods of an unidentified moss
Water droplets on moss spore pods

Fire moss spore pods on another rock.

developing fire moss spore pods

Leafy lichen looks like lettuce. Not really, alliteration got a hold on me. This lichen looks more like some kind of terrestrial seaweed. Is it a landscape or salad?

moss and lichen covered rock

Like most Klingon delicacies this one is best eaten alive.

moss and lichen covered rock

It’s not really odd but finding growing mushrooms during March isn’t an everyday experience in the north country. Normal day temps should be in the 30s with nights going into the teens. But even in February, Velvet Foot Mushrooms will grow if there’s a brief warm spell.

Velvet foot mushroom

Velvet foot mushrooms are often found on dead Elm trees when the bark begins to separate from the wood. Those that grow in the crevice are tiny while those that break free can grow much lager. I’ve found them nearly 3 inches across. Those in the photo are about a half inch across. It is hard to make out but they are growing in a notch started and abandoned by a woodpecker.

If you want a photo that makes it clear that a woodpecker was at work, this one should do. The hole is about 2 feet long.

woodpecker carving

When finished I hope it looks like this.

Let the bold text trick you into thinking literally.

Cat chainsaw carving

Now see the reality.

cat chainsaw carving

Of all the chainsaw carvings I’ve ever seen, this one is my favorite. Lucky me, it’s just down the road and I get to see it often as I drive by.

Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 20th, 2011

Xanthomendoza what?

Mar 20

Another lichen – another nameless species. I am fairly sure the genus is Xanthomendoza but differentiating the various yellow species by sight is something I can’t do.

This foliose lichen is growing on the bark of an old maple tree. It looks like a stain/paint from a distance but if you take a close look the lichen’s ‘leaves’ can be seen.

yellow lichen - Xanthomendoza

Looking even closer revels disk shapes. I’m only guessing the discs have a reproductive function and that’s where lichens get a little weird. Lichens don’t have a straightforward way of producing new baby lichens. The symbiotic partnership between fungus and algae is not equal. The fungus is the dominate partner and the one that gets to reproduce. The poor algae is just there to work and doesn’t get a chance to fool around.

yellow lichen - Xanthomendoza

The fungus gets to develop its fruiting bodies and produce spores. That’s where algae gets the last laugh. The spores either have to find an algal partner or perish.

Looks like ‘tree kelp’

As long as I’m in yellow mode I may as well post photos of last night’s Sap Moon.
The structure on the moon is a 765 KV power line tower.

Sap Full Moon - mar 19, 2011 full moon - mar 19,2011
Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 17th, 2011

look again

Mar 17

Sometimes things aren’t what they appear to be.

At a distance this didn’t seem like anything special. Just more moss covered rocks in a pile that pretends to be a stone wall. Not until I examined it closely by trying to pull the head off did I realize this was a one piece stone. It kind of looks like a turtle to me. I think it would like living in my pond garden if I can coax it to follow me home.

mossy rock

Sometimes ya got to take a closer look. The tip of the head had some interesting moss. The ‘sky’ background is actually shadowed snow.


Sometimes ya don’t get a second look. It was a stand off. A deer out in the corn stubble had spotted me as I fumbled for my camera. No way was I going to be able to stalk this one for a closer shot.

deer in corn stuble
another day – another deer. nothing to see here, time to move on

Sometimes ya got to know what you’re looking at. This is an ant hill. The area is swampy so the ants have to build up instead of down to avoid getting flooded out. I’ve never seen one more than a couple feet high but I have seen them about 4 feet across.

ant hill

A look across the front yard from the widow at my desk. The Amish are using stealth buggies that confuse my camera. See it? It wasn’t all that stelthy because of the noise. I could hear it coming down the road and had just enouth time to get the window opened.

amish horse and buggy

A not so quick camera setting change gave me enought time to get another shot off before it moved out of range.

amish buggy

These photos were taken yesterday. The snow in the yard is nealy gone now. Whoot! Mud Season has arrived.

Keep looking. I found more stuff today.

This looks Lichen some kind of mutant terrestrial kelp to me. To even guess at the identity would make me look lichen some kind of Foliose.

Foliose lichen - Nephroma resupinatum

I did look around the web for clues.
The closest thing I saw that looked like this was – Nephroma resupinatum

Foliose lichen

I didn’t have to look this one up. I know it’s a velvet foot mushroom.

velvet foot mushroom

I thought it was cute growing in the knot hole.

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