Tuesday Photo Challenge – Growth

Gathers not on a rolling stone…

Welcome to week 146 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

Last week, your entries to the theme of Rose exceeded all expectations! To say that you rose to the occasion might be an understatement ūüôā Thank you for that wonderful effort! As your enthusiasm grew on me, I came to this week’s theme of Growth. As you might have come to expect, you can go into many directions with this theme. You could document years of growth, the growth of mushrooms on a tree or branch, or that annoying growth in your neighbor’s yard that blocks your view!

Or the growth of civic pride… The choices are all yours and you’re encouraged to be as creative as your mind wants you to be. Of course, the most important thing of all is that you have fun with this challenge!

Here’s a bit of growth on a rock…

Not a rolling stone…

I’m a huge fan of mosses, as they often thrive in areas where other plants have difficulty. To see moss cling to rocks, as it holds on despite wind and weather, signifies a victory of the small over the forces of Nature. No small feat for such a small plant!

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here‚Äôs the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week‚Äôs topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you‚Äôre not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

Let your ideas grow and emanate from your bright minds!

Wednesday Wonderment – pt 22

Small but powerful

Today, I want to take a look at some of the very small among plants: mosses.  They may be often overlooked, or even maligned, but appreciated when we get to lie down in a soft bed of moss in off-the-beaten-path forest.

Botanically, mosses are non-vascular plants in the land plant division Bryophyta. They are small (a few centimeters tall) herbaceous (non-woody) plants that absorb water and nutrients mainly through their leaves and harvest carbon dioxide and sunlight to create food by photosynthesis.  They differ from vascular plants in lacking water-bearing xylem tracheids or vessels.  As in liverwort  and hornworts, the haploid gametophyte generation is the dominant phase of the life cycle. This contrasts with the pattern in all vascular plants (seed plants and pteridophytes), where the diploid sporophyte generation is dominant. Mosses reproduce using spores, not seeds and have no flowers.

Mossy-Log-Baxter-20060604-LW4O2296
Mossy Log

Description

Mosses¬†are small¬†flowerless¬†plants¬†that typically grow in dense green clumps or mats, often in damp or shady locations. The individual plants are usually composed of simple, one-cell thick¬†leaves, attached to a¬†stem¬†that may be branched or unbranched and has only a limited role in conducting water and nutrients. Although some species have vascular tissue this is generally poorly developed and structurally different from similar tissue found in other plants.¬†¬†They do not have¬†seeds¬†and after fertilisation develop sporophytes (unbranched stalks topped with single capsules containing¬†spores). They are typically 0.2‚Äď10¬†cm (0.1‚Äď3.9¬†in) tall, though some species are much larger, like¬†Dawsonia, the tallest moss in the world, which can grow to 50¬†cm (20¬†in) in height.

Mosses are commonly confused with¬†lichens,¬†hornworts, and¬†liverworts.¬†¬†Lichens may superficially look like mosses, and have common names that include the word “moss” (e.g., “reindeer moss” or “iceland moss”), but are not related to mosses.¬†¬†Mosses, hornworts, and liverworts are collectively called “bryophytes”. Bryophytes share the property of having the¬†haploid¬†gametophyte¬†generation as the dominant phase of the¬†life cycle. This contrasts with the pattern in all “vascular” plants (seed plants¬†and¬†pteridophytes), where the diploid sporophyte generation is dominant.

Mosses are in the phylum (division) Bryophyta, which formerly also included hornworts and liverworts. These other two groups of bryophytes are now placed in their own divisions. There are approximately 12,000 species of moss classified in the Bryophyta.

The main commercial significance of mosses is as the main constituent of peat (mostly the genus Sphagnum), although they are also used for decorative purposes, such as in gardens and in the florist trade. Traditional uses of mosses included as insulation and for the ability to absorb liquids up to 20 times their weight.

Technical Details

This image was captured about 10 years ago in Baxter StateForest in Maine using a Canon EOS 1D Mk III and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens.  Exposure settings were 1/60 second at f/6.3 at 400 ISO.