The Land of Moss and Lichen…

Bed of Moss, Moran State Park, Orcas Island, San Juan Islands, Washington

The coastal areas of Washington and Vancouver Island jut out into the Pacific and bear the brunt of the brutal wet and windy storms that blow in from the Gulf of Alaska during winter.  The storms can be ferocious.  Giant logs tossed like kindling can end up 50 or more meters beyond the littoral shoreline, a testament to the force of the wind and waves.  A remarkable volume of rainwater, 200+ inches a year washes the coastal region creating a temperate rain forest of Douglas fir, cedar, hemlock, Sitka spruce to name a few.  The Hoh River area South of LaPush experiences up to 200 inches of rain a year.  In uninhabited areas, moss and lichen reign supreme, draping trees, rocks and most things in a soft, living blanket.  Inhabited areas can be covered as well…

Coastal mountain ranges, the Olympics in Washington and the Vancouver Island Range on Vancouver Island form a barrier of sorts between the coastal areas and the inland Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.  The impediment of the mountain ranges help to absorb and attenuate the force of the wind energy and amount of rain.  What weather that filters into the inland land areas and water is for the most part milder, more benign and dryer… at least when compared to the coastal territories.  Port Townsend might see 20 inches, Victoria 28 inches, whereas Seattle sees 45 inches.

That spells moss.  And… it will grow just about anywhere because most of them extract nutrients like dust and water from the atmosphere rather than by sending roots down into the earth or into a tree. Lichen likes it here as well and they are both hardy survivors.

Enough of all that.  The following is an introduction to some of the mosses and lichens that are part of my daily day life.  Enjoy …

Nurse Log, Bridal Veil Falls, Colombia Gorge, Oregon
Mossy Trees, Bridal Veil Falls, Colombia Gorge, Oregon

Chinese Lantern with Hat, Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Isl. BC
Chinese Lantern with Hat, Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Isl. BC
Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, BC
Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, BC
Moss on Rocks, Butchart Gardens, Vancouver Island, BC
Craggy, Mossy, Ancient Maple, Tod Inlet, Sannich Peninsla,
Vancouver Island BC
Kai on Log with Mushrooms
Trail by Montague Harbor
Galiano, Island

Bearded Moss on Trail off Squirrel Cove
Cortes Island, BC
Squirrel Eating Rose Hip + Lichen
Montague Harbor
Galiano Island, BC
Moss on Roof
Refuge Cove
West Redondo Island, BC
Spanish Moss
Ganges
Salt Spring Island, BC
Lichen on Tree
Comox, Vancouver Island, BC
Lichen on Apple Tree
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Lichen on Apple Tree
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Moss on Old Maple
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Moss on Old Maple
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Lichen on Apple Tree
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Lichen on Apple Tree
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Moss on Beach Log
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Bit More Moss on Old Maple
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Bit of Moss on Old Maple
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Moss on Granite
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Moss on Granite
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BC
Moss on Old Maple
Port Browning
North Pender Island, BCField of Green

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