Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
gulls starling

Moss Garden

Sunday 5th March 2000

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wall moss and pebbles A MINIATURE FOREST grows amongst the pebbles in a shallow gulley. The green cushion growths look like those of the Wall Moss, Tortula muralis.feathery moss It reminds me of parts of Iceland where moss and lichen are the first plants to colonise the lava desert. If left long enough, a thin soil will develop. Weeds and, eventually, trees might grow here, except that this little gulley is on the flat concrete roof of a 50 year old shed, which may not last that long.

A feathery moss grows luxuriantly on a shady lawn amongst the grasses. In fact, at this time of year there is more moss than grass. As the ground dries out in spring the grass will take over again.

ash budsash twig An Ash twig, blown down by recent strong winds, lies at the edge of the lawn. The brownish black buds are swelling. Scars show where previous years' leaves were attached. There's a large terminal bud, which I suspect will produce a spray of small flowers, with pairs of leaves sprouting in opposite pairs along the twig.

The ash is our only native member of the Olive family.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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