Forage Friday #45 Moss

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image was taken specifically for this article as were all the photos in the post. All of the photos are my original work and are available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Last night I mentioned that the moss was starting to show a bright green of new growth. And that was a little bit of a foreshadowing of tonight’s Forage Friday post.

While not really thought of as a wild edible plant moss is considered to be a medicinal herb.

Some of my first reading on medicinal herbs came from Tom Brown Jr is survival books. He mentions that Stalking Wolf ( his Apache teacher) taught him to bandage wounds with sphagnum Moss. I was pretty intrigued with the idea that A clump of “dirty old moss” could be applied to a wound as a sterile dressing. But it is a historical fact that simple moss has been used to heal wounds since the caveman days. Moss was a major resource for wounded soldiers in World War I and is credited with saving “thousands” of lives. The Cotton had been allocated for uniforms and explosives ( nitrocellulose is made with cotton ) leading a shortage of cotton bandages. So the go to became viles of dried sphagnum moss. The secret it seems, was in the low PH factor of the moss making it impossible for pathogenic bacteria to flourish in the wound. ( I have found conflicting information about the PH of different types of moss. Some sources say that Sphagnum is neutral PH and peat is acidic. I have not taken the time to test this out for myself)

Further reading over the years has revealed that sphagnum was also used for diapers and feminine napkins with the same effect of limiting bacterial growth.

Image Titled “Star Shaped Sphagnum Moss 2120”

There are 12,000 different species of moss! But generally we think about either Sphagnum or Peat. There’s a granite moss in North America that’s red instead of green and it doesn’t seem to mentioned in the medicinal context.

Sphagnum is also said to help a sore throat and again it is probably due to the antimicrobial properties. In fact peat moss has been known to produce mummies in the lands of Celts and we occasionally hear that an anthropologist has been called in to deal with a body that was discovered in a bog.

Image Titled “Moss In Bloom” due to the sporophyte structures.

In the early Spring moss goes into spore and takes on the look of an alien jungle from a 1950s black and white science fiction movie. I always thought that it reminded me of a tiny alien jungle. When I was a kid I would look at the moss and imagine that crew of the Enterprise wading through those funny shaped pods.

Living walls have become popular. While not as effective as a tree, moss along with algae and lichens absorb 14 billion tons of carbon and fix 50 million tons of nitrogen per year. So in urban areas where a person might have nowhere to plant a tree the living wall fills the niche. The simple way this is being done is from mix buttermilk, moss and water retention gel in a blender and paint it on an outside wall. I would suggest that you make it shady spot since the moss doesn’t do well in direct sunlight.

Image Titled “Finding North”.

With the moss preferring to be in the shade and old saying is that it point a North. Well, yes and no. Moss likes shade and the shadiest side of a tree is going to be on the north side of the tree. The truth is that moss can grow on the south side of a tree if it’s shaded enough so the old trick is best used by sampling a number of trees and going with the average and even then it only going to give you a general idea of North.

Finally, the last resource that moss can provide is as a cash crop. In the final image below is only about 3 years worth of growth of moss on my property. When I was housebreaking my pup I leaned that I could train him to go to a large plastic tray like a cat would go to a litter box if I filled the tray with moss. I have since replaced the moss with sawdust for easy clean-up but the point is that moss is a renewable resource and Now that I know that it can be propagated using the buttermilk paint techniques I can seed it in places where I have harvested for a quicker turnaround time. As a child, I had neighbors who would collect and bale dried moss to sell to a buyer for use in potting soil mixes. They never made a living from it but the moss along with other herbs gathered in the forest provided a little extra money for Christmas funds, vacation or just to splurge on the latest desire. What they accomplished by searching the mountains could conceivably be done by seeding the moss in a designated area that’s a little easier for harvest. One might even use the idea to create ready made terrariums for decor.

The Moss I harvested just a few years ago it’s almost ready to harvest again.

Moss in general is a commonly overlooked resource that provides a variety of benefits and I’m certain that I’ve left out a lot but perhaps you have some knowledge that you’d like to share in the comments.

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A Bright Spot In My Day

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “A Bright Spot In My Day 82519” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

She floats in on the warm breeze as I stand on the edge of my forest just enjoying a few minutes of peace and quiet. Like a living stained glass window her beautiful wings are the color of a summer sunset. The light breeze gently shakes the the purple flowers spreading the sweet scent into the air. The monarch butterfly patiently explores each of the little floretas she searches for a sweet meal. The sun seems to smile with joy at the fluttering wings as she stirs up the sweet smell while is feeding. She’s only there for a moment before the breeze carries her on to her next stop. But a moment is all it takes to make a day better.

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Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

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A Trip To The Lake At Winter Pool

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Summersville Lake 12819” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The empty lake waits longingly for days of warm sun and noisy laughter echoing from its canyon walls. Today, only a few dedicated kayaks tread it’s waters. Some are taking advantage of the the better fishing opportunity that comes with winter pool and others just seek the peaceful solitude of the open water and rocky shores.

Somewhere beyond the bridge a whitetail deer leaves hoofprints in a place where a catfish once laid on the bottom waiting for nightfall.

Image Titled “Lake Sirens 1”

Tree stumps gather on the rocks and fire the imagination with thoughts of sirens calling out for Odysseus to come just a little closer.

Image Titled “Lake Dragon With Long Tail “

Just below the sirens a dragon with a long tail sleeps on a rock shelf guarding a treasure that washed away in ages past.

I sat there in my big blue truck for several minutes wondering how many more stories could be found on the empty lake bottom but the road calls for me to move beyond the murky world of the lake bottom and finish my errands. Perhaps on the next trip I’ll find the answer.

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Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

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Life-Time

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Misty Forest 121619” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Water gently falls from the the bare twigs striking the sparse leaves. Deep within the mists the sound of hooves cautiously moving through the bush echoes up from the hollow below. The air is full of random chirps from the various little birds. I can also hear the dull thud of the local Pileated Woodpecker as he probes the old snag that’s just out of sight. The mists have stirred up the smell of the moss and it occasionally wafts my direction in the light breeze.

In my youth I would sit for hours on a rock ledge and immerse myself in the surrounding forest. In an age when the only wireless communication was a two way radio and reality wasn’t virtual time belonged to the experiencer.

It makes me question the definition of a lifetime. Is it a measure of quantity or quality? Is ten centuries of existence in a box a lifetime or is life-time the time spent experiencing creation?

The laughter of the woodpecker rings out as I contemplated my place in creation and I realized that his jovial outlook on life is tied to the fact that woodpeckers never invented a clock to divide their lives between existence and living.

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

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December’s Last Light

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “December’s Last Light” and is available for purchase by the instructions at the bottom of the article.

Slowly the shadows emerge earlier and stay longer. In just three days the night will linger longer than any other day this year. And yet as I pulled into my driveway I saw saw it. The last colorful leaves on my property. Several years ago I made the decision to allow nature to be in charge of the erosion control along the banks of the creek in front of my house. As a result, nature gifted me with an apple tree. I’m not sure yet what variety of apple it will turn out to be but it’s definitely an apple. In the very top of the tree the bright red leaves caught the last rays of the the sleepy sun as it faded behind the mountain. As I admired the crimson glow in the growing shadows it reminded me of a candle in a window standing against the darkness.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simplymessage me on Facebookoruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤