Kennington Reservoir, March 29

Today, it rained. Briefly, but it was greatly appreciated. You could tell the birds loved it from the chorus they kicked up as soon as it began. When it stopped after half an hour or so, I walked to Kennington Reservoir to hear the birds. I could hear them but I couldn’t see them – I could see the waterbirds, but the fliers and fleeters stayed way up in the canopy, singing and swooping with glee.

As I walked, I tried to casually identify the trees, looking at things like bark, trunk structure, colouring and leaf shape. I think I saw Red Box and Grey Box. I got distracted by the ground. Why didn’t I bring my hand lens?? The moss on the ground was looking plump and green from six feet above.

I got down on my knees and photographed some patches. I’m going to review those photos now with my reference Mosses of the dry forest in south eastern Australia:

  • Didymodon torquatus “embedded in the soil”, spirally, starfish-looking, bright green wet
  • Grimmia pulvinate on a sedimentary rock, very ‘hairy’-looking, olive-leaf green wet
  • Triquetrella papillata on a granite rock, similar stem structure to Braunia imberbis and Hedwigia ciliata, similar translucence to Leptodontium paradoxum, seaweedy look
  • Syntrichia papillosa in a ‘tuft’ amongst ground cover, really curly edges; “concave”, the leaves “narrow abruptly to a stout hairpoint”, looks soggy and a bit brown wet
  • Sematophyllum homomallum near the base of a tree, bronzzzzze!

My thoughts and follow-up questions on today:

  • What shape are Grey Box leaves? I’ve known this but I need to embed it in my memory. The leaves I saw today were ovular.
  • What resources, other than Cassia Read and Bernard Slattery’s text, can I use to develop my knowledge of moss beyond a basic ability to identify?
  • I’m going to grow a bed of moss.
  • What IS that lichen I saw at La Laar Ba Gauwa? It was mixed in with the moss at the reservoir.

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