Page 28 - The Hunt - Summer 2018
P. 28

  the moss clumps take hold, they thicken up, turn rich green after a rain, and resist weeds. I still do this wherever holes in the moss appear. My grandchildren love to walk on moss barefoot, but when the acorns start falling on it they are offended.
A bryophyte, moss is an ancient, primi- tive plant that doesn’t have roots, anchor- ing itself to preferred surfaces. Nor does it have flowers, fruits or seeds. It spreads both vegetatively and by way of spores that travel on the wind.
First, it forms a thin layer of what looks like algae. In a few weeks, it becomes moss- ier. When mature, the simple leaves are just one cell thick. When there is no water, it goes dormant but usually doesn’t die. It can grow even in freezing weather (as cold as 20 degrees).
There are over 1,200 kinds of moss, and different types fill in diverse niches in the garden and wild areas. Some mosses will grow in sun, some types on rocks and fallen trees, and most types in the shade on bare
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