road trip -Central Oregon Coast ~botanical interlude

This one is for Mr Tootlepedal… I mentioned some moss or lichen we encountered on our journey and it seems he’s getting a bit anxious to see what we found on our last day homeward.

moss life-00236At first I thought this hillside had mysteriously been sprinkled with snow. Taking a closer look, it seems there was more to this story than initially met the eye.

moss life-00246moss life-00244I’m guessing that the white stuff might be lichens, though I’m not sure. I’m really just beginning to venture into this world of mosses and lichens. (I was not lucky enough to get a book describing this little noticed, but fascinating world at Christmas.)

moss life-5868moss life-5866A small evergreen tree and dead ferns to add a bit of color.


moss life-00251moss life-00250moss life-00242Looking a bit closer there were these miniscule red button growths that I hadn’t notice at first.

moss life-00247moss life-00235The ferns didn’t seem to mind the company.

moss life-00240moss life-00234moss life-00231Nor did some mushroom like lifeforms.

moss life-5869I can’t be sure, but I suspect the golden colors were provided by a previous crop of the lichens.

moss life-00230Shortly thereafter we passed this bit of growth on another hillside. Sadly, it was raining and it seemed to lack the variety of the previous spot, so I settled for a quick shot.

To him who in the love of Nature holds 
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks 
A various language; for his gayer hours 
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile 
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides 
Into his darker musings, with a mild 
And healing sympathy, that steals away 
Their sharpness, ere he is aware.
― William Cullen BryantThanatopsis




25 thoughts on “road trip -Central Oregon Coast ~botanical interlude

  1. Sometimes when the conditions are right we’ll see a bit of this on the dunes at Illinois Beach State Park. I was lucky enough to be invited along as a scientist spent an afternoon looking at all the lichens and fungi there. And at the bog there is sphagnum moss, which looks quite a bit like the moss in one of your photos, and lots of mysterious mushrooms. But nowhere do we have the carpet that you are finding at your feet! What fun!


    • I get the very real sense that we live in a very unique area here. The more I read, the more fascinating it becomes. I am falling SO FAR behind on everything, but I shouldn’t complain. Seems I FINALLY got over that nasty cold and then it was visitors and a trip to the Redwoods. I’m having fun, but I often find myself running on empty when it comes to energy. I keep trying to catch up on a bit of rest, but then stuff happens….. (don’t know whether to call that good news or bad?) Maybe I’ll take a break the coming week and post something… do some laundry and try to catch up!


  2. Great details in your shots, Gunta. There is something about wandering in the forests and nature in the Pacific Northwest, always a scene to take your breath away…and mosses and lichen are some of the coolest things around 🙂


    • Ahhh, Randall… I have fallen so far behind on blogging ‘duties’ with a nasty cold for the record books. I am so terribly antsy to get back out into this springtime in the Siskiyous, but not quite 100% recovered. Must keep in mind the old saying from days long gone: “patience, grasshopper!”
      Thanks for stopping by.


      • I fell a few months behind during winter 🙂 so I hear you. Hopefully you are feeling better. I’ve had a couple good friends who are generally very healthy be hit hard this year by a cold/flu. Siskiyous are calling but you are right, patience, grasshopper. One of my favorite lines!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a glorious post, Gunta. How great that you have the inclination, physical ability, and curiosity to adventure into this new world. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. The details and beauty of these tiny and numerous organisms is stunning. Enjoyed the quote too, as always.


    • Had to chuckle at the irony of your words: “physical ability” as I was more than likely flat in bed, just barely able to arise when you wrote them! Thank goodness I seem to be past the worst of it. Thank you ever so much for the visit and the funny timing of your words! I’m hoping to be back to 100% soon and enjoying all this springtime glory!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful world you have found, Gunta! They are all so different and beautiful in their own ways. The British Soldiers (as I’ve learned from Lynn) are an interesting and colorful contrast. I love to photograph the understory and the patterns of lichens– you’ve found such beauties and it’s great to learn more about them. Love your quote, too.


    • I’m amazed at the specimens we’re finding in the understory here. Seems we landed in an area that shelters quite a bit of bio-diversity. Some of these plants are only found here in the wilderness areas near our shared border of SW Oregon and NW California. We’re meeting up with quite a few folks who want to protect this precious little corner of the planet. I’m really excited to join in the effort.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I am so pleased that you enjoyed my little venture into this fascinating world. I think I’ve caught your enthusiasm for this paradise. I likely would have spent more time if I hadn’t been a bit worried about rain on the new camera! 😀 We may go back, if we are able. We headed up the creek today. The weather was sunny and mild for a change and I discovered yet another paradise. I think I have one more post to finish up the trip with ducks and such we encountered. Then perhaps another feature of today’s lichens and mosses and the tiniest mushroom I’ve ever seen! 😀


  5. …and more…that sweet trio of tiny mushrooms – was that a log that all that mossy, lichen-y, mushroom-y stuff was growing on? Because they look very much like a mushroom I found online which grows on logs:
    Scroll down till you get to Lichenomphalia umbellifera, – blue text box. Or the first one below that. Mushrooms are very hard! You have to take one home and do a spore print to ID them, unless it’s one you know well already.

    And btw, there are some interesting other lichens in your photos with the red-tipped ones – the cup-on-top-of-cup ones in the second photo are very cool. I coudln’t find them. It’s a whole, tiny world, isn’t it?

    I think the brown decaying fern fronds are from Bracken fern. I think the new growth is Licorice fern.

    That golden carpet (don’t you love the contrast with the cool, gray-green reindeer lichen?) is actually a moss. It could be Big redstem – see if the stems look reddish if you enlarge the photo. Pleurozium schreberi.

    What a treat this is! I like the last photo too, in spite of the rain. I hope you’ll tell me where this little spot was; maybe I can look for it on our way down the coast next month.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m getting utterly overwhelmed with this ‘new’ world I’m discovering. I can see I’ll have to spend more time studying on it. Thanks so very much for the pointers. There were no logs on that bank other than some random twigs or branches that likely were knocked down in recent storms. Mostly it looked like some dark, rich humus they were growing out of.

      A world within a world. At first it was the white piles of lichen that had me requesting a stop…. then as I looked closer, I just kept seeing more and more and more. So much I’ve overlooked in times gone by. Just to add to it all (talk about being overwhelmed), we headed up into the hills today and found more wonders just up the road.

      I had already planned to point out this spot to you. If I can get to the visitor center in Coos Bay, I’ll pick up some maps and brochures and point out stuff of interest. Eric says he remembers the ‘red soldiers’ from his early days hiking in New England. Maybe just a bit of hair pulling, but mostly thrilled to be finding these amazing little creations.

      I’m hoping to get back to this spot again. It was such a lovely place to camp and hike. We had a LOT of rain the past week, but now that it’s warmed up and the sun is out, Eric has come down with a cold. I’m doing my best not to catch it so we can do another short trip up north.

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  6. Well, I’m going to say it’s for me, too, because I LOVE LOVE mosses and lichens. 🙂 This is a feast! That lichen in the first many photos is a big favorite…there’s a spot on Fidalgo Island, north of here, near where we may move this summer. I has a simialr look to the first photo, and is set with fabulous trees, too. They used to use that lichen (Reindeer lichen) for greenery for train sets in the 50’s – my brothers had it and to this day, the smell can take me back to very nostalgic places. It feels fabulous when it’s wet, so soft. (Apparently nowadays they use a simialr looking lichen that’s more colorful for train set landscapes). Here’s a wonderful lichen intro:
    The red-tipped guys are generically called British soldiers, for obvious reasons. They are a pretty common, attractive species. My book actually calls them Lipstick Cladonia (Cladonia macilenta). I often see the red-tipped lichens in the company of similar, pale green upright ones, with cups instead of red tips. And now that I’m reading about them, I see British soldiers are a different species, C. cristatella. I learned about British soldiers back in NY; maybe that species is more common in the east and ours is slightly different……Nope! They’re in the east too. Oh well, more confusing species. Are you ready to tear your hair out yet? No, you’re just happy to see and photograph them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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