The Bug Geek

Insects. Doing Science. Other awesome, geeky stuff.

Small Green Things

I returned home with three EXTRAORDINARILY DIRTY dogs.  

We are most definitely in the thick of spring thaw.   The ground is hard and crunchy in the shady nooks and sopping wet and muddy in the sunnier ones.  We’ve swung from +16 to -16C in the past week.  The “frozen” patches over bodies of water are deceptively thin…as the small mugsly dog found out (Me: “Um, small dog?  You may wish to reconsider your choice of places to stan…”  SPLASH!  FRANTIC PADDLING IN VERY COLD WATER!  Uproarious laughter of cruel human!)

It was  far too cold for active bugs yesterday; we barely broke the freezing mark.  There is, however, a distinct and lovely new shade of GREEN in my woods.   Moss is growing like gangbusters now that the snow is gone, as are a few teeny-weeny plants. 

In the absence of bugs, today I present Small Things That Are Growing

in the forest:


Looks rather like Bisphorella citrina

New shoots on moss

and in an open field, on bare, exposed rock:

Fern-like this a moss?

Brilliant green moss

Reddish star-shaped moss

And now I shall scan the link of over 200 moss photos that Susannah provided not long ago, and try to figure some of these out.

9 responses to “Small Green Things

  1. peteryeeles March 27, 2010 at 9:29 AM


    Hope you’ve logged that position on the GPS. I only get to eat frozen ones these days.

    • TGIQ March 27, 2010 at 6:58 PM

      No need to log it…they grow freely and abundantly along my normal walkabout trail…as well as just behind one side of the fence surrounding my back yard. I get lovely berries every summer just off my back deck that way (providing the dratted birds don’t get them first!)

  2. Susannah March 27, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    Thanks for the link!

    I like that “is this a moss” moss. I think it’s moss, anyhow.


  3. Steve Willson March 27, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    Congratulations on your three years of funding. It’s a great feeling to know the money’s there and you can concentrate on your research.

    Your “is this a moss” looks suspiciously like the basal leaves of a Yarrow plant. I’m always certain about my plant identification. Unfortunately, that certainty may transition through a dozen different suspected species before I arrive at the correct solution.

    I got some nice shots of a beetle larva this morning. I’ll probably post them early next week.

    • TGIQ March 27, 2010 at 7:03 PM

      Thanks, Steve. The funding DOES make a big difference, and it’s a pretty little feather in my cap as well. Such feathers are always very welcome.

      Your authoritative/confident plant ID technique sounds a lot like my equally authoritative/confident insect ID technique 😛

      I’m looking forward to your larva pics, and enjoying touring the Barrens with you on your blog!

  4. MObugs41 March 27, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    Mosses as well as Mushrooms have always been my favorites to photograph. Your pictures are simply stunning. Love them!

    • TGIQ March 28, 2010 at 8:46 AM

      Aren’t they fun? I have to admit, I’ve had an underwhelming level of appreciation for them in the past, but I have a bit of a crush on them right now!

      • Ted C. MacRae March 28, 2010 at 12:25 PM

        I’ve recently found myself equally smitten with lichens – I never appreciated their diversity (and difficult taxonomy) until I started photographing them. I’ve got some beauties in previous posts if you care to take a look (just click on “lichens” in my sidebar Tag Cloud).

        Congrats on the funding! Soon I’ll be calling you “Dr. Bug” and you’ll still be calling me “Mister” 🙂


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