Friday, October 14, 2011

Troubles with Moss

I posted this picture first because the moss pictures are not the most dynamic. This parking garage reminds me of what New York used to look like before it became so much luxury housing and chain stores.  It is cool, understated with a kind of blue collar elegance.

I realized that part of my creative block has come from my difficulties growing moss. I know it is possible. Here is a thin strip of moss that appeared spontaneously under the mat on our concrete walk.

I planted some fancy Japanese moss seeds (sporangia?) in shallow pots a few weeks ago. We have been getting plenty of rain and they are sitting on the damp patio.

Nothing is growing though. Some moss growers on the web advise patience. They all seem to live in Seattle.

The moss I transplanted back in August (scroll all the way down) suffered a feline assault when the cats decided to excavate a corner of the planter and buried most of the moss.

Besides a few scrappy survivors, the rest was done in. My dreams of painting anarchy signs in moss are becoming wispier. Still I suppose I have to keep trying.

The other day, I went out to gather some moss and make a slurry. I found out that powdered milk is supposed to be a very good moss medium. Hunting for moss left me with many questions. Sometimes there will be a rich patch of moss and nearby, nothing. It does seem to be quite temperamental, although nyc moss seems to have a higher tolerance for debris than the more delicate hothouse mosses. I found all kinds of things in the moss; threads, hair, bits of glass, fur. I gave it all a vigorous washing when I got it home.

Near some of the moss, this odd little plant was growing. It reminded me of lichen although it had leaves. It was very flat and mixed with the moss.

In other news, the amaranth that I chose to symbolize autumn has grown in wild directions and tangled up in the netting from the pea plants like a band of drunken sailors. Maybe that is simply what amaranth does.

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