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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Back to Nature with a New Guide Book

 
Due to a back injury, I've only been an armchair naturalist of late,
spending more time at my sewing machine than out of doors.
 
But I am very excited to have received a new guidebook to check out
from Jessica at Princeton University Press,
one that's been long overdue,
much anticipated by my fellow general nature nerds
and released today.
 
 
Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians
by Karl B. McKnight, Joseph R. Rohrer, Kirsten McKnight Ward
and Warren J. Perdrizet
 
When I first became interested in learning more about nature,
my little sister, my mentor, The Fern Lady, gave me a hand lens.
It's a little bitty magnifying glass, maybe an inch in diameter,
 that you hold up to your eye
and get very close and personal to the subject you are studying.
To be perfectly honest, you look like a dork when you're using it.
 
She said if I don't use it, she wants it back.
 
Needless to say, I never returned it. 
 
That hand lens opened up a whole new world to me,
enabling me to discover that,
what appears to the naked eye to be plain,
is actually quite detailed.
That what we often overlook,
holds a beauty all of it's own.
 
And this is so very true of mosses.
Common Mosses of the Northeast and Appalachians
is the first field guide of it's kind.
To begin with, it's tote-able, can be used
in the field to make accurate identifications.
 
The 400 pictures are clear,
the 600 diagrams large and concise, "highlighting
essential characteristics" that can often only be determined
with the hand lens.
 
Each and every section of this guide book is well written,
so that even an amateur like myself can understand it.
 
Maybe now I'll be able to identify
and label pictures I've taken,
like this one.
 
 
Green is my favorite color.
I love moss.
 
 
 
 


18 comments:

Linda Reeder said...

I love moss too, and that's a good thing because we have lots of it. Tom will be going out tomorrow to start treating the moss that tries every winter to take over our lawn.
But the mosses in the woodlands are varied and so beautiful, to be appreciated up close and personal.

grammie g said...

Hi Karen...A book on ferns ..yes a good thing!! I love to walk in the wood or just on my back lawn which seems to have quit a bit : ),and be amazed just how detailed,soft,and shades of green they are !!
Grace

Fiona said...

sorry to hear about your back and hope you are well on the mend...
moss is lovely - we don't get an awful lot of it round where we are but I do love forest walks with mosses and ferns.... love the idea of your dorky eye...
Hugz

Lesley said...

Oh no...back problems are the worst! Take care of yourself and enjoy your book!

Terry said...

Sorry about your back! I love moss, but I know nothing about it.

Lois Evensen said...

I hope you feel better very soon. I know about back and neck pain so can certainly understand. Mom's favorite color was green, too, and she spent plenty of time in her garden. I just noticed some pretty moss yesterday on the rocks in my garden. I had planned to go in for my camera, but, well, you know how that is. Perhaps today. :)

Barb said...

Oh...I hope your back gets better....

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

ferns and moss are beautiful!

Carrie P. said...

So sorry to hear you are suffering with your back. No fun!
I love moss and the color green too.
I have some kind of moss in my woods that looks like tiny stars. So neat! thanks for sharing.

TexWisGirl said...

neat guide book! one thing we don't get a lot down here in texas is moss... or ferns. *sigh*

Stephanie said...

I hope your back is better soon so you can get back outside and out of your armchair! Green is my favorite color too and moss is so interesting.

Roy Norris said...

Moss, its like a miniature forest Karen.
You will probably need some knee pads as well.{:))

Linda said...

Sorry to hear about your back. I hope you feel better soon so you can get out and enjoy nature. Looks like an interesting book, I hope you enjoy it and have fun identifying your moss.

Tammy said...

Sorry to hear of your back trouble, but glad you are able to still enjoy your indoor hobbies. Your new book looks interesting; I love learning new things about nature also!

Cuby said...

Karen I love moss but am more interested in lichen but of course they are both part of the great picture. I do hope you are up and about soon.

Julie G. said...

So sorry to hear about your back issues. I do hope you are on the mend and recover quickly. Mosses are so very beautiful and interesting. Sounds like a wonderful book to read while you are confined to the house.

Nora at Island Rambles said...

What a wonderful book. I love mosses and never know what they are ....I hope the back feels better soon and you are back to normal.

Scrapatches said...

That is a fabulous photo of the moss. All the moss here is covered with snow again today ... hope to be enjoying the moss and fiddlehead ferns soon ... :) pat