Moss & Lichen On the Trail

This month's Outdoor Hour Challenge is all about moss, lichen, and mushrooms. This past week, Celeste and I focused on moss and lichen. We had noticed moss on one of our nature walks last week and decided to go again with a magnifying glass, a few baggies to collect small samples, and my camera. We are very fortunate to have a nice walking trail near our home. 

Before we went, I read aloud the pages to Celeste from "The Nature Connection" book by Clare Walker Leslie related to moss, lichen, and fungi. I ordered this book just a few weeks ago. I was looking for a book that I could share with Celeste about studying nature. So far, we both really like it. 

I continue to read The Handbook of Nature Study myself, it is a wonderful book and every time I open it, I learn something new. This book, along with the Handbook of Nature Study blog by Barb, always encourage me to explore nature further. 

On the trail, we soon found several patches of lichen and moss. Celeste kept pointing different ones to me and we both looked at them through the magnifying glass. I loved listening to her "oohs" and "wow". She gets just as excited as I do when she discovers something interesting! 

Looking at Shield Lichen up close. 

I'm not sure what kind of lichen this is, but we both like the bubbly look - Possibly 
Brown-eyed Rim Lichen (thanks Barb!)

Common Haircap Moss surrounded by snow

Common Fern Moss (I think..)

Common Fern Moss, again I think..please leave me  a comment if you know!

The lichen and moss on this tree trunk were so bright! I am still looking to identify both, Possibly Candle Flame Lichen (thanks again Barb!).

Having a closer look at the colourful lichen.

We took a few samples home to study. Adrienne, my oldest daughter, is the best at operating our microscope. As soon as she arrived home from school, we asked her to help us out. Whenever the microscope is out, it always leads to fun discoveries. We looked at every sample we brought home and also at our dog's hair and our cats' hair. Fun science!

Some of our samples. We also found fungus, but I will write about that in a different post.

This post is linked to the March edition of the Outdoor Hour Challenge Carnival. 


  1. Excellent! Loved seeing all your much variety.

    I have a new book - Lichens of the North Woods by Joe Walewski and I took a quick look for your two lichens.

    The one that looks bubbly...perhaps Brown-eyed Rim Lichen (Lecanora allophana).

    The bright yellow one...perhaps Candleflame Lichen (Candelaria concolor).

    Thanks so much for sharing your moss and lichen with the OHC Blog Carnival!

  2. We also love the Nature Connection book. I recently unearthed it again and should take more advantage of it! Good to see the microscope and all the adventures. What a great study!


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