we were struck more than usual with the mosses and lichens

4.5.21 ~ Beebe Pond Park, Groton, Connecticut

Yesterday we took a side trail in Beebe Pond Park, which led us through a field of glacial erratics and tree shadows, then circled back to the pond.

Some of the boulders were bare and some covered with mosses and lichens. It makes one wonder…

glimpse of the pond in the distance

I took so many pictures it was difficult to cull the batch down to size. The weather was perfect and breezy and we met two other pairs of hikers, a father and young son, and two women. All were wearing masks and we exchanged friendly greetings from our six-foot apart positions. The father and son were new to the park and asked us some questions about the trails. It still feels strange interacting with people in the greater world!

so many shadows, so much moss
huge clump of moss on the edge of the pond
small burl on tree near the pond

Delightful day; first walk in the woods, and what a pleasure it is to be in the forest once more! The earlier buds are swelling perceptibly — those of the scarlet maple and elm flowers on the hills, with the sallows and alders near the streams. We were struck more than usual with the mosses and lichens, and the coloring of the bark of the different trees; some of the chestnuts, and birches, and maples show twenty different shades, through grays and greens, from a dull white to blackish brown. These can scarcely vary much with the seasons, but they attract the eye more just now from the fact that in winter we are seldom in the woods; and at this moment, before the leaves are out, there is more light falling on the limbs and trunks than in summer. The ground mosses are not yet entirely revived; some of the prettiest varieties feel the frost sensibly, and have not yet regained all their coloring.
~ Susan Fenimore Cooper
(Rural Hours)

no more drought here

Six months ago when we visited the pond the severe drought had lowered the water level drastically. You can see a picture on this post: by courtesy of the light But the pond is full to overflowing now, and water is running down the stream.

skunk cabbage emerging!
Beebe Pond

There was a strong breeze this day, making little waves on the pond.

underwater #1
underwater #2
underwater #3
pink lichen?

And of course, I couldn’t resist taking pictures of the leaves left over from autumn.

On Friday it will have been two weeks from my second shot and I will join the ranks of the fully vaccinated. We made appointments to get haircuts and plan to celebrate and have our first restaurant meal in 15 months. Outside. To me, being vaccinated feels like having a parachute. Even with a parachute I don’t want to jump out of an airplane and I think going inside to get a haircut will feel almost as scary as skydiving.

26 thoughts on “we were struck more than usual with the mosses and lichens”

  1. There is a deep satisfaction in watching all of these images, Barbara. It literally watered my mouth and made me hungry. I love the way you notice things with an artist-eye/I I wonder if the red lichen has to do with iron

    1. I’m glad you appreciated my efforts to capture the beauty I was seeing, Leelah. I need to do some more research on the pink lichen — the only kind I found online was bulbous and this stuff was flat…

    1. Thank you, Peggy. The moss and lichens seemed to be covering everything and were dominating the spring scenery. I bet your spring is a lot further along than ours is!

        1. Lovely! We can’t plant our gardens until Memorial Day weekend. Then there will be a mad rush at the nursery.

  2. Your parachute analogy is perfect. I have yet to start my shots, but when I’m finished with them I’m going to be cautious, too. The colors in your photos are soothing. Nature creates some lovely color palettes when you take the time to look.

    1. Thank you, Ally. I do hope you’ll be starting your shots soon. The pace seems to be picking up with the distribution. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who will be remaining cautious. Outdoors will still be my main go-to place of refuge.

  3. Wonderful collection of photos, Barbara. You did get some pink lichen, cool! Take your precautions still, but do enjoy your celebration of a meal out and haircuts! Woohoo! We had our first meal out today at one of our favorite restaurants (it was SO good), and tomorrow on my list is to get us haircut appts as soon as possible! πŸ˜ƒ

    1. Thank you, Donna! Seems like everyone I talk to is making a beeline for haircuts and a restaurant meal. πŸ™‚ So nice to hear that you got to enjoy your favorite restaurant! It’s hard to believe just how long we’ve all done without so many “routine” outings. I’m making a list, including a visit to our favorite independently owned children’s toy store. Grandchildren coming next month!!!

          1. Yes, I live near two (9 & 5) and 1.5 hrs from the third (4). We were all together for an awesome Easter dinner, 100 egg hunt, golf cart riding (boys just LOVE my cart hehe). The weather was beautiful, the day priceless. ❀️ I’m still aching a little all over from too much fun! This Grammy doesn’t sit on the sidelines. πŸ˜…

          2. That sounds like such a wonderful time and definitely worth every ache and pain received. You rock, Grammy!!! πŸ’™

  4. Barbara – the moss is so vibrant in the still-dormant parts of the landscape. I think it looks emerald green. And it does make you wonder why the moss grows on some rocks and not others – you’ll have to schedule another walk with your sister and consult with her. πŸ™‚ You also got to see and take pictures of the leaves beneath the water – they always look so perfect, especially with the clear water or under ice, almost like they are under glass. I like the leaves withering there on the stems, awaiting the new growth and finally falling off. My favorite line of yours, as I can truly identify with, was: “I took so many pictures it was difficult to cull the batch down to size. ” I finished a post for tomorrow – I started it on the weekend, but I was behind in Reader earlier this week, so I put it aside. I borrowed your idea of a quote to memorialize the trek. I have used smaller quotes, but this one YOU too will identify with. We are lucky we love the great outdoors … I have two weeks to go until my second shot (April 20th), then a while to await the full effect of the vaccine. But sadly, Michigan is now holding the dubious honor of being the worst state in the union for surging COVID stats. So, even after I’m “free” like you and Tim, I will continue to be overly cautious.

    1. Yes, I’m looking forward to another walk with my sister but it probably won’t be until June as she is overwhelmed with teaching this semester with all the pandemic adjustments for her and her students. But at least she hasn’t caught COVID and got her second shot on Saturday. I had a feeling you would relate to the need for culling. πŸ™‚ Lately I’ve allowed myself 20 pictures per post and forced myself to pick and choose — not an easy task as I’m sure you know! Eagerly looking forward to your new post and the quote. I did hear that Michigan was the new COVID epicenter in the US so I am happy to know that you’re in the process of becoming fully vaccinated and continuing to stay safe until and also after that happens. I worry about the new variants. So far they know the vaccination is good for 200 days. Hopefully more, but we may need boosters sooner than we think. Sigh… We must continue to proceed with caution.

      1. I pared down my post I did today by putting the beaver’s handiwork on those poor trees onto a future Wordless Wednesday. I try to cut down too, but it’s difficult to choose what stays and what goes. It is quite scary with this latest surge, the fourth wave. In our City there were 51 new cases yesterday. I’ve agonized over this silly dental cleaning appointment on the 19th. I am ready to cancel, then imagine it getting worse in leaps and bounds so I just keep it. Like you, I’ve not been to the hair salon … my last trip there was for a cut and highlights in October 2019. I have been trimming the bottom myself, but my hair is cut in long layers and I’m no pro with trimming, but that’s okay, as there are no split ends anyway. I’m weighing the highlights again as well. I have some gray wiry strands only and maybe I’ll just live with that. I go to the store/necessary errands as little as possible and stay double-masked-up and will continue to do so for a long time yet.

        1. It’s definitley difficult to choose what stays and what goes with the pictures! My last haircut was in the summer of 2019. And then I did two hack jobs on myself during the pandemic. But Friday I got a decent cut and wasn’t too skittish as everyone was masked and hand santizer was required. Life isn’t the same, that’s for sure. There was plastic hanging from the ceiling to separate the stations and they cleaned each area between customers. I got a nice short bob so I won’t have to go back very soon. At least it will grow out even now — lol. Do keep staying safe, my friend, I worry about you out there.

          1. Well Barbara – I did this week’s upcoming posts this afternoon and since I was trying to shorten my posts a little, I just went back and had 22 pictures for my long post. Oh my! When I sort through them initially, I go back a second time and try to weed out some then, then the “final cut” is the actual post. To some people they may think some photos look alike, but to me they don’t … you know how that is. πŸ™‚ My cuts I did were hack jobs too. I have long hair, but it not only has long layers, but it is angled in the front as well … difficult to get that right. I was more shoulder length when I started, but shorter than that now, but I know it will grow back. I’ll think about going after the second shot. It is just Jill and her husband and they own the small salon. Then my hair can grow out normal as well. Thank you Barbara … I am extra careful because I worry since I have no family, thus no one to take care of me if I would get COVID (a serious case of it that would lay me up or I’d be in dire straits). You two be careful as well and stay safe.

          2. I think those of us who “think in pictures” tend to see the subtle differences in the photos and want to share what we see… I do know how that is. πŸ™‚ Here’s to decent haircuts and all the other things the pandemic taught us not to take for granted any more! Last night on the news they featured a man about our age who fought COVID alone in the hospital in January. His doctor told him he had to wait three months after recovering before getting vaccinated so he was now on his way to get his first shot. He said the illness was the worst experience he had ever had. And then urged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible. He looked so worn out… He made such an impression on me.

  5. Beautiful spring! By the way…did you have any reaction to your second shot? We had our second one on Tuesday and I was punky all yesterday basically lying around with a low-grade fever most of the day. Today temp is back to normal, thank goodness. I didn’t mind being a little sickish, just happy to be vaccinated!

    1. Thanks, Kathy! Yes, I did have a reaction to the second shot. No fever but a sore arm and a painful armpit for a few days. I guessed the armpit was my lymph nodes and my immune system doing its job. I’m with you, I’ll take the reaction rather than risking getting the virus itself. Did your mother ever change her mind about getting vaccinated? Will you get to see her soon? Do you still have snow on the ground?

      1. I think we are on the same page, Barbara. I had that sore arm, too. Wow… But feeling really good today. My mom changed her mind once, and then changed it again. Guess the jury is still out on that one. Hoping to see her next month! And almost all of our snow has melted as of today. πŸ™‚

        1. Things sound pretty dire in Michigan on the news so I’m glad to know you’ll be fully vaccinated soon, Kathy. You must be so excited to be seeing your mom in the near future — I know how hard it was for you not seeing her last year. Spring is on its way, then, yay! πŸ™‚

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