Sunday, 30 October 2011

Bewildered

With a self-imposed target of my pan-species list reaching 3000 by the end of the year, and currently falling a little bit short, I decided to target mosses. I've got the book to help me and a fine book it is to (Atherton, Bosanquet and Lawley). The trouble is, there are so many of the pesky things and a lot of them look the same. With a brave face and after giving myself a good speaking to (to inject enthusiasm and conviction into my doubting self) I entered the field yesterday to give them (another) go.

Well. After time spent at Beddington and Walton Heath, I added the grand total of....none. I tried. I really did. But I couldn't in all honesty confidently name anything. My mosses and liverworts list will remain low for some time to come I'm afraid.

I did add a few fungi to the list (which now stands at 2951). It's touch and go if I get to the magic figure before the year's end.

I've also got the Dobson lichen guide. There are thousands of possibilities there, but make mosses seem like a stroll in the park.

4 comments:

  1. I have had the same problem Steve. Photographed loads of mosses at Holmethorpe and nearly all remain unidentified - lichens aren't much easier.

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  2. Steve, if you wanna come down to Ditchling Beacon one weekend over the winter, I can show you some of the common but distinctive mosses of chalk-grassland. Probably get you 10 - 20 ticks. Of course, I will require payment in the form of a similar number of new species at a later date.
    Graeme

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  3. Graham, I'm glad I'm not the only one that struggles!

    Graeme, you are on. I'm glad that you are still able to mix with the general public after your prime-time TV cameo... As for tick repayment, if I can help, I will be pleased to do so.

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  4. I was just thinking about mosses on your list Steve. Mosses can be picked and dried at home waiting to be revived by some moisture to be identified on a rainy night.

    Otherwise, join a bryophyte foray but I gather you do it all 'self found' style, do you?

    If that's the case the you deserve respect. Good luck for the 3000 by the end of the year.

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