Sunday, 30 October 2011


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.


Graham James said...

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

Graeme Lyons said...

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.

Steve Gale said...

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.

Andrew Cunningham said...

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.