Field of Science

My Bryology Bookshelf - VI

Field guides to mosses are not super common. If you are a longtime reader of this blog you are probably familiar with my frustrations that there is not a good field guide to the mosses and other bryophytes of eastern North America. There are highly technical books that require the use of a microscope (Crum and Anderson's Mosses of Eastern North America). One of the non-technical books that I have is Walk Softly Upon the Earth: A Pictorial Field Guide to Missouri Mosses, Liverworts and Lichens, by Lisa Potter Thomas and James R. Jackson. This book includes photographs of each species with a scale bar to help with the sizes of the plants and color illustrations for many. The descriptions have a wealth of information covering the habit, species they might be mistaken for and information on the etymology of the names. 

I found it especially interesting and fun that they start the book in just the same way that I start my presentations about mosses. We both start by going through all the plants that are sometimes called moss or are mistaken for mosses but really are not. There is also a section where they discuss the mythology and lore associated with mosses. Scattered throughout the book are whimsical line drawings of the good fairies from German folklore called Moosweibchen. 

I think that the title of the book is a perspective that all of us can strive to implement in our lives. I thoroughly appreciate the authors cautions about over-collecting plants from the wild. I think that is a point that some books on bryophytes miss.

1 comment:

  1. I love to get outside too! I just recently added a porch swing to my house and I have been outside way more than I have ever been. Check out this site!


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