Field of Science

November 2013 Desktop Calendar

Another lovely moss from our summer hike up Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire. This is the moss Polytrichum commune. Its common name is the hairy-capped moss, named so for its hairy calyptra. Calyptra are the little caps of maternal gametophyte tissue that cover the top of the young offspring sporophytes. These caps prevent water loss from the apex of the developing plant. Think of it as your mother sending you out the door to play with a fuzzy little cap atop your head. However, this cap is meant to keep your wet hair from drying out rather than to keep out the cold. I like to think of it as a reverse shower cap. A little odd to imagine the human equivalent, but it works well by keeping the top of the mosses moist in the dry air. For more on calyptra, check out this summary about my PhD research studying calyptrae. Happy November!

1 - Single click on the image to open it up in a new window. (If you use the image directly from the blog post you will lose a lot of resolution.)

2 - Right-click (or ctrl-click) on the image, and chose the option that says, "Set as Desktop Background" or "Use as Desktop Picture". The wording may vary.

3 - If the image does not fit your desktop neatly, you may have to adjust the image (Mac: System Preferences - Desktop and Screen Saver - Desktop; Windows: Control Panel - Display - Desktop) and choose "Fill screen" as the display mode of your background image.


  1. Lovely photo. I hope you don't mind, but I liked your idea so much that I've started a desktop calendar on my blog too.

    1. Tim - I am happy to share a good idea that I as well borrowed. Hope you have fun taking and enjoying your photos on your desktop every month!

    2. Thanks Jessica. Quite enjoying it so far :)


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