There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure. About light and shadow and the drift of continents. This is what has been called the "dialect of moss on stone - an interface of immensity and minute ness, of past and present, softness and hardness, stillness and vibrancy, yin and yan.
Robin Wall Kimmerer, Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses
The cave was cool and silent- thoroughly carpeted- with the most luxuriant mantle of mosses Alma Whittaker had ever seen.
The cave was not merely mossy; it throbbed with moss. It was not merely green; it was frantically green. It was so bright in its verdure that the color nearly spoke, as though- smashing through the world of sight- it wanted to migrate into the world of sound. The moss was a thick, living pelt, transforming every rock surface into a mythical, sleeping beast.
Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things
Mosses are found everywhere in the world except in salt water. They are versatile in terms of habitat, ranging from deserts to streams and are found from the Arctic to the Antarctic, though it is important to note that different kinds of mosses will thrive in these habitats.
They are common in moist shady locations and are often found in woodlands and on forest floors. Mosses help to prevent erosion by providing soil cover and absorbing water. Mosses are good at breaking down an exposed substrata (underlying layer or substance, in particular, a layer of rock or soil beneath the surface of the ground) and releasing those nutrients into the soil for other plants.
Mosses are a pioneer plant and able to thrive in bare ground. The moss provides a micro-habitat for mites and spiders. As an opportunistic species, moss is able to rapidly exploit any new or sudden openings in the plant cover. Moss is often among the first plants to emerge from a disrupted or damaged eco-system and it begins the chain of eco-succession that will lead to a diverse ecosystem. The mosses die, create plant litter and as they break down, make new soil for the secondary succession.
Mosses are very resilient and can be competely dried and endure extreme heat conditions (70C). Once water is applied, the moss will come out of hibernation and re-generate.
[Information sourced online at the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Australian National Herbarium]
Related Wildwood Cards:
Card 1: The Shaman
Card 2: The Seer
Card 5: The Ancestor
Card 14: Balance
Card: Seven of Vessels - Mourning
Card: Ten of Vessels - Happiness
Card: King of Vessels - Heron
Card: Three of Stones - Creativity
Card: Seven of Stones - Healing
Card: Ten of Stones - Home
Card: Page of Stones - Lynx
Card: Ace of Bows - Spark of Life
Card: Nine of Bows - Respect
Card: Page of Bows - Stoat
Card: Knight of Bows - Fox