Saturday 18 February 2012: Velvet Feather-moss
It's been a funny old day weatherwise - mostly grey and windy with a spell of rain and occasional brilliant sunshine. Unfortunately I timed my dog walk to coincide with the grey and windy part of the day, though we did get home before the rain.
While we were out I spotted this patch of moss, with a veritable army of fruiting capsules. I didn't immediately recognise it, so brought a small sample home to identify it, and decided it would make a good blip. Mosses tend to be easier to identify when they are moist, hence the water droplets!
This specimen keyed out as Velvet Feather-moss (sounds so soft and snuggly) Brachythecium velutinum. It's a common enough species in the southern two-thirds of the UK, especially in the east, and grows on wood and bark. It can only be reliably identified when in fruit, which might explain why I hadn't previously come across it.
The rest of the day was spent clearing out our smaller kitchen, prior to re-decorating. Spring must be in the air!
Oddly enough I checked my blip for the 18th February 2011, and it was also a moss, but a sample of a very common species found in the garden.