Why I love the moss appreciation society!

By | Forests, Mosses | No Comments

What’s moss?

Mosses are non-vascular plants lacking true roots. They often thrive in moist locations and reproduce through spores. Just today I took a walk in a park close to my house and moss grew on trees; on the north side where there is less direct sunlight.

People love moss!

I had no idea people loved moss so much. There is an actual Moss Appreciation Society group on Facebook. And I think I understand their fascination with moss. Imagine my delight when I walked through ancient temple grounds in Kyoto, Japan. All you see is moss on the ground, a few stone lanterns and Japanese maples and Azaleas. It was simple and beautiful.

Even a moss covered gate column in Langley, British Columbia looks good.

This north facing gate is also shaded out by field maples (Acer campestre).

Hilarious pictures

The best part about belonging to the Moss Appreciation Society is seeing the pictures people post online. People love soft mosses in the woods. I do, too. But some of the pictures are close to suggestive. Like this one. Some moss lovers might find the tights a distraction from the mosses. Who knows. I did.

Some of the pictures remind me of crime scenes from the movies. Like this one:

More women in tights and moss in the woods. But to be honest my first reaction to this photo was “is she Ok?” It does look like a crime scene.

Some people even wear moss on their heads. Why not? I’m not judging anyone.


We need nature. We must go out and enjoy it and if you love moss and it gets you out into the woods, perfect! Mosses are very interesting plants. Unfortunately, as a landscape professional I’m often asked to remove moss from lawns. Even after I point out that the conditions are ideal for moss development: shady, north facing lawn close to the house.

Running around with moss killer which turns the moss black is depressing. I want to dress my wife in her tights and take her out into the woods to enjoy the mosses. You should go too. And definitely join the Moss Appreciation Society.

International day of forests

By | Forests | No Comments

Tree hugger Red Seal Vas, Surrey Lake, BC, summer 2021

March 21

Today is a big day as we celebrate the International Day of Forests. I’m lucky to live very close to forests in British Columbia and I often run or mountain bike through them. And while the forests around my home are in good shape, many forests around the world are in trouble.

Which is bad news because we need forests for their free ecosystem services like oxygen; and we also need their help with global warming since they absorb carbon dioxide.

Amazon rainforest

Just today, the Sunday New York Times published a story from Brazil where rainforest areas previously set aside for native tribes are being clear-cut anyway. The current president in Brazil is openly promoting the development of Amazonian rainforests. Which doesn’t make sense because nutrients in the rainforest are tied up in the vegetation; they don’t stay in the soils. Thus the need to eventually move on to other forest areas and the vicious cycle continues. Nobody seems to care that the Amazon is a huge lung of the world.

Boreal forest

An even bigger lung of the world is the boreal forest which is burning at its southern edges and moving north. Ben Rawlence explores this in his excellent new book, “The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth“. Just be warned, it’s a sobering account of another forest under pressure. Don’t expect a fuzzy tree book like I did. This is a serious work and well-worth reading. After all, Canada has its own chapter in the book.

Even Santa will be pissed because when snow melts in reindeer country, it re-freezes and covers everything with ice. And reindeer aren’t used to travelling on ice; getting to food is also a nightmare when it’s under ice.

Get out

March 21 is a Monday but if you get a chance, get out into the forest. I am currently nursing a sprained knee so I will stick to blogging, making a donation to the Ancient Forest Alliance and reading about forests.

What are you doing today to celebrate International Forests Day?

Forests feed us! Vas digging up bamboo shoots in Western Japan.