Today I had an opportunity to make a trip down to Tryon Creek State Park in Southwest Portland. I was hoping to get some photos of some mushrooms growing wildlybut most of what I found was not in a condition worth taking a photo.
I did however stumble across lots of Sphagnum Moss specifically Oregon Sphagnum Moss which is one of 120 species of moss. Spaghnum Moss mostly occurs in the Northern Hemisphere while Oregon Spaghnum Moss only occurs in Oregon and Washington, and there is actually an entire industry around production of moss which is used in a variety of consumer (Compost, Soil Mixes, Art, etc) and commercial products.
I really did not know much about Moss until a few months ago when I decided to read a couple books on Moss, Lichen and Algaes since I’m trying to become knowledgeable about organic matter growing on trees since I started volunteering for a local non-profit that plants trees.
Anyways it is pretty amazing how much there is to moss and how it grows and stores water and how many colors and species exist and how it impacts trees and can help you determine things like which side of a tree sunlight reaches.
If you are out in the woods I encourage you to have a closer look at how many species of moss, lichen and algae you can find in a single forest. Be careful though when handling this species with a naked hand since they can give you a rare fungal infection called Sporotrichosis if you have a scratch or cut on your hand and it is possible to be infected via inhalation.
You can check out more of my photos from Tryon Creek State Park right here which are available under the Creative Commons.