Ah, botanists, I have a mystery here. Perhaps you can help. What on earth is this moss in the image below? I was walking up on the Bella Vista Hills above Okanagan Lake, at the 650 metre level, where the snow is melting in patches among the sagebrush and the rock outcroppings, when I came across this stuff… It looks like moss, but it has lifted up in long, transparent filaments, frozen in place, probably by thawing and re-freezing weather. It comes in big patches, following deer trails or waterways, like this:
That image above is not “dug up” by animals, although they have walked through it (they walk through everything up there.) Much of this territory looks like this:
Here it is again, from slightly further away:
What on earth is going on? Here’s some moss, growing on rock and behaving normally for this early, high grassland spring…
Closer up, it looks like this:
Not like this:
Categories: Nature Photography, Science
Yes, it is caused by freezing. The water gets pushed up as it expands and it pushes up anything on top of it. I have found many areas of dirt, small rocks like this. Moss, because it doesn’t have roots like most thinks is most susceptible to this action. It is wonderful, eh?
Yes, it’s fantastic. It seems to be following filaments or some kind of clear cellular membranes or something!