05 March, 2015

Back alley nature


The alley way that backs out onto our student house at university isn't the first place I'd choose to go for fresh air and wildlife. It's full of your typical urban alley way things: fly-tipping, mud, young people (me included), concrete, bin bags and hormonal foxes, but take a closer look and you uncover a world of fantastically colourful plants all sharing the same ability to thrive on disturbed ground...

Common Whitlow-grass (Erophila verna) growing amongst an array of different mosses 

Compared to the dull asbestos-filled garages under which they were growing, these tiny communities stand out like miniature rainforests, with so many different species intertwined to produce a carpet of colours. Kind of reminded me of those plush Sphagnum bogs you find growing in the Scottish Highlands, just on a slightly smaller scale!

Next time you're walking through the concrete jungle, losing faith in nature's ability to exist in the ever poisonous, land-grabbing world of humans, just take a closer look at the ground (and watch out for dog shit).

Wall Screw-moss (Tortula muralis)

Grey-cushion Grimmia (Grimmia pulvinata)

Bonfire Moss (Funaria hygrometrica)

Thickpoint Grimmia (Schistidium crassipilum)

2 comments:

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images, I love the Wall Screw-moss, great.

Laurie Ison said...

love this post. thank you