by Chuck Nishihira
Sometimes every little detail seems so important. The shape of the leaflet on this Plagiochila versus the leaflet on that Plagiochila. The dark color of one species versus the paleness of another. The more subtle the differences you are willing to look for, the more interesting things there are to see. If you are fascinated with bryophytes, you could just plop yourself down and slowly move your way through the rocks, trunks, branches, fallen branches, leaves of other plants, twigs and most anything else in front of you and have a wonderful day. At the end of the day you may not have even traveled very far. So if you are that plant lover that just doesn’t like hiking then I suggest you get into bryophytes. Of course the thought of “what is on the other side of that ridge or down in that ravine?” will still probably plague you. But however you decide to spend your time, mosses and liverworts always seem to give you an abundance to look at and make the day successful. Beyond looking at the variety, I find it satisfying to look for visually interesting colonies. Whether that means the way they are growing on say a particular rock or the combinations they occur in. It just feels like bryophytes never let you down! And somedays having an adventure and not breaking a sweat is nice too.