Moss and Lichen Flora of the Fells Project Day #1, June 4th 2018


June 04, 2018- Sector #1 Middlesex Fells- Medford High School, Lawrence Woods

This morning I was so very excited to start my day by hiking around the fells for a few hours. I parked in the back of Medford High School and started on the Mustang Loop trail which is about 0.97 miles. Immediately as I set foot on the trail I had to stop because there was a really nice arrangement of rocks, roots, and soil that created the perfect habitat for many mosses. I could see two common mosses, haircap moss (Polytrichum commune) and smooth cap moss (Atrichum angustatum) right away. I continued on down the trail, my feet squishing on the damp ground below, drops of water falling from the birch trees above me. I squatted down on the side of the trail where some soil was exposed and got excited when I saw a little liverwort; the tips of its main stem ending in a ball of what looked like to me to be gemmae-like reproductive structures. I am excited to take a closer look at this later today to try and ID it. Past the liverwort the trail forked and I decided to take a left, which took me up a slope to a rocky outcrop. Seeing the rocky outcrop made me very excited! I could already see many species of reindeer lichen (Cladonia) covering the rocks, as well as more pockets of haircap moss. I stopped here and decided to take some photos (see below).

Top right photo: Cladonia cristatellis

Top left photo: Xanthoparmelia cumberlandia

Bottom left photo: Polytrichum commune and my boots

Bottom right photo: Cladonia species and Polytrichum commune

June 04, 2018- Sector #1 Middlesex Fells- Medford High School, Lawrence Woods

After I got over the rock outcrop and stopped looking at the lichens and mosses I hiked down to the Cross Fells Trail. Here I decided I would turn around since at this point it started to rain really hard, but I am very ready to get back out there tomorrow and continue scouting, collecting, and familiarizing myself with the mosses and lichens of Lawrence Woods.

-Giovanna Bishop