Gifts from the NORTH SIDE


Yesterday afternoon I explored the magic world of the north side of neighborhood trees. All good scouts can find north in the woods because moss and lichens grow on the north side of trees.northside-1

Rough bark creates wonderful footholds for furry moss tendrils.northside-2

Hummingbirds cover their invisible nests with bits of lichen the color of celadon pottery.


Sorry this photo is out of focus but the colors made me completely forget winter! On 12/15/16 the Washington Post reported that Pantone’s “Color of the Year 2017” is called Greenery, a zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.  It is the exact same color as the bright yellow-green lichen in the photo!!!


And what to my wondering eyes did appear on the north side of one tree but a hearty chickweed plant growing in a moss garden. Speaking of moss gardens-


You can make your own moss garden in a few minutes with moss collected on your walk, a disposable plastic container and a few spoonfuls of extra dirt. If the container has a cover you have a prepackaged gift! Spray regularly and watch the magic! Please send photos of your gardens!



Published by

Carrie Staples

Author, illustrator of "The Yarn Animal Book", probably the only craft book with instructions for making such unique yarn animals as an orangutan, an ant eater, a llama and a star-nosed mole and "The Single Minded Prince, a fairy tale for all ages about a boy and a pirate captain who both misbehave. The books and a booklet series based on each different yarn craft topic covered in "The Yarn Animal Book" (pompoms and other really easy yarn crafts, knitting, crocheting, rya, needlepoint and embroidery), are available on Amazon and Kindle.

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