There is such a lot to see on the moor at all times but in the snow there is even more “stuff” to see. Weirdly the stuff you see is different depending on which direction you are walking in and that’s quite a good lesson because we rarely walk there and back on the same path, we usually do a round trip. Not that there is anywhere, at least not today, it was just a way of allowing the dogs to let off steam so we walked along a path then returned on the same path.
It was on the way back that I noticed this strange phenomenon – a little forest of frozen bryophytes, all individually coated in ice and standing to attention. I don’t know if they are mosses or liverworts, it’s difficult enough to tell when they are not coated in a layer of ice. There are two interesting things about bryophytes, one of which is they are truly prehistoric plants, having survived in more-or-less the same form for millions of years and the other is that they reproduce sexually with motile sperm that need a watery surface to swim around in looking for a mate. It’s a kind of odd hybrid between animal and plant reproductive systems.
In this area there are at least two weird and wonderful mosses that are unique to this moor – one of which is Cornish path moss which is only found on two sites, both of which are less than a mile from this spot and the other is a strange moss that glows in the dark – I don’t know its name.