Laurie broke a small twig off a tree and brought it in to show me its cargo of lichen and moss.
|Mossy, lichened twig propped in a glass.|
But there was more to it than green stuff. The moss was dried out, and I sprayed it with de-chlorinated water to watch it revive. Instantly, the leaves shook themselves, and spread out; moss absorbs the water it needs through the leaves, not the roots, so there's no waiting for it to trickle down to the soil (or bark, in this case.)
While I watched, a tiny spider emerged from the thickets. And then another. And another. A couple of tinier ones dropped to the table and began to dry themselves off.
|This one is about 3 mm. long. I don't recognize his pattern, and the eyes are barely visible.|
|Another 3 mm. cutie.|
I looked and looked for some sort of prey for these spiders; they had to have been eating something in the moss. I found two springtails and one red mite, each big enough to keep a spider this size busy for a few days.