poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘oakmoss

in the shelter of the covered bridge – lichens on the Benton Bridge

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Some of the species found growing ‘in the shelter of the covered bridge’ are unexpected. The Benton Bridge (Eel River #2) in west-central New Brunswick offered a few surprises.


TRIP TO BENTON 2015 078_crop


The Benton Bridge, built in 1927, crosses the Eel River at Benton, York County. The bridge is in an open area of houses, hay fields and a picnic park. A huge lilac at the end of the bridge was busy with hawk mothshttps ( . And Stonefly nymphs, an indicator of excellent water quality, covered the boards on the side and end of the bridge ( ). But, to me, the most interesting discovery was on the upstream side of the bridge.


trip to Benton 2015 064


On the north-east facing outside wall, two species of lichen grew:

Boreal oakmoss (Evernia mesomorpha) and burred horsehair (Bryoria furcellata). These are common lichens, usually found on trees in open coniferous woods or on scraggy trees in bogs. Perhaps they like the coolness and humidity offered by this side of the bridge! I am so grateful to Stephen Clayden of the New Brunswick Museum for identifying and commenting on these lichens.



on the north-east wall


Benton Bridge

Eel River #3


on the shaded side of the covered bridge

the walls are clothed, furred

in lichen

boreal oakmoss

yellow-grey and goose-fleshed

(Evernia mesomorpha)

burred horsehair

bristled, toasted and tangled

(Bryoria furcellata)


they thrive on the weathered boards

from eaves to river they follow

the runnel ways of damp

cool on the dark side of the bridge

bark and branches their usual home



Copyright Jane Tims 2016


Written by jane tims

August 12, 2016 at 7:15 am

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