Friday, March 19, 2021

Curiosity overrides...

I listened to a doctor on the radio expressing his ideas regarding anxiety and depression in our world today. I sort of half assed listened as I was driving to go get my new glasses.

But a few points that he did talk about in the interview was how the curious mind beats down anxiety and depression. I thought Peeshaw...Pfft, he doesn't know what he is talking about. 

But then I thought about the general idea of Curiosity. Why in the middle of a Pandemic while living with my significant other did I constantly fight the blues? Sure I know it is the result of being a CareGiver. But some days the Blues were simply an unforgiving weight. Should I give in or fight it? 


I needed a new purpose. 

I needed to do some wandering with a purpose. 

Like...what is this called? 

I know it is moss, but what about moss? What about Moss Life cycles?
I began a search and decided to order a book on moss and a book on lichen.

Suddenly, I found myself very Curious. I'd spent so much time in the woods hunting Fungi, wild plants, and insects, but never really paid any attention to things like Lichen. As far as I was concerned they were fungi. I was SO wrong!

Why did I get the feeling of calm and satisfaction while wandering the woodlands looking for interesting tiny things to photograph and go home to identify and take notes on? Why did using the skills of a Naturalist keep me sane?

[By the way, the new glasses are incredible! I can see things clearly for the first time in months in the distance again! Wow!]

Powdery Sunburst Lichen
Such a pretty name for such a tiny thing. This was found on the trunk of an oak tree.

Common Antler Lichen on top of 
Sinewy Bushy Lichen.
All found on a twig in the forest.
I laid the twig on a log of moss for the photo. 

Researchers don't know why we get such a high over learning. I do. My mind is taking a break from the problems I face every day at home. It is directing all of its energy into trying to figure out how to recognize different plants. 

It is true. My anxiety and blahs, disappear when hunting interesting things in the forest. 

I knew that by setting out to examine another aspect of the forest around me, it would lead to calm days and clear thinking. 

I think I knew this before and that is why I wander about so much in the forest. It gives my brain time to chill out and relax.

The scientists say that when the brain is engaged in curious learning the pleasure part of the brain is LIT up. 
Maybe that is why I am so reluctant to step through the door after being outside.

This is one of my favorite photos of moss. The white specs are grains of sand. I used the microscopic mode on my Tough TG6 camera to capture this.
I have no idea what these are called. From what I understand there are 12 thousand species of moss. Most moss ID depends on a microscope.

So I will be happy to continue to find beautiful mosses and lichen because I am curious and little things like this make me happy.

I may even figure out what kind or species of moss this is one day.

Let's stand up and applaud curiosity. 


  1. YAY for nature, curiosity and new glasses!!! I like that Antler Litchen. I am seriously considering getting a macro lens. I thought I was done buying glass, but some things beg for a closer look. For me it is snowflakes. I think loneliness, and the depression that comes with it is (and has been) very prevalent. Nature just makes sense. Life is short, everyone should absolutely do whatever makes them happy.

    1. Tiny stuff is so fascinating. I found some more cool stuff today. Life is short, enjoy it every day. Nature is my way of staying sane.

  2. Absolutely!! Curiosity works for me!

  3. YES! Distract the brain with learning and challenges. I need to seriously look into the Tough TG 6 for the microscopic mode. My phone does an ok job but not the depth of field or the level of detail. I think it would be fun to try and paint those microscopic worlds. So glad the new glasses are working for you.

    1. I am not very good at painting anything but I do love seeing tiny things. It opens up a whole new world for me.
      Brain Distraction must be a good thing!

  4. Another "4th Dimension" discovery. What else is out there to discover and learn from? I found that hunting Mushrooms was a gateway to a knowledge I never knew. After all those years in college... I never read or studied any fungi.. even thought I focused on fish and wildlife. Same goes for Butterflies.

    1. I'm still exploring fungi as they seem to go hand in hand with moss and lichen. I am still learning more and more about wildflowers and eatables in the forest. All cool and mind boggling.
      My favorite free food aside from Morels is Wild Parsnip.