Sunday, February 12, 2017

Which way is north?

Moss grows on the north side of tree trunks, right? That's the rule of thumb in the northern hemisphere, but actually moss grows where ever the conditions are right. Where the sun shines for any length of time, the bark of a tree will dry out. Moss favors the shady, cooler, and damp conditions where the sun can't reach. But shade can be cast by other trees and dense foliage, so moss can, and does, grow on any side of a tree.

Moss also likes the decaying conditions of downed limbs and trunks.

So, which way is north in this photo? It's kind of behind me and a little to the right, if I'm not mistaken.


  1. Here the moss and lichen are on the southern sides. I learnt this at a young age, should I ever get lost in the bush. Not sure it a terribly reliable guide.

  2. Oh, well all of that is good to know!

  3. andrew, yes, not very reliable, but helpful with other methods.

    judy, I knew you were dying to know!


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