Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise...more
Shout out to this fabulous book, it made a guest appearance in my latest YouTube Video (all about making fun nature things out of felt).
The written review:
There is an ancient conversation going on between mosses and rocks, poetry to be sure. About light and shadow and the drift of continents.Dr Kimmerer takes us on a walk through the wild, intricate and utterly unforgettable world of mosses.
She has spent years studying one of the smallest plants on earth - mosses.
Gathering Moss will probably not teach you any mosses. There's a handful of line illustrations of different mosses, but no photos or tips for ID. Instead, it's a collection of essays linked by the subject of moss but ran ...more
Kimmerer's linked essays weave personal histories with her research and fieldwork in bryology and forest ecology, and she relates the lives of these small plants into the larger sphere of forests, speaking to the important role they play in temperature regulation, air flow, soil nutrients, etc.
Mosses inhabit this sphere of common yet unnoticed living things. Silen ...more
Gathering Moss is a blend of science and poetry, just the right kind of ...more
The only thing about the book that bothered me a little was her almost grudging inclusion of urban moss (the only type I have daily access to) and she seemed to not miss an opportun ...more
I bought this gem of a book in May after we purchased a little cabin in the Mount Hood National Forest, and I wondered about the abundance and variety of mosses that seem to cover every square inch of nearby ground, rocks, and trees. Now I feel I know a lot more about them. Next up: ...more
Each chapter takes a meaningful personal recollection and expands it into a particular moss. sphagnum of peat bogs (now I understand how those peat people were preserved!), or bryum in the crevices of city concrete (it's everywhere!), tetraplodon at the base if trees where animals ...more
Now, having finally dug in, I only wish I'd read it sooner.
This was Robin Wall Kimmerer's first book. As noted in my review of "Braiding Sweetgrass", ...more
The moss information was fascinating. Would have read a lot more of that. The rest was built like a collection of standard "life story" essays from a beginner's writing workshop. And I have read far too many of those already.
Too, there was enough bad punctuation to be distracting.
Reading this was such a lovely experience. While it may sound like a bota ...more
I liked the parts about moss. I liked the parts where she describes experiments that she/ her graduate students have done/ are doing. I like her desc ...more
I picked this up for a reading challenge -- "a book about nature from a culture not your own." I was not excited about this.
The thing is, I don't even have a baseline comprehension of nature. I can't say exactly when it all went off the rails... certainly, I spent most of my childhood out of doors, and have vivid memories of the small wood and creek just a ...more
But I also read this book amid the nightmare of an early pandemic, garbled up with the fever dream of election worries. So even far from the mosses, this was exactly what I needed to read. A reminder to root, to wonder, to show appreciation, to say the names of the smallest beings -- and to love a world that is so much bigger than the narrow news cycle.