Well, let’s backtrack a bit to the end of Moss: Phase One which is known casually around the house as “killing all that moss”.
Fastidiously, yes. But, still, just killing it.
It took us a little while to get our second wind, mainly because the “reason” for wanting to study moss this closely was for a “surprise” element to next year’s Parade of Spirit costumes, which were to be a (secret!) five-piece family theme-costume, and Claudia has already decided she wants none of that. She certainly doesn’t want to get lost in the muddle of us (while covered in moss, she accurately suspects) and she doesn’t sense any glamour, so she’s already pretty much put her foot down about it.
We need to keep trying, though. Why can rocks have moss grow on them so easily (we saw so much of this in England)… but then it also seems impossible for moss to grow on, say, a piece of fabric or a garment?
We still had a lot of dormant moss and Moss-Tac hanging around. We also have a planter full of big sticks, dessicated pumpkins, fossilized balls of twine, and other interesting things. The kids made a large, mostly-organic, definitely compostable structure, wetted it down, sprinkled it with Moss-Tac, and affixed some rehydrated mosses.
What motivated them, if not the (great) idea (that I had) of making our special themed costumes for next Parade?
They were building a Habitat. A “play gym”, a nursery, for the baby mantids that should hatch from our egg sacs any week now. they are watering and hoping our moss takes, across shale, sticks, hardened pumpkin shells and old gourds; to create climbing features for young mantids on the go.
If nothing else, this will provide us with more live moss to work with. We have watched some videos disproving the “buttermilk and blender” plan for “moss graffiti”, which was disappointing (but compelling). Right now, we’re not sure what else to do other than… grow moss. If it’s good for some baby praying mantids, all the better. It was an enjoyable morning and reminded me that a good cleanup of the backyard makes it a pretty okay place to be.