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Moss Gardening: Including Lichens, Liverworts, and Other Miniaturesby George Schenk
Mosses, lichens, and other cryptogams, collected on a trip, make elegant souvenirs of travel. No little gimcrack replicas of the Eiffel Tower or of Mickey Mouse, these. Rather, they are tokens rare and tasteful beyond price. In fact, you could not buy them if you tried. And so, bits and pieces of any likable, lowly plants that one discovers in trekking the world are apt to be wrapped in a tissue and pocketed, or (in the case of the premeditative, prepared collector) plastic-bagged and satcheled. We collectors must, of course, take care to prevent the importation of pests along with our trophies. We must, as well, give the plants protective care during the trip and afterward at home.
On motor trips during the summer, mosses and any of the other primitive miniatures that have been collected when dry and dormant should be left dry for the trip and kept away from heat as much as possible. Then, too, they must be kept in a place where they will not get crushed. Where to put them? If one travels with friends or family in a vehicle packed to the gunnels (the usual situation), there may yet be one remaining spot of available space and safety: beneath the front seat. This happens to be one of the better places even if the vehicle is not crowded, a location insulated from direct sun and below the worst of the buildup of heat when the vehicle is parked with windows closed. But be sure, before placing plants upon it, that the floor does not heat up with the running of the engine.
Plants that are to be stashed under the seat should be closed in bags or wrapped in newspaper or cloth to keep any draft from reaching them, since a breeze from the vehicle's air vent or air-conditioning could be damaging. On arrival home, the summer-dry plants, set out in the open, will wake up quickly and start growing (or start thinking about it) as soon as autumn rains have begun. Mosses and other primitive miniatures collected in moist condition are especially sensitive to heat during travel. Seal them in plastic bags and place them on ice in a portable food cooler, if you can squeeze them in. Small hope, so I find in my own travels with friends. Soft drinks or wine and cheese take precedence. In that circumstance, my only recourse has been to place any moist plants under the seat.
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