Today's Wonder of the World is...Spanish Moss!
Flickr photo by sroper2002
How I love Spanish moss!
It's so wonderful in an eerie, gothic kind of way.
Spanish moss makes me think of Southern plantations
Flickr photo by BlackDoll
And creepy cemeteries
Flickr photo by flyingwombat
Flickr photo by giamarie
Did you know Spanish moss is in the pineapple family?
And it's not even a moss at all!
The poor thing is so misunderstood.
Flickr photo by peace1374
When people are not calling it Beard Lichen (it's not a lichen either,) they're saying it's a parasite! Not nice! Parasites harm what they attach themselves to, and Spanish moss wouldn't hurt a flea! It grows on trees, but all it asks is for a place to perch. It's an air plant, meaning that it gets its water and nutrients from the air and rainfall. That' s why it likes warm, humid places!
The only problem with it, is that when it gets wet it can be pretty heavy, possibly breaking off tree limbs. That, and it reduces the amount of light a tree could get, thus possibly stunting its growth. Oh, and it could make a tree's survival in a hurricane a little iffy, with all the added wind resistance.
Okay, so it has its problems. But it looks so pretty hanging there!
And it's useful! People have used it to stuff upholstery, for crafts projects, and for bedding for their plants! Plus, sweet old Mr. Wikipedia says it's great for treating hemorrhoids!
(I'm not going to picture that.)
I can imagine other uses.
Flickr photo by toastforbrekkie
It would make nice boas.
(Or is that Spanish moss actually slithering over their shoulders, forcing them to do its bidding?)
And it would make a great wig
Flickr photo by carlamarieweir
if you don't mind a few grays.
That reminds me! In Hawaii, Spanish moss is known as Pele's Hair, after Pele, the Hawaiian goddess.
Flickr photo by manueb
Speaking of hair, would you like to hear a SCARY ghost story about how Spanish Moss came to be? It takes a little over a minute, but you'll never look at Spanish Moss the same way again!
Have a Wonder-full Thursday, y'all!
PS. Anyone recognize the title of this post?