Wednesday, December 18, 2013

moss ball

I had what I thought was a great idea--to fill some metal bowls I'd bought as gifts with moss balls. It would sort of personalize them and add something natural to an otherwise "too shiny" gift. But have you priced styrofoam balls recently?!? They start at around $5 in the craft stores near me. Too expensive, thought I. So I decided I'd cover some red plastic balls I already had (see yesterday), but I soon realized that was way too hard. You really need something  you can pin (not glue) the moss to as you go along. So I bought some less expensive but still pricey (by my standards) desert oasis balls and covered them. The thing that really holds the moss on, though, is green thread wrapped around the ball like yarn. It's totally invisible among the moss. On the top of the ball below is a sprig of holly and a tree-ivy leaf (leftover from a previous windowsill arrangement). And a word about moss: I harvest mine from a brick walkway where it is easy to remove (it actually rolls up like a rug) and should be removed (although it comes right back!). I'm not sure moss you buy from the store is harvested so sustainably. I'll never forget a line I read in a Theodore Roethke poem in which he described moss-gathering as "ripping flesh from the face of the living earth." Ouch. Don't do that. I do sometimes harvest moss from my woods, but I take very little each time I do, and I "reseed" the bare patch with little pieces of moss. It, too, fills right back in.


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