Mosses and lichens are fascinating organisms, which embellish the rocks and the bark of trees in forests and woodlands. I have tried to take photos especially of the cup lichen below (it may be Cladonia fimbriata, but I'm not certain), because it always makes me remember a lovely poem by the Finnish poet Helvi Juvonen.
Jäkälä nosti pikarinsa hauraan
ja sade täytti sen, ja pisarassa
kimalsi taivas tuulta pidättäen.
Jäkälä nosti pikarinsa hauraan:
Nyt malja elämämme rikkaudelle.
The lichen raised its fragile cup,
and rain filled it, and in the drop
the sky glittered, holding back the wind.
The lichen raised its fragile cup:
Now let’s toast the richness of our lives.
Helvi Juvonen (1919–59) was a Finnish poet and translator. She published five collections of poetry in the 1950s, and a sixth one was published posthumously. Suffering from malnutrition and other health problems, she died young, but during her short literary career she wrote compelling poetry characterised by simplicity, humour, intensity, and inner peace. She studied small, apparently humble things, rocks, plants, and animals, and found the strength and value of them. She also translated into Finnish poems written by Emily Dickinson, with whom she shared the interest in nature and spiritual concerns.
The translation above is by Emily Jeremiah (born 1975). She is a Lecturer in German at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her very interesting article on the poetry of Helvi Juvonen can be read at http://www.booksfromfinland.fi/2010/05/dreaming-a-dream-the-poetry-of-helvi-juvonen/.
Juvonen also wrote short fairy-tales. Pikkukarhun talviunet (“The little bear’s winter dreams”) was published in 1974, edited by a friend of hers. To all of us that love bears, I highly recommend the following related material by the literary journal "Books from Finland":
A valid field guide to the lichens and mosses of Finland:
Kasvitieteen professori Jouko Rikkisen pätevä lajintuntemusopas Jäkälät ja sammalet Suomen luonnossa. Otava 2010 (2008).