My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!


Lycopodium obscurum

by Maxwell C. Wheat, Jr.

They are the elves’ Christmas trees
Grandfather would say
of Ground Pine and Cedar
Once in the sun I laid on snow
eye level to see colored lights and bulbs
the size of frozen dew drops

They are lycopodiums, he’d say
teaching me again to pronounce the name
because scientific words have the sounds of poetry


You’ve got it, he’d laugh
his hearty red face broadening behind his white beard
his abundant frame rollicking

When I return home for the holidays
I always walk back to our woods
think of Grandfather assuring a small boy
Yes,I’ll see that the elves have a happy Christmas

I am glad lie-ko-po-dee-um is evergreen

Used by permission All rights reserved
Wheat, M.C. Jr. (2000) Following Their Star – Poems of Christmas and Nature. Cow Meadow Promotions. p.27

Tree Clubmoss Stiff Clubmoss Staghorn Clubmoss Ground Pine Club Moss

8 responses

  1. Marg

    This is beautiful Tom-both the photo and poem!

    22 December 2006 at 8:03 pm

  2. Rick

    I have to agree, this is such a beautiful christmas poem. I love how it makes me vision Santa as being grandfather. Merry Christmas to you.

    22 December 2006 at 10:21 pm

  3. Dinali

    Perfect for the season. 🙂
    I enjoy both .. the poem and the pictures.

    23 December 2006 at 12:39 am

  4. I love Lycopedium – your photos are great and the poem is excellent! Were the photos taken in Allegany State Park? Happy Holidays!

    23 December 2006 at 10:04 am

  5. Randy


    Very, very nice.



    23 December 2006 at 2:28 pm

  6. @ Marg – thanks and Max does many beautiful poems! He gave me permission to do more and will add as appropriate.
    @ Rick – amazing how a poem can make you think!
    @ Dinali – thanks and thought this would be perfect for the season!
    @ Nature Woman – Thanks and Lycopodium’s are wonderful! Good majority of my pictures are taken here in Allegany! Thanks for visiting!
    @ Randy – thanks my friend!

    23 December 2006 at 2:52 pm

  7. Hi:
    I am interested in a story that claims that the lycopoduim was once a large tree but that it managed to survive under harsh conditions and is now a moss. I can only suppose that it was large as a club moss and grew smaller over time, but I would like to find the story.

    19 January 2007 at 7:09 pm

  8. Joyce, never see or heard this story before!! Will look around for you but sounds more like a story than science. Good luck in your search! BTW: all new comments go to moderation until I approve your comment. I get way too many spammers to let it be a free for all!

    19 January 2007 at 8:02 pm

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