Of Moss and Lichen and Fern


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast weekend I ventured into the city, bent on photographing buildings and a new recreational area. Having spent a satisfying half hour capturing architectural angles, I strolled along the road to the Barangaroo Reserve, only to find my progress halted by a wall.

The wall didn’t form an obstacle to physical progress; it was simply the beauty of the lichens and mosses and the delicate ferns growing in the sandstone crevices that halted me in my wanderings.

In 1900, the sandstone cliffs were blasted to create the roadway and they tower above the street, the striations caused by the drilling, forming conduits for seepage. The constant, slow dripping of water provides ideal conditions for the growth of various plants and stains the rocks with vivid colour.


So many people passed by, hastening to who-knows-where, unable to see or appreciate the astonishing beauty less than a metre from their eyes. For who looks at walls?  Who bothers with the minutiae of the everyday?




Until we open our eyes to see, until we take the time to look, really look at our world, we miss so much. We miss the sunlight dancing on water, the drunken tumbling of a bee inside the heart of a flower, the lazy parade of clouds across an azure sky – and, yes – we miss the vibrancy of tiny plants, cascading down a sandstone wall.





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