The Myth: If you’re lost in the woods without a compass, look for moss – it shuns the sun, and therefore only grows on the north side of trees.
The Myth Busted: Mosses will grow on the north, south, west and east of trees (and, indeed, buildings), wherever there is enough moisture to sustain them – and that depends on various factors, such as prevailing winds, and not exclusively on shade. Besides, if the south side of the tree you’re looking at happens to be partly shaded – perhaps by another tree, this being, after all, a wood – moss will colonize it readily.
However, you won’t be “lost” on Monday, April 22, 7:00pm, if you’re at Annie Bloom’s, 7834 SW Capital Hwy, Portland, OR 97219. I’ll be signing books and reading from my debut novel “Trout Kill,” and I’d love for you all to attend. Please contact me if you think you can. Thanks, Paul