Moss and Lichen, Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve

This set of images was taken during a spring nature hike hosted by the Sourland Conservancy. I captured these on a Kenko auto-extension tube attached to my AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX. Most of the images are shot at f/8 and I used my Nikon SB-600 Speedlight flash to add some extra lighting.

According to Wikipedia mosses and lichens are quite different.

Mosses are small flowerless plants that typically grow in dense green clumps or mats, often in damp or shady locations. The individual plants are usually composed of simple, one-cell thick leaves, attached to a stem that may be branched or unbranched and has only a limited role in conducting water and nutrients.Moss

Souland Mountain Moss
Souland Mountain Moss

While Lichen:

A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a symbiotic relationship. The combined life form has properties that are very different from the properties of its component organisms.Lichen

Souland Mountain Moss
A patch of moss with some lichen.

Unlike most plants, mosses do not have seeds, are non-vascular, and absorb water and nutrients mainly through their leaves, harvesting carbon dioxide and sunlight to create food by photosynthesis (like plants).

Souland Mountain Moss
A patch of moss showing both gametophytes (the low, leaf-like forms) and sporophytes (the tall, stalk-like forms)

Spring Azure Butterfly

One of many images I captured during a nature hike in the Sourlands Ecosystem Preserve, Sourland Mountain. I had decided to bring my Kenko extension tubes and shoot macro. This was my first time using the extension tubes with my AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8. I tried to capture most of my images at f/8. To help with lighting, I attached my Nikon SB-600 flash unit.

According to the North American Butterfly Club, the Spring Azure butterfly is a New Jersey native and is "complicated".

All it takes for a spirited arguments are 2 taxonomists and 1 azure. Various researchers recognise many species in the "Spring Azure Complex," including 'Summer' Azure, 'Northern' (aka 'Blueberry') Azure, 'Cherry Gall' Azure, and 'Holly' (aka 'Atlantic,' 'Atlantic Holly,' or 'Pine Barrens') Azure.

This specimen is female and was photographed in Amwell, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.