Montana Outdoors

March 9, 2008

The lichens at Burgess Lake

Filed under: Environment, Lichens, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: , , — montucky @ 10:37 am

The trail up to and the terrain immediately surrounding Burgess Lake is composed almost completely of rocks, and I was very much struck by the variety and beautiful colors of the lichens that cover literally all of them. My knowledge of lichens is sadly deficient, but I know that there are folks like my friend Beyenburgerin who are quite interested in them and much more knowledgeable than I, and since she reminded me of the beauty that many of them possess, I will post some of the photos that I brought back from my recent visit to the lake.

There are also some gorgeous areas of moss along the trail as it ascends through its small ravine, and this is how one section of it appears:

Burgess Lake moss

Now, the lichen art gallery:

Lichens

Lichens

Lichens
Lichens and moss
Lichens

Lichens

Lichens

Lichens

Lichens

Something to remember:

Lichens growing on rocks take many years, even hundreds of years, to establish their homes and when a careless placement of your hiking boot dislodges a patch of lichen from a rock, you may be undoing the patient work of centuries.

( In order to make the uploading process quicker, with the exception of the first and fifth photo, I uploaded to flickr only a small version of the photos. If anyone is interested in the full size version, I will be happy to provide it on request.)

29 Comments »

  1. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department has a library which has put their catalog online at http://fwp.mt.gov/insidefwp/fwplibrary/wildlifelib/referencelistwild.asp. They seemed to have decent looking resources on Lichens for further research, including:

    BENTON, F., I. M. BRODO, AND D. H. S. RICHARDSON ,LICHENS OF THE BAMFIELD MARINE STATION, VANCOUVER ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1977
    FAHSELT, D. ,LICHENS AND MOSSES OF THE ORISKANY SANDSTONE OUTCROP, SOUTHERN ONTARIO, 1980
    HODGEMAN, T. P., AND R. TERRY BOWYER ,WINTER USE OF ARBOREAL LICHENS, ASCOMYCETES, BY WHITE-TAILED DEER, ODOCOILEUS VIRGINIANUS, IN MAINE, 1985
    Hodgman, T. P. and R. T. Bowyer. ,Winter use of arboreal lichens, ASCOMYCETES, by white-tailed deer, ODOCOILEUS VIRGINIANUS, in Maine. Canadian Field Naturalist 99(3):313-316., 1985
    HOEFS, M., AND J. W. THOMSON ,LICHENS FROM THE KLUANE GAME SANCTUARY, S. W. YUKON TERRITORY, 1972
    Salix, Jessie ,Lichens and Their Distribution in Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, 2004
    SCHARF, C. S. ,BIRDS AND MAMMALS AS PASSIVE TRANSPORTERS FOR ALGAE FOUND IN LICHENS, 1978
    Schubloom, Lisa A. ,Lichens as Air Quality Indicators in Three Areas of SW MT: Lichen Floristics and Elemental Analysis, 1995
    THOMSON, J. W., AND G. W. SCOTTER ,LICHENS OF EASTERN AXEL HEIBERG ISLAND AND THE FOSHEIM PENINSULA, ELLESMERE ISLAND, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, 1985
    THOMSON, J. W., AND G. W. SCOTTER ,LICHENS OF THE CAPE PARRY AND MELVILLE HILLS REGIONS, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, 1992
    WONG, P. Y., AND I. M. BRODO ,ROCK-INHABITING LICHENS OF THE FRONTENAC AXIS, ONTARIO, 1973

    The State of Montana produces a number of databases on different subjects that might come in handy one day. You can find a list of them at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Montana.

    Like

    Comment by Daniel Cornwall — March 9, 2008 @ 11:19 am

  2. Daniel,

    Thank you very much for the references! I (and hopefully other readers) will find them very useful! I was unaware of those resources.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 11:37 am

  3. […] Around Des Moines added an interesting post on The lichens at Burgess LakeHere’s a small excerpt […]

    Like

    Pingback by Media Districts Entertainment Blog » The lichens at Burgess Lake — March 9, 2008 @ 11:39 am

  4. I love your blog, Montucky. I can go all over and find mountains and sunsets, but I LOVE visiting here so I can see moss and lichens and other such minutia of nature. Hey, I love fungi – got any of those??? 🙂

    Like

    Comment by barbara — March 9, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  5. Thanks a lot for sharing those photos. I just wonder about those rusty-colour stones. In some areas, the stones don’t contain iron, but are completely covered with lichen looking like rust. It is so amazing. You would never think that the colour might be created by lichens as well.

    Greetings from Germany

    Brigitte

    Like

    Comment by beyenburgerin — March 9, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

  6. I think my favorite shot is the 4th from the top. Stunning!

    Like

    Comment by WordVixen — March 9, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  7. Wow! The readers of Learning in the Great Outdoors, the carnival of environmental education, would love your posts. I hope you will submit a few occasionally!

    http://web.mac.com/terrellshaw/iWeb/Outdoors/

    Like

    Comment by Terrell — March 9, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  8. Beautiful photographs. I find lichens fascinating in their variety of colors and forms from almost leafy to little more than a color stain on the rocks.

    Do you know if this Burgess Lake is where the Burgess Shale with all the fossils was found?

    Like

    Comment by Sara — March 9, 2008 @ 2:50 pm

  9. I’m really lichen this post!

    More great images and textures!

    Like

    Comment by Pinhole — March 9, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

  10. Thanks,Barbara!

    I’ve run across a few fungi, but haven’t photographed very many. I’ll watch for some though.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  11. Brigitte,

    Around here we have a lot rocks with the orange color, but also lichens with that color. I’ve also seen moss that is rust colored. Just more of the amazing things that exist in nature!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 6:08 pm

  12. WordVixen,

    I think I like that photo the best too. Those lichen almost look like a display of jewelry.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 6:10 pm

  13. Terrell,

    I will check out your site. I would be interested in supporting environmental education for kids! I have always kept my site “kid friendly”.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  14. Sara,

    The variety of lichens is amazing. It was fortunate to see so many colorful ones in the area of the lake. I’m sure there are many around that I don’t even recognize as lichen. I remember there were many varieties in the deserts of Arizona, and because they colored the rocks to completely, they were known as “desert varnish”.

    No, this is not the area of the Burgess Shale fossils. I believe that is in British Columbia.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 6:20 pm

  15. Thanks, Pinhole. I’m getting more and more interested in these little plants and will start paying more attention to them.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 6:21 pm

  16. another brilliant showcase!

    Like

    Comment by Sumedh — March 9, 2008 @ 10:27 pm

  17. Thanks, Sumedh! I was lucky to just stumble upon these while hiking. They fascinate me, partly because of their great age.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 9, 2008 @ 11:08 pm

  18. So very beautiful, it has always amazed me these organisms can live on solid rock totally exposed to the elements. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    Like

    Comment by SurvivalTopics.com — March 10, 2008 @ 1:15 am

  19. Yes, they are amazing! I also find it interesting that there ae so many with bright colors, as though they were advertising their existence. Thanks for visiting! (BTW, I like your site!)

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 10, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  20. The textures and patterns are wonderful in these Terry, they definitely have a beautiful abstract feel them, great job 🙂

    Like

    Comment by bernie kasper — March 10, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  21. Bernie,

    Yes, some of the reminded me of abstract art, which I understand about as much as I do lichens. Quite an array of colors!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 10, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  22. Wow, if that does not look like a painters pallet I just do not know what does. Your mind-reading again… I’m amazed at how our rock formations are so similar. I’ve been playing with a really similar idea too. I love this line up. It only goes to show that beautiful does not only apply to big when your talking about natures show.

    Like

    Comment by aullori — March 10, 2008 @ 12:31 pm

  23. Lori,

    Yes, I’ve also noted a lot of similarities between our areas. Of course, we’re actually not all that far apart. It would be very interesting to see some of these from your area too. You’re so right about beauty in nature: it’s found in strange places and all sizes!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 10, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  24. Very interesting photos. I think the 7th one from the top is my favorite. I like the mix of colors in that particular shot.
    You really bring out the beauty of moss and lichen in your photos.

    Like

    Comment by AK_Adventurer — March 10, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

  25. Luckily, the camera saw these the same way I did. Sometimes it’s very difficult for me to get a photo that looks exactly the way the scene looked to my eye. Usually there’s more there than I can capture.

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 10, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

  26. this is a great reference…my daughter is reading Julie of the Wolves and it constantly refers to lichens in the story. now I can show her what that is!!

    Like

    Comment by silken — March 12, 2008 @ 7:17 am

  27. Silken,

    That’s great! I’m glad the post will be useful to her!

    Like

    Comment by montucky — March 12, 2008 @ 9:03 am

  28. her response to the lichens…

    “yuck!”

    Like

    Comment by silken — March 15, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  29. … [Trackback]

    […] Read More here: montucky.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/the-lichens-at-burgess-lake/ […]

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