Montana Outdoors

April 20, 2013

Brown-eyed Sunshine

Filed under: Lichens — Tags: , , — montucky @ 7:47 pm

Brown-eyed Sunshine

Brown-eyed Sunshine ~ Vulpicida canadensis ~ Cetraria canadensis

In today’s steady rain, a couple of miles up Buffalo Bill Creek, the only “sunshine” I saw was this brightly colored lichen. Its yellow color is derived from two poisonous substances, pinastric and vulpinic acids which occur only in lichens and are thought to deter grazing by insects and other invertebrates. Pretty, isn’t it!



  1. Who would think that a lichen would be so smart? And pretty too.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — April 20, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

  2. Oh my gosh, that is beautiful. This crazy old world just never stops surprising me. I’m so glad you’re there to photograph and share it with us… Brown-eyed Sunshine… love that.


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — April 20, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

    • I love the name too. So fitting, especially on a rainy day.

      Yes, there seems to be something new every day. Or perhaps something new is released to our perception every day.


      Comment by montucky — April 20, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

      • Oh, I like that … “released to our perception….”


        Comment by Teresa Evangeline — April 20, 2013 @ 8:17 pm

        • I have a feeling Teresa, that there is much that nature would teach us when we are ready.


          Comment by montucky — April 20, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

  3. Hard to miss that one in the forest.


    Comment by knightofswords — April 20, 2013 @ 8:09 pm

  4. Wow, never heard of that before, very pretty. And I guess poison would be a good deterrent.


    Comment by Candace — April 20, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

    • I’m afraid that I know very little about lichens, but there are sure a lot of them around here. Perhaps I should start learning. I brought back more photos of some other and I will post them soon for anyone interested.


      Comment by montucky — April 20, 2013 @ 11:46 pm

  5. Beautiful and interesting things lichens, thanks for sharing this one. I’m going to a site tomorrow which boasts some of the best lichen assemblages in the UK, looking forward to seeing them.


    Comment by Mike Howe — April 21, 2013 @ 4:36 am

    • I really should study lichen much more than I have. They are abundant here.

      I saw your post about the bad weather. What a pretty place that is though!


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 7:27 pm

  6. What a wonderful world…with all kinds of surprises.


    Comment by seekraz — April 21, 2013 @ 6:45 am

  7. That’s a beautiful lichen-and a great shot of it! I know how small these can be. They aren’t exactly the easiest things to photograph.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — April 21, 2013 @ 7:27 am

    • I photographed quite a few of them on that trip. I’ll post them a little later.


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

  8. That is gorgeous. I wondered what it was at first since it was so shriveled. I love lichens. You have to really look for them. You found a keeper!


    Comment by roberta — April 21, 2013 @ 7:36 am

    • Yes, I think that’s a keeper. One of the most colorful lichens and I love the name.


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 7:30 pm

  9. Yes, very!


    Comment by kcjewel — April 21, 2013 @ 8:22 am

  10. Every time you post a lichen or fungus, I think I should look around and see if we have some. I know there are a few that attach to some of the trees. I need to look more closely – mushrooms sort of pop up and demand attention, but lichens seem more quiet and retiring.


    Comment by shoreacres — April 21, 2013 @ 5:03 pm

    • Lichens seem to be the Rodney Dangerfields of the outdoor world. I don’t know why we pay so little attention to them. Many are quite beneficial, especially for the wildlife.


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

  11. What a gorgeous lichen. I am also very pleased with the education you provided with the photo. Thanks. 🙂


    Comment by jomegat — April 21, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

    • There was good information about it in my favorite book on plants. I think the authors liked it especially too.


      Comment by montucky — April 21, 2013 @ 7:33 pm

  12. That’s amazing and very pretty. 🙂


    Comment by Val — April 23, 2013 @ 3:31 pm

    • I consider it the prettiest of the lichens, which are all amazing life forms.


      Comment by montucky — April 23, 2013 @ 8:57 pm

  13. That’s beautiful! I love you!


    Comment by Juls — April 24, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

  14. Whoa! That’s quite exotic!


    Comment by Watching Seasons — April 25, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

  15. When seeing from here far away, I find its color exceptional. Your macro is awesome.


    Comment by Sartenada — April 25, 2013 @ 11:41 pm

    • Thanks. I’m used to seeing that intensity of color in flowers, but not in lichens.


      Comment by montucky — April 26, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

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