Montana Outdoors

January 26, 2016

“Flowers” in January

Filed under: Lichens, Winter — Tags: , , — montucky @ 9:59 pm

The brightest things in the forest today were cup lichens ~ Cladonia pleurota. They are tiny but their fruit is bright red.

Cladonia pleurota ~ lichen

Cladonia pleurota ~ lichen

Cladonia pleurota

Cladonia pleurota ~ lichen

Cladonia pleurota

Cladonia pleurota

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28 Comments »

  1. They are tiny but very interesting and pretty in their own way. Thanks for the wonderful close-up! I’m very fond of lichens. I haven’t seen colourful fruiting bodies like that on any of my wanders here.

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    Comment by Jane — January 27, 2016 @ 3:40 am

    • This was the first that I’ve seen the color too. The fruit is so small it’s easy to miss. I was surprised by the depth of the color!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2016 @ 10:15 am

  2. Beautiful! You’ve god a good macro lens!

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    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — January 27, 2016 @ 3:42 am

    • Thanks. Actually I’m experimenting with close ups with a different camera set up (and trying to remember what I’ve forgotten about close-up photography during the winter). These were taken with a 10 – 30mm lens and a 10mm extension tube. It will take awhile.

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      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2016 @ 10:20 am

  3. What a beautiful bit of color in winter …. have never seen these …. the world is such a magical place, right there in nature …

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    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — January 27, 2016 @ 4:31 am

    • They are so small they are easy to miss. I had my nose to the ground looking at some other lichens when I noticed the color. Seems many lichens live in their own miniature world!

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      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2016 @ 10:23 am

  4. What a fascinating plant. In the first photo, are those more fruits forming along the edge of the cup? They must be rather unusual. I went looking for more information, and there isn’t much. When I searched for Cladonia pleurota on the USDA map, it was completely blank — as though these little beauties don’t live here. Well, we know better than that! (Of course, my search technique sometimes isn’t the best!)

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    Comment by shoreacres — January 27, 2016 @ 8:20 am

    • They are indeed fascinating. This was the first time that I’ve noticed them fruiting, but the fruits are so small they are easy to miss. From what I could find out, the fruit will form all around the rims of the cup and I plan to return to that site in another week and see if more have developed. The ones with fruit were on the shady side of a sharp rocky ridge, not on the sunny side. I’ve had difficulty finding much information on specific lichens too. there is a small section in my favorite wildflower book devoted to lichens of this region and it at least gives me clues.

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      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2016 @ 10:32 am

  5. Great find and wonderful pictures. So interesting!

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    Comment by Mary — January 27, 2016 @ 10:18 am

    • Thanks! They are fascinating to me. It’s as though they live in a separate miniature world of their own, one that’s impossible to observe without magnification.

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      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2016 @ 10:34 am

  6. Very Nice! Liked them a lot! Interesting views and colors!

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    Comment by Reed Andariese — January 27, 2016 @ 2:37 pm

    • They are interesting little things! Takes magnification to see much of them though. the photos could be better but I’m experimenting with a new camera and I can either figure it out or just use my old camera for close ups, whichever happens first.

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      Comment by montucky — January 27, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

  7. Hi Montucky, Neat pictures of the little plants. Glad you shared. Have an especially good day tomorrow!

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    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 27, 2016 @ 9:25 pm

  8. Wonderful pictures. I’ve always wanted to see cup lichens for myself ever since I began seeing others posting about them. I haven’t figured out quite where to look though. Maybe I’m too impatient to find them.

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    Comment by Ratty — January 28, 2016 @ 3:15 am

    • It helps to keep your nose in the dirt Ratty: they are very small. I see them most often in steep, rocky areas on the shady side, usually in the company of tiny mosses. I hope you can find them: they are in beautiful settings and are very interesting. About 1/5th the size of a golf tee but every once in awhile one will stand up away from its colony and is easier to spot.

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      Comment by montucky — January 28, 2016 @ 10:17 am

  9. Big or small, bright color says it all! 🙂 I especially love the last photo, Terry, beautiful!

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    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — January 29, 2016 @ 3:59 pm

  10. Beautiful, and brilliantly photographed as always!

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    Comment by Jo Woolf — January 30, 2016 @ 2:45 am

    • Thanks Jo. There is a tiny world that hasn’t been thoroughly explored. I sometimes see just a part of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2016 @ 10:30 am

  11. Beautiful work with the camera!! Love the pictures. Such amazing color combination ❤

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    Comment by Lucy — January 30, 2016 @ 4:52 am

    • Thank you! Lichens and mosses create their own little world and it’s usually one of color and texture, even in the middle of winter when there is little color elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2016 @ 10:32 am

  12. I’ve never seen anything like that, pretty!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — January 30, 2016 @ 2:23 pm

    • I don’t remember this kind of lichen in Arizona, but they are common here although usually overlooked. I love the tiny worlds in which they live.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 30, 2016 @ 8:48 pm

  13. Like you’re other commenters, I’ve never seen such a rich red in a lichen.

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    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — January 31, 2016 @ 7:56 pm

    • I was aware that some bore red fruiting bodies, but I had never seen them myself. Amazing little world, theirs!

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      Comment by montucky — January 31, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

  14. Red colors are magical. Great set of beautiful photos.

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    Comment by Sartenada — February 2, 2016 @ 12:40 am

    • Nature has a wonderful way of displaying red colors!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — February 2, 2016 @ 9:47 am


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