Montana Outdoors

January 31, 2016

Decorated glass

Either I have not seen lichens growing on glass before or just not noticed them, but today an old bottle caught my eye. It not only is nicely decorated with lichen, but there are two different kinds of them on it. I wonder if perhaps there may be a little greenhouse heating effect inside the bottle, making the glass a little warmer than the surrounding air because the lichens seem to be extraordinarily robust. (The decorated bottle was so pretty that I wanted to take it home, but I certainly couldn’t destroy their little world.)

lichen on bottle

lichen on bottle

lichen on bottle

Nearby there frost crystals on some barberry leaves, but I saw no frost on the bottle.

frost crystal



  1. That’s a great find. I don’t recall ever seeing lichen on glass either.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — January 31, 2016 @ 7:53 pm

    • It was actually the colony of lichens that caught my eye, before I noticed that it was on a glass surface.


      Comment by montucky — January 31, 2016 @ 8:14 pm

  2. Nature’s resilience astounds me so often. As much as I despise pollution, I never imagined I’d see lichen growing on discarded rubbish.


    Comment by de Wets Wild — January 31, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

    • I have often wondered about the surfaces on which lichen live, but had never considered glass.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 31, 2016 @ 8:15 pm

  3. amazing!


    Comment by Kinzel, Chad — January 31, 2016 @ 8:00 pm

  4. As much as I hate garbage in nature, this is beautiful. It is incredible how nature just takes over whatever we leave behind.


    Comment by Oleksandra Budna — January 31, 2016 @ 8:17 pm

    • I also hate to see rubbish strewn around and there was no other around this place, but the realization that the lichen anchored to the glass fascinated me.


      Comment by montucky — January 31, 2016 @ 8:21 pm

  5. Lichens are so common at the marinas, I hardly pay attention to them. I should, because my impression always has been that they’ll grow on metal ramps, and even fiberglass, and it just seemed normal. Maybe it isn’t — or, perhaps they’re growing in some other medium, like wooden stringers under the metal gangways. Fiberglass would be as smooth as glass — interesting. I’ll pay more attention!


    Comment by shoreacres — January 31, 2016 @ 9:15 pm

    • I see them most often on trees or rocks or just earth and haven’t noticed them on anything as smooth as glass or metal. I searched my photo archives and found no pictures of them on anything that wasn’t a natural substance. I just haven’t been paying attention!


      Comment by montucky — January 31, 2016 @ 9:45 pm

  6. What a fascinating mini-world! Great pictures of tiny things up close!


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 31, 2016 @ 9:42 pm

    • They do live in their own tiny worlds, like little parks or gardens and among other tiny life forms. Makes you think!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 31, 2016 @ 9:50 pm

      • Like a rock garden on another scale. I could imagine a novel – might be a love story with adventure – set in this world. Those pie-like fungus things could be Toronto’s CN Tower or Seattle’s Space Needle. Microbes in Love. Maybe one is trying to abseil from the tower and the other is trying to talk him/her out of it. Ah! The wheels are turning. The book cover is already done. Just the story needs to be written.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — February 1, 2016 @ 10:52 am

        • There you go, Anneli! Your muse has spoken!
          For me that bottle connotes things from the past and many things that have happened over the years while it progressed to the present condition.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — February 1, 2016 @ 10:57 am

  7. I love the amazing, and wonderful detail you captured.


    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — February 1, 2016 @ 1:05 am

    • The dark glass made a great contrast to the lichen living on it. It’s always worth trying for a close-up: sometimes they work out!


      Comment by montucky — February 1, 2016 @ 10:35 am

  8. I’ve heard of lichens growing on the stained glass windows of the great cathedrals in Europe, but I’ve never seen them on glass personally. When they grow on glass they can etch it, so they are the bane of the cathedral caretakers.
    If that bottle could be dated that would give you a fair idea of how fast those lichens grew.


    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — February 1, 2016 @ 3:57 am

    • Without disturbing it too much, I would guess it’s from the 70’s before cans were popular and before screw tops. I was surprised to see the club lichens on it because I thought they were much slower growing.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 1, 2016 @ 10:47 am

  9. I’ve never seen lichen on a glass bottle before, or on any kind of glass for that matter! What an interesting little world to discover. The frost crystals are beautiful too. Great photos, Terry. 🙂


    Comment by Jane — February 1, 2016 @ 4:18 am

    • I can’t remember seeing lichens on glass before, but when I first saw this one I was attracted to the colors and patterns before it occurred to me that it was lichens on glass.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by montucky — February 1, 2016 @ 10:49 am

  10. Beautiful! I found a website from Australia that talks about ‘Vitricolous lichens’ which is what they call the ones that grow on glass.

    The other kind of glass ‘rubbish’ that I love is sea glass.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Margie — February 1, 2016 @ 12:59 pm

  11. Hi Montucky, Wonderful close-ups. Interesting about the bottle. Have a super good day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — February 1, 2016 @ 5:15 pm

    • Yes, interesting. I have found that it isn’t rare, but I had never noticed it before.


      Comment by montucky — February 1, 2016 @ 8:40 pm

  12. Excellent photos. Last photo is my favorite.


    Comment by Sartenada — February 2, 2016 @ 12:39 am

    • Just that single crystal on a whole leaf. I thought that strange.


      Comment by montucky — February 2, 2016 @ 9:49 am

  13. How beautiful! I’ve never seen glass being reclaimed by nature in this way before. And snowflakes are exquisite when seen in close-up!


    Comment by Jo Woolf — February 2, 2016 @ 4:19 am

    • Lichens on glass were new to me too, but I have found now that it isn’t all that rare. I really liked the contrast of color and texture they made.


      Comment by montucky — February 2, 2016 @ 9:50 am

  14. So cool! What a little treasure you found.


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — February 2, 2016 @ 8:36 am

    • Interesting how nature can turn trash into treasure, isn’t it!


      Comment by montucky — February 2, 2016 @ 9:51 am

      • Sure is! I never would have thought to look for lichen on a piece of trash like that bottle. Now maybe, there would be nature UNDER it in the form of little insects. 😉


        Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — February 2, 2016 @ 11:03 am

        • Due to the looks of the plac where it sits, I’d bet there were creatures in the ground too. It’s out of the way though and I’ve decided i wouldn’t disturb the little ecology going on there. It has obviously been there for a long time and hopefully won’t be disturbed.


          Comment by montucky — February 2, 2016 @ 7:34 pm

  15. Those frost crystals are beautiful. That’s so cool that there are so many other little worlds going on in the big world.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — February 3, 2016 @ 7:08 pm

    • Makes me wonder what else I’m missing! I love the little lichens: unlike the plants that we are familiar with, they seem to thrive on winter weather. They are indeed in their own little world.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 3, 2016 @ 8:12 pm

  16. What a great find.
    I’ve not seen the stemmed lichen in the third image before. Definitely a new one for me.

    I find the frost patterns absolutely amazing and always enjoy the images as I don’t see them here (in Aust.).

    I did get up early and capture a foggy morning over the rooftops a week ago (when I had no internet). Strange view in mid-summer.


    Comment by Vicki — February 8, 2016 @ 8:46 pm

    • Those little stemmed lichens are “club” lichens and most are about 1/10th the size of golf tees.
      Fog in mid summer would be inviting! I remember how I loved it when we had a cool, rainy day in mid summer when I lived in the Arizona desert.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — February 8, 2016 @ 9:38 pm

  17. marble pet memorials

    Decorated glass | Montana Outdoors


    Trackback by marble pet memorials — April 7, 2016 @ 1:12 am

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