Montana Outdoors

July 11, 2017

An oddity

Filed under: Lichens — Tags: — montucky @ 9:26 pm

Today I hiked for a short distance on part of USFS trail 223 starting at the old ferry landing at the fourteen mile bridge on Montana Hwy 135. The start of the trail roughly follows the course of a small unnamed creek and then ascends a hill overlooking the Clark Fork river. It is heavily forested and along the creek there is also quite dense brush. In a tangle of undergrowth and vines along that part of the trail I noticed a patch of bright white barely showing through the foliage just ten feet or so off the trail.

White Crust Lichen

Upon investigating and removing a little dead plant matter I could see a large (1 foot across) patch of pure white which I could only guess to be a white crust lichen, something I’ve never seen before. It is on the end of an old log about two feet in diameter that had fallen and had been sawed off to clear the trail probably several decades ago.

White Crust Lichen

I didn’t disturb it, but I did touch it and it was hard, like plastic. In a close up photo, what appears in the first two pictures as bright spots and really tiny drops of liquid, possibly from condensation during the night (we haven’t had rain in weeks). The even spacing of the drops also made me wonder if perhaps it had exuded from the lichen (if that’s what it is) itself. So far I haven’t been able to find any information on it.

White Crust Lichen

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Filed under: Wildflowers — Tags: , — montucky @ 5:06 pm

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Showy Milkweed ~ Asclepias speciosa and friend

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