Montana Outdoors

March 3, 2018

Colorful lichens

Filed under: Lichens — Tags: — montucky @ 9:08 pm

Today while loitering among the rocks on a nearly vertical cliffy area with a southern exposure (the only place around not still covered with snow), I could see a variety of tiny lichen colonies and was struck by the variety and sometimes the intensity of their individual colors. I wish I understood the purpose of those colors if indeed there is one.

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20 Comments »

  1. Loitering is a great way of discovering stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Malcolm R. Campbell — March 3, 2018 @ 9:13 pm

  2. Great stuff!

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Harold Rhenisch — March 3, 2018 @ 9:36 pm

  3. They look almost other worldly.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candice — March 3, 2018 @ 10:04 pm

    • They do. They exist and flourish outside of the standards usually accepted and understood for flora and fauna.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — March 3, 2018 @ 10:13 pm

  4. Colour, texture, and design. An artist couldn’t have done better if he tried.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — March 3, 2018 @ 10:53 pm

  5. Amazing!
    I’ve never seen such a diverse array – maybe the colours are Mother Nature’s way of brightening and uplifting the landscape after the long months of all white 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — March 4, 2018 @ 6:37 am

    • That may well be… or a reward for making the effort to look closely at little things.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — March 4, 2018 @ 9:02 am

  6. I especially like that last photo. It looks like a tiny salad, served up on a leaf platter. It seems to be a foliose lichen — yes? I’ve been trying to get my mind around the terms, since I did get back to the nature center and now have photos of what might be two lichens. On the other hand, it might be one, with different parts. I don’t have a clue. But part of it is bright orange, which ought to make tracking it down easier! I did finally figure out what the cup lichens in the 5th photo remind me of — a Dr. Seuss character! The one with the elephant-like trunk!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — March 4, 2018 @ 7:43 pm

    • I’m not sure what that lichen is either. I keep finding dozens of different ones but haven’t spent a lot of time trying to ID them. My favorite plant book has a lichen section, but only a couple dozen species in it.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — March 4, 2018 @ 8:37 pm

      • I’ve been reading a book on Enchanted Rock state natural area here in Texas, and in the section on lichens the author says that he didn’t include more specific information about the various species because without a microscope, lab, and so on, it’s impossible for anyone to ID them perfectly anyway. He said if you can get the family and the genus, you can pat yourself on the back!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by shoreacres — March 4, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

        • That makes me feel better! I should know more, but I my interest in lichens usually peaks in late winter and by the time I get started researching them, the new growth of wildflowers begins and the hiking trails lose their snow and I don’t get any further.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — March 4, 2018 @ 8:44 pm

  7. Amazing worlds!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — March 8, 2018 @ 6:53 pm

    • The seem to be at the peak of their reproductive cycle right now. Nearly all are fruiting. Theirs is an interesting little world!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — March 8, 2018 @ 8:37 pm

  8. Great shots .. I’ve never thought about the purpose of the colours, must be a reason 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — March 9, 2018 @ 11:25 am

  9. We saw a bunch of lichen on a hike a couple days ago and I thought of you. I’ll post them soon, I didn’t do macros, though, like you did. You’re giving me a new appreciation for lichen.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Candace — March 9, 2018 @ 6:57 pm

    • There must be a species of lichen for every type of climate or micro-climate on Earth. They are incredible little beings. It will be interesting to see what you found!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — March 9, 2018 @ 8:45 pm


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