Montana Outdoors

January 5, 2019

A bit of color in the winter landscape

Filed under: Lichens, Winter — Tags: , , , — montucky @ 10:33 pm

There are no flowers blooming here this time of year, but the Pixie Cup Lichen seem to be quite happy in their winter home.

Pixie Cup Lichen *

Pixie Cup Lichen *

Pixie Cup Lichen *

Pixie Cup Lichen *

Pixie Cup Lichen *

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56 Comments »

  1. They make a beautiful substitute for the flowers we can’t have just now.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 5, 2019 @ 10:56 pm

  2. What a lovely little splash of colour (and surprising to see in a lichen) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Vicki — January 5, 2019 @ 11:24 pm

    • Yes, the color is very bright, but the largest in the photos is only about the size of a pencil lead. Theirs is a very tiny but very beautiful world.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 5, 2019 @ 11:33 pm

  3. Looks a bit like coral at the bottom of the ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by learningtolovewinterblog — January 5, 2019 @ 11:46 pm

  4. As pretty as a flower!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by centralohionature — January 6, 2019 @ 6:17 am

    • I think so too. Very hardy little things too. We had freezing rain last night so they would be covered with ice this morning, and probably just as happy..

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2019 @ 9:51 am

  5. How wonderful! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Pit — January 6, 2019 @ 6:53 am

  6. Those are beautiful lichens, Montucky! They are as beautiful as flowers.

    There is a good book you might like, “Forests of Lilliput; The Realm of Mosses and Lichens” by John H. Bland

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Lavinia Ross — January 6, 2019 @ 10:21 am

    • I think they are beautiful too. Thank you for the reference to the book. I made notice of it and will look for it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2019 @ 8:10 pm

  7. These tiny flowers on the lichens are so pretty! Thank you for providing some colour in my life right now where I’m facing quite a few difficulties.

    Like

    Comment by juliemjm — January 6, 2019 @ 1:16 pm

    • I’m glad that you enjoyed seeing the lichens. The beauty of the natural world constantly helps keep me keep things in their proper perspective and provides a sort of calm when it is so much needed.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2019 @ 8:21 pm

  8. You’ve got a great macro lens and a steady hand. I know how small these lichens are!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by New Hampshire Garden Solutions — January 6, 2019 @ 3:49 pm

    • I do like that lens. I used it for many hears on a D80 and when I upgraded to a D7100 it seems to work even better. For lichens and most wildflowers I have been using the head from a very old table top tripod, only using just two 4″ legs because of the odd angles that I usually encounter. It helps a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2019 @ 8:30 pm

  9. Very nice! Love the detail and colors! Enjoyed seeing them!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Reed Andariese — January 6, 2019 @ 5:33 pm

    • I don’t understand what the purpose of the color is, but it’s so vivid.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2019 @ 8:24 pm

  10. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by M.B. Henry — January 6, 2019 @ 7:17 pm

    • This species lives with several other lichen species and a multitude of tiny mosses in their own little natural gardens. Very pleasant to see and photograph!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 6, 2019 @ 8:33 pm

      • So amazing! And what a good eye for your photos of them too 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by M.B. Henry — January 6, 2019 @ 8:57 pm

        • With your naked eye you can see just enough to make you ask a question that a macro lens will answer, and the results are usually very pretty!

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by montucky — January 6, 2019 @ 10:04 pm

  11. Miniature treasures!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by de Wets Wild — January 6, 2019 @ 8:51 pm

  12. Gorgeous colour! We have those too, or similar ones, and they make such a lovely display when most of the landscape is dull. Miniature forests!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jo Woolf — January 7, 2019 @ 2:05 am

    • Yes, they are lovely. They are so small though that they don’t receive a lot of general attention.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2019 @ 11:38 am

  13. What colorful, tiny treasures to find!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by bayphotosbydonna — January 7, 2019 @ 8:19 am

  14. What fabulous photos of a true wonder. The color is just spectacular. Isn’t it interesting how many plants choose red for their wintertime dress? I’m think especially of our possumhaw and yaupon, but there are several others that aren’t so obvious: some willows turn red if the conditions are right, and the new growth of peppervine, that’s already started, can be bright red. I like that hint about the tripod, too. For ground-level subjects, where there can be some unevenness, it sounds like it would be just the ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by shoreacres — January 7, 2019 @ 9:08 am

    • I don’t know if it has anything to do with why red is so prevalent in winter, but it does attract heat.
      For very close shots, the macro lens that I use has an extremely shallow depth of field and while a fast shutter speed will stop movement, any forward or back motion will affect focus, so I must have a steady camera. Regular tripods are useless on cliffy. rock terrain, but a small bipod does pretty well, sometimes even braced with tree branches, and of course close shots require using the “belly” position.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2019 @ 11:56 am

  15. It’s really amazing, worlds within worlds. I’m sure most of us would scarcely notice them and walk right by.

    Liked by 2 people

    Comment by Candace — January 7, 2019 @ 6:02 pm

    • I think most do not notice them: the color is barely discernible when you are standing erect. I’m thankful for the macro lens.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2019 @ 8:01 pm

  16. Red-fruited Pixie Cups (Cladonia pleurota) bring smiles to my face due to their goblet formation topped with those outlandish caps along the margins. You have so many comments on the topic, Montucky. How do you do it?

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by lmachayes — January 7, 2019 @ 10:11 pm

    • I love to see them too. Every year I get as excited seeing them as when I saw them the very first time.
      Montana Outdoors is now starting on it’s 14th year, and for the whole time I have done my best to show the beautiful things that I encounter in the world away from the cities (which in my case is in about 2000 square miles of the western Montana back country). Many of those who comment here are folks who have followed and enjoyed each others blogs for much of the past decade. Over that time the blog has had 545,000 views and since all of the 7,500 photos I have posted also reside on my Flickr site they have also had another 650,000 views there. It is exciting and stimulating and gratifying to know that so many people in today’s hectic world still enjoy seeing the beautiful things in the natural world; the wild country; and that keeps me going.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 7, 2019 @ 11:38 pm

  17. Way back in college, I took a course in bryophytes and enjoyed it quite a lot. I remember roaming the forest floor and rocky areas in search of the little things. These photos are lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Scott Thomas Photography — January 8, 2019 @ 8:07 am

    • It’s as though they have a world within the world, largely overlooked because of their size and habitat.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2019 @ 9:58 am

  18. Really enjoyed seeing this curious lichen, montucky. We’ve had a lot of rain lately, this lovely look at the ground floor just reminded me to look more closely at the lichen. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Jet Eliot — January 8, 2019 @ 7:24 pm

    • Lichen are interesting and I enjoy seeing them, but this species especially. It and it’s surroundings are things for the imagination and fantasies.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by montucky — January 8, 2019 @ 9:40 pm

  19. Very beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by annicaaktiv — January 9, 2019 @ 1:25 pm

  20. Hi Montucky, What jewels! Superb photographs of the little red gems. Such a contrast to that snowy landscape. Have a wonderful afternoon and evening!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 9, 2019 @ 2:21 pm

    • Yes, the tiny lichen are a contrast to just about everything else around. A refreshing break once in awhile!

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 9, 2019 @ 8:44 pm

  21. Gosh it does seem more than happy .. love the splash of red 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Julie@frogpondfarm — January 10, 2019 @ 12:53 am

  22. Wow. In winter and so beautiful. I am really glad that You presented it. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Sartenada — January 15, 2019 @ 1:36 am

  23. It’s great to have such a rich winter red. I’m reminded of a melted red candle.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — January 17, 2019 @ 9:14 pm

    • I wish there were more of that color around. It has been snowing now for 15 hours and just about everything outside is white.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 17, 2019 @ 11:21 pm

      • Then happy snow to you! Down here in Austin we’d be happy to get some, just for a day, to see the world blanketed in white.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Steve Schwartzman — January 18, 2019 @ 7:03 am

        • Be careful what you wish for. I just spent 4 hours with a snow blower plowing out a friend’s place. I’m tired and soaked with sweat.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — January 18, 2019 @ 3:48 pm

  24. I love this ‘fairy size world’! Your photo reminded me that my camera with the macro lens didn’t make the trip south this year. That is the downside of commuting in a really small 2 seater car…

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Margy — January 24, 2019 @ 12:26 pm

    • I am lost if I’m without the macro lens, although for weight reasons I don’t always have that camera with me.

      Like

      Comment by montucky — January 24, 2019 @ 11:20 pm

      • That is what I am struggling with too. Right now I have three cameras and the one with the macro lens is 15 years old, large and heavy. I use my ‘pocket camera’ like other people use their smart phones. Then there is my camera with the excellent zoom lens, but it is a fixed lens camera. I can’t honestly say I have mastered the capabilities of any of them! I think I need to simplify this part of my life!

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by Margy — January 25, 2019 @ 9:15 am

        • I think we all need to simplify our lives, but unfortunately the new technology that is supposed to help us do that is getting more and more complicated.

          Like

          Comment by montucky — January 25, 2019 @ 9:04 pm


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