Saturday, February 3, 2007

Lichen Love

Quite an assortment of lichens grow on the north side of the 30 year old cedar shake roof on our a-frame. I can pick out seven different kinds. One of them is the pixie cup, some sort of Cladonia("branched"). Our roof is quite a habitat for all sorts of things along with lichens--moss, bugs, and even bats. In the spring Northern Flickers come tapping for the bugs. Try that with asphalt! (It doesn't leak either.)
This pretty rosette of a crustose lichen is growing on a small chunk of basalt from the exposed north side of Eagle Point. It looks like it is Bull's Eye Placopsis(resembling a flat round plate) gelida(frosty). I "love" lichens because they are small and colorful. And then there is their amazing symbiotic relationship--"lichen" is not a singular entity, it is a relationship of fungus and algae, expressed in a wonderful myriad of form and color.
Reference: Mosses, Lichens and Ferns of Northwest North America, by Dale Vitt, Janet Marsh, Robin Bovey, Lone Pine, 1988. (great field guide!)

No comments: