Saturday, November 9, 2013

Likin' Lichens!

On March 9, 2013, Dr. Gary Coté conducted a Lichen Walk through Wildwood Park and shared the location and description of several species. He had pointed out several to me before then, and I had begun to see that lichens were more than just some green stuff on the trunks of some trees so I was eager to look for more. We were joined by others who were ready for the hunt on a cold, sunny day.

Several folks, young and old, lined up along the fence to find lichens growing there. Because I had seen those species, I stood back to allow others to take a close look at the wooden rails, and I got  a few pictures of the group.

As we walked along the paved bike path, Gary showed us bright orange lichens that like to grow on sidewalks and other hard surfaces - Sidewalk Firedot (Caloplaca feracissima). The location makes the name easy to remember.

We also found some growing on a rock. The name doesn't change just because the location does!

We found a tree that looked as if its trunk had been sprinkled with a bright yellow powder. Dr. Coté said that we had found Lemon Lichen (Candelaria concolor). Yes, that was also a very descriptive name.

We found one more lichen that I had seen before but had not known the name - Rim Lichen (Lecanora). It was on a tree limb and was easy to spot because it had a circle of white around it - another easy to remember name.

Walking through Wildwood Park with a camera is always pleasant, but that day was especially fun because I shared it with others who were interested in making new discoveries and with a knowledgeable guide to explain what we had found.

Just recently, I saw a tiny chunk of lichen on a fence rail near the tunnel entrance. It was moving - but a lichen is not an animal! Then I remembered the debris-carrying larva of the Green Lacewing (Chrysopidae). Those little critters cover themselves with lichen pieces  - makes wonderful camouflage - how clever!

                                              Yes, I'm likin' lichens even more than ever!!!

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