Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lichens Revealed

At first glance November is a dark month, the grey and black trees and the brown meadows and fields, usually with no flowers left in bloom and few birds braving the cooler weather. It's a challenge to get photographs that portray the season. But if you look closely, many things are revealed. One of my favourites is the lichen on the big boulders of the fencerow.

Almost everywhere I go exploring I find old stone fencerows, now lost in the woods, the boundaries of some long forgotten fields. This one is right in our own yard, where we have a stone fencerow providing background for the garden.

Lichens are one of the plant groups I've never learned to identify, but maybe I'll make it a new project. They are actually two plants, a fungus and an algae, living in a co-operative or 'symbiotic' relationship where the algal partner brings the ability to photosynthesize, helping the fungus survive.

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