Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Valley Oak Branches in Summer


I showed some lichen earlier in the year, and here you can see it steadily holding on even after months and months without rainfall. It is harmless to this magnificent Valley Oak (Qurecus lobata), which was an important source of acorns for the Pomo people. The dark green moss on its bark gives added contrast in the range of textures and colors.

ValleyOakBranches Jigsaw PuzzleValleyOakBranches Jigsaw Puzzle

13 comments:

Hilda said...

I love big old trees with lichen and vines! My favorite tree at the university where I work is dripping with vines. I don't think it's a parasite either — the tree has been there since the 1950s.

Marylène said...

Is it the same kind of moss that grows everywhere in Louisiana and is calle Spanish moss there ?
It makes incredible and also a little creepy landscapes !

Meead S. said...

It seems so big and old.

Sara N said...

Hi Elaine,I have came back from Mecca and lost my over 1000 photos because of a mistake in my camera.I try to recover them...
By your this photo I remembered the picture that I took from Date trees in Saudi Arabia.I wish to have them again and show you and others how was Hajj.

Saretta said...

Do they ever just fall down on a passerby's head? Looks like they might!

Z said...

Yeah, I'm thinking Spanish moss as well...

Rambling Round in Selma Alabama has had a few posts about it:
http://selmaala.blogspot.com/search?q=spanish+moss

Virginia said...

LIke your photo E, I am thinking Spanish Moss too.
I am surprised you have it in Calf. I thought it only grew in deep south. Don't think I have ever seen a photo of it anywhere else. Interesting!

USelaine said...

Hilda - I love old survivors too. They are a world unto themselves.

Marylene, Z, Virginia - Just to be clear, the plant called Spanish Moss is really a lichen, not a moss, in spite of its name. (I love moss too!) The lichen pictured here is commonly called Old Man's Beard, and is a relative of Spanish Moss. Click on the highlighted words in this post for more information. They are both "shrubby" forms called "fruticose" lichens. Also, please click on the highlighted text of the original post to see my earlier examples and explanations. I LOVE LICHENS! 8^)

Meead - Yes, our oaks can live a long time. They are among my favorite trees.

Sara - I'm so sorry to hear that you might have lost your Hajj photos! It would be wonderful to see from a personal point of view, instead of a textbook or news report. I hope you can recover them. I'm glad you are safely home too.

Saretta - They attach to the tree bark pretty well, but if the bark peels off, so do they. Sometimes a strong wind or squirrels can bring bits down, but it's nothing to worry about.

Virginia - Another point about Old Man's Beard is that it only grows where the air is clean, so you won't see it in cities so much.

Thank you all for your interest. I find lichens fascinating, especially since they are a combination of fungus and algae, not mosses at all! You'll see how silly I can get on the subject if you link through to those previous posts.

Marylène said...

I like lichens too, thet are one of the most amazing "form if life" found in nature.They will outlive many others.
One of my friends payed part of his studies by collecting.....lichen on trees in his home region of Massif Central. Not the same kind you showed but the little crispy one that grows in undergrowth. It is paid by weight (at a nice price though), so you can imagine the numbers of huge bags you need to get to make money out of it.
I am sure you know its use : it is one of the mandatory compoments of perfumes, helps stabilize the perfume, make it last.

USelaine said...

That's great information, Marylene. Thank you!

JM said...

I love those lichens! Unfortunatelly we don't have them around here...

Ming the Merciless said...

Are lichens like Spanish Moss?

I saw lots of them in Louisiana.

Knoxville Girl said...

I love lichens in the winter when it drizzles!
I love lichens in the summer when it sizzles!
I love lichens every moment of the yeeeeeeaaaarrr, I lo-
oh, right.
I do love the angle or your photo.