Monday, April 7, 2008

Harmless Lichen

I know it's been just over a week since I mentioned this stuff, but as the King Crimson lyric goes, "The more I look at it, the more I like it. I do think it's good!" And as you can see, the tree is happily sprouting leaves for the new season.

I looked lichen up on Wikipedia, and was astonished to learn that it is actually two species in one. The fungus part of it provides most of the structure, and draws water and minerals out of the air without any root system. The algae, or in some cases bacteria, part of it performs the photosynthesis to convert solar energy and carbon dioxide into food for the two organisms. How cool is that! And it can even survive the vacuum of space because of its ability to go into stasis for periods when its nutrients aren't available! Pshaw! The lichen pictured here is "fruticose" with a relatively shrubby form, rather than leafy or crusty. I could go on and on, but I'll let you read about it for yourself:

I usually follow the rules of the City Daily Photo, and post just one photo a day, but I can't help myself. After all, lichen is such an exciting subject:


Gerald (SK14) said...

nothing wrong with an extra pic from time to time - interesting subject.

Benjamin Madison said...

I think the RULE is you're supposed to upload one photo per day. You can upload as many as you like but only the first one will be featured on the portal. Anyway, I agree with you that it's impossible to get too much lichen. I'll have to see if I can find some around here

USelaine said...

Thank you both for your comments. I seem to recall Eric recently explaining the basis for evaluating new CDP blogs: Localized to the place named in the title; one and only one photo per day; always some comment; English always included, even if just a translation of the local language. As you have seen from the portal, there are plenty of members out of conformance, but I'm glad to have them all. Personally, I like to attempt the discipline as outlined, most of the time.

Lichen rules! Cockroaches and lichen will survive us all, if we don't chunk up the air too much on the way out.