Beautiful Patches

A while ago I posted a photo of lichens. The yolk-yellow ones Caloplaca marina you find at the coast on rocks and walls and roofs of houses. My camera was drawn to the patterns and the textures and the way that no two are identical. I then noticed other lichens including the grey/olive-green ones growing on the sides of trees (which tell you that this is north-facing – as they prefer darker conditions, although if you live in the southern hemisphere this would be south-facing, and if you are in a rain-forest it won’t make any difference… OK, enough, I’ll let you find out about them yourselves if you are interested and it is probably safer to carry a compass than to rely on lichens in a forest if you get lost)

Lichen foliose and fruticose

Suffice to say that lichens are living organisms and there are several types. The yolk-yellow crusty ones are crustose, and some are crustose placodioid as the pattern spreads out from the centre like those blue-grey ones; those on trees tend to be foliose or fruticose, the latter being like a mini shrub. And then you get the dusty powder sort that you find on rocks which is called leprose lichen.

Apparently there are 20,000 known species of lichens. Fascinating!

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

48 thoughts on “Beautiful Patches”

  1. I agree, the whole subject is fascinating. The designs and patterns they make are strangely compeling to gaze at. Thanks Jude.
    Regards as always, Pete. x

  2. Beautiful pictures and education combined! I didn’t know that about lichen on north-facing trees. I shall keep a sharp look out next time I’m out walking and astonish my companion with my new-found sense of direction.

  3. I love lichens and we have many varieties in the mountains on the granite rocks. I’m so impressed that you know the names of so many of nature’s beauties!! Funny you mention not using lichen placement as a directional guide – I mention the same thing about miss in my scheduled Friday post 😉

    1. Thank goodness for the internet Sammy – I learn something every day, whether it is correct or not is another thing 🙂

      1. You just have to say it with confidence (hutzpah? panache? British accent?) and we minions bow to your wisdom 😍

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