Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

I thought I ought

with 18 comments

Yellow Lichen Along the Apache Trail 1871

Click to enlarge.

In this morning’s post I mentioned the yellowish lichen that I noticed on September 29th was common on rocks along the Apache Trail northeast of Phoenix, so I thought I ought to give you a closer look at some.

I also thought I owed you an explanation of the rhyming title. Did you know that ought comes from the old past tense of the verb owe? To say you ought to do something is to say you owe it to yourself or others to do it.

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

18 Responses

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  1. Wait for it. “I thought I ought to be likin’ the lichen.” *groan*

    I have an affinity for macro photography, particularly when it comes to the micro-forests.


    November 22, 2014 at 12:53 PM

    • Oh my gosh! Am I the first to like AND comment on one of your posts? I really do need to go out and do something today.


      November 22, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      • You were online at just the right time for your double first, but yes, do go on with the activities of your day.

        Steve Schwartzman

        November 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    • So you liken lichen to likin’. Good for your words, and for appreciating what you’ve called micro-forests.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 22, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      • I’ve taken many photos of lichen, but couldn’t remember for the life of me a time I included one in a post. Here’s one from Yellowstone last year, it’s about the 10th photo down. (http://wp.me/p28k6D-11v) Rats, if I’m still working on my Yellowstone post from earlier THIS year. At this rate, I may never get it out of my draft folder!


        November 22, 2014 at 7:23 PM

  2. ‘Twas not for naught you thought of ought, and brought us lichen, closely caught.


    November 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM

    • Nice alliteration, wordplay, and rhyming! Did you know that not and naught are etymologically the same word? Both variants come from the Old English compound that meant ‘not a whit.’

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 22, 2014 at 1:36 PM

  3. Lichens are one of my to be studied goals for the coming year. I know what they are, but I don’t know who they are when I find them. I guess I ought to do something about that.
    In a way, this appears resemblant of a mini landscape viewed from above.

    Steve Gingold

    November 22, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    • A characteristic of fractals is that they’re scale-invariant, meaning that when you zoom in or out on a fractal you see the same patterns. Lichens aren’t fractals, but you make a good point about this close-view of lichens looking the way a landscape looks when seen from a high vantage point.

      Like you, I know what lichens are, but there’s so much to know beyond their basic composition. What I do know is that they fascinate me and I enjoy photographing them in their diversity.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 22, 2014 at 3:39 PM

  4. One of my favorite lichens was along St. Mary Lake in the east part of Glacier NP. https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-l5EoMhl20N8/Ueful4KEAwI/AAAAAAAAOCY/tCG_sjVyKvE/s640/2013_0705Glacier_47.jpg

    Jim in IA

    November 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

  5. Interesting thoughts about fractals and the ‘trees vs forest’ aspect of their having the same character in micro or macro views: I think a lot of nature has similar kinds of relationships in it, the aerial view of a landscape seeming like lichens and a bed of moss, seen in extreme closeup, looking like a forest of evergreens, and so forth. Endless surprises, endless beauty.


    December 1, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    • Mathematics gets in on the act too, of course. The question “How long is the coastline of country X?” has an infinite number of answers, depending on the resolution at which you measure said coastline. Endless surprises indeed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2014 at 8:15 PM

  6. No, I didn’t know.
    Always pays to stop by 🙂


    December 1, 2014 at 11:34 PM

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