Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Nebraska like Antarctica

with 19 comments

Okay, there are times when Nebraska gets really cold, but not that cold. No, it’s not temperature I have in mind: don’t you think that the outline of these lichens is like that of Antarctica? Following in the footsteps of Amundsen, I strode to the top of Scott’s Bluff National Monument on May 28th and metaphorically planted my photographic flag there.

If you’d like a much closer look at a portion of these lichens, click to expand this excerpt:

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 21, 2017 at 5:00 AM

19 Responses

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  1. I lichen liken.

    Sherry Felix

    July 21, 2017 at 6:23 AM

  2. Given its size, it could be Ant-arctica.

    Robert Parker Teel

    July 21, 2017 at 7:56 AM

    • That’s true. I didn’t provide any scale. Even if I’d provided a normal scale, no ant would have been heavy enough to register on it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 21, 2017 at 8:02 AM

  3. Good spotting, Steve!


    July 21, 2017 at 9:15 AM

    • Thanks. While I mostly devoted my time to things I can’t get in central Texas, especially grand geological landscapes and plants that grow there but not here, I couldn’t resist photographing at least a few of the lichens that make the top of Scott’s Bluff their home.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 21, 2017 at 9:24 AM

  4. I wouldn’t have seen the lichen as Antarctica had you not suggested it. On the other hand, it might have been more obvious if it had been all white. What did occur to me for the first time is the way the words — arctic and (ant)arctic are related, and I was surprised to find that “antarctica” goes back to Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD.

    I was intrigued by the closeup, which reminds me of mosaic work. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a patio table with a lichen-like mosaic as its top?


    July 22, 2017 at 7:16 PM

    • From what I’ve been able to tell from some brief looking, Marinus of Tyre created that name for whatever was anti- (opposite) the Arctic, though neither he nor anyone else had any idea what that was. We’ll have to fault your teacher in grade X for not explaining the connection between Arctic and Antarctic.

      That lichen really is mosaic-y, isn’t it? Seems you’re not alone in seeing a relationship.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 22, 2017 at 7:35 PM

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