Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘lichen

New Zealand: still more things than the glacier at the glacier

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When we visited the Franz Josef Glacier on February 20th, my attention leapt not only to the glacier and nearby waterfalls, but to the many rocks in the area. In particular, lots of rocks were coated to varying degrees with a fine red-orange lichen, shown above, that made the stone surface it was on seem painted.

In many cases, as you see below, mosses vied with the reddish lichens for territory on the rocks.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 22, 2017 at 4:59 AM

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Lichen like a planet

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Nevada’s Valley of Fire State Park on October 24, 2016.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 11, 2017 at 5:09 AM

Lichen update

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In a post a month ago I showed what I initially thought was Spanish moss, Tillandsia usneoides, at Monument Hill State Historic Site in La Grange, Texas. Bill Dodd added a comment in which he said he thought I’d actually photographed a so-called beard lichen, Usnea trichodea. On January 3rd of this year, on my first photo outing for 2017, I drove back to the site in La Grange and confirmed that Bill was right about my having photographed a lichen and not an epiphytic vascular plant. I invite you to check out the updated version of December’s post.

On the way back from La Grange I stopped at a scenic overlook on TX 71 east of Smithville and found some very different lichens growing on heavy stones along the road that circles the rest area. As today’s image I’ve included a photograph showing some of those much more colorful lichens.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 5, 2017 at 5:07 AM

Temperate forest

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When we visited the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Guerneville, California, on October 27th, we encountered rain. That’s not unusual in a temperate cloud forest, but it meant we couldn’t enjoy, nor I photograph, the redwood trees the way we’d hoped to. There were times when Eve held one umbrella over herself and another over me so I could take some pictures. Many of the resulting photographs were so-so, given the rain and the low light, but near the end of our stay the rain tapered off for a while and I made this lush picture of lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) hanging from the trees.

While preparing this post I learned that in 2015 California made Ramalina menziesii its official state lichen. I searched online but didn’t turn up any other state that has chosen an official lichen. Oh, California.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 3, 2016 at 5:05 AM

Not just reddish-orange

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The reddish-orange sandstone so common at Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada serves as an excellent substrate for lichens of contrasting colors, as you see in these two photographs from our October 24th visit. You can click either picture to get greater size and more details.


© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 25, 2016 at 4:59 AM

Yellow stonecrop on the Llano Uplift

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Some flowers of yellow stonecrop (Sedum nuttallianum) appeared in the lower left of yesterday’s second photograph taken in the Llano Uplift on May 6. Because the view was a broad, inclusive one you couldn’t see the flowers well. Now let’s take closer looks at a couple of the many stonecrop groups and colonies that were flowering on the pastel rocks of the Uplift. This first photograph is a downward and rather abstract view that includes pale gray lichens, rust-colored lichens, pink rock, some darker stuff, and two clumps of yellow stonecrop flowers.

Yellow Stonecrop Flowers and Lichens on Pink Rocks 3824

And here’s a closer look, also downward, at some yellow stonecrop flowers. I noticed that many depressions and cracks in the rock fostered the growth of stonecrop groups, presumably because of residual moisture in those areas. Each stonecrop flower is about a quarter of an inch (6mm) across.

Yellow Stonecrop Flowers in Hollow on Pink Rock 3760

Note: I’ll be traveling for a while beginning today. Please understand if I’m late replying to your comments.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 2, 2016 at 5:12 AM

Flowers that have no petals

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When we think of flowers we usually think of petals, but the truth is that some flowers don’t have petals. A good local example is elbowbush, Forestiera pubescens. Here’s a close look from February 23 at an inflorescence of the elbowbush on some of whose dead branches you saw lichens in the previous post.

Elbowbush Flowers 6012

Come to think of it, the flowers in their helter-skelter-ness and colors remind me of the lichens themselves:

Lichen on Dead Branch 6015

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 10, 2016 at 4:58 AM

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