Lichen among us

On the south facing slopes that spill down to the Flat River, dark-colored rocks and boulders house mini-worlds filled with dozens of species of mosses and lichens.  At this time in late winter, many of these organisms are at their brightest and most robust.  I was particularly struck by a rock this morning which, upon closer inspection, was a miniature forest of who-knows-how many species.  It’s days like these that I wished I had the skill to identify these to species.  I suppose I’ll have to wait for a volunteer to come along and help me with that someday or better explore my wonderful copy of Lichens of North America.  In the meantime, I just admire the beauty and apparent diversity of these organisms.

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