Sunday, April 29, 2007


Today, the last official day of the Blogger Bioblitz I got out just before 7:00 a.m. (good thing too, because the sky cleared, and we are to be blasted by sunshine for the rest of the day--forecast high of 19C). I've got lists of birds and plants that I will report in another post. I wanted to dedicate this one to something new to me--though no doubt old hat to the field. Lichens.

I came across the lichen below through staring at the ground--something I must do more vigilantly.

How could I ever have missed that brilliant scarlet? Maybe it only shows that way for a brief time. Maybe it's just so small that it's easy to pass it by.

When I first saw it associated with the grey, branchy stuff, being more plant than lichen oriented, I assumed that I was seeing one organism (or as it turns out, one community--lichens are algaes and fungi working together), flowers and foliage. Turns out it is most likely two.

I think the red-capped stuff is British soldier lichen (Cladonia cristatella). I'm not sure about the grey--could be Reindeer lichen (Cladina rangiferina). They were growing in the field just above the wetland around the cedar bush.


John B. said...

That's a very beautiful organism.

Pamela Martin said...

Yes, I'm always amazed when I see this colour out in the wilds--cardinals, cardinal flower, a tiny spider that lives in the garden, and now this lichen. Startling against all those greens and browns.

burning silo said...

I think the IDs are probably right for these two lichens. I did think the podetia (stalks) of the British Soldiers was a little odd looking, but there's probably some variation in them. The other is probably Reindeer Lichen - although there are some that are of similar species. I've found that with the mosses and lichens, it's really helpful to view them with a hand lens. I'm not good at IDs of either, but getting a very close-up view of them does help a lot. Nice photos!