I still have a child like curiosity about lots of things. Lichens are my latest fascination. Lichens of the North Woods by Joe Walewski was on my Christmas list. The librarians in my life came through and I absolutely love the book. Not only is it fun to read, it opens up a whole new world of plant life for me to explore. I didn't even have to go outside to play with my new book. This interesting dead stick with its constricting vines was already collected on a previous walk.
Having been in the warm house for some time, this lichen was very dry. I followed the book's directions and sprinkled a little water on it.
In mere minutes the lichen changed from grey to pale green with a slight tinge of pink and a small spot of blue. How cool is that? If I spend some time with the book, I might be able to identify this one. In the meantime this is FUN!
A second stick has a totally different lichen on it. It also was quite dry and tan with with curled edges. Again I added a little water.
After just a few minutes amazing change occurred. The tan color remained, but just a hint of red is visible and the curled edged flattened out completely. This is like magic. I have already learned that lichens are made up of a fungus and algae. I'm just getting started and there are lichens on trees, on rocks and on the ground. I never really noticed all this going on under my very nose before, but I see it now!
By the way if you want to follow this blog after January 11, 2016 you will have to sign up for a Google account. I wouldn't want you to miss all this interesting stuff! Happy New Year ! Here's to a great 2016 in the Stone Wall Garden!