Sunday, January 4, 2009

Today's Flowers

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Lichen are a partnership between a fungus and a plant and they are an ancient group, the oldest fossil lichens found are about 400 milliuon years old. They are delicate and grow extremely slowly, only a few centimeters or even millimeters per year. At the same time they are very hardy and are often the first organisms to colonize a barren area, stabilizing the soil for plants to grow in.

If you come across a rock looking like this
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or this
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while hiking, try not to step on it and don't disturb it - it's not a funny-coloured rock, but a lichen that may well be a lot older than you are.
The first two photos are lichen growing on a handrail on a trail round the Fuerwigge water reservoir in the Sauerland, the last two were taken at the Hickson Petroglyph Area in Nevada. The yellow one is probably Xanthoria parietina, I have no idea about the others.

See more flowers over at the Today's Flowers meme

18 comments:

Sandradb said...

What an interesting collection of pictures - totally different and very nice.

Neal said...

Those are pretty in their own unique way. I've taken pictures like those because I thought they were pretty.

Meire said...

Very Beautiful!

Naturegirl said...

A good sign of Nature in Balance..all is well in this area for healthy growth! I did not know that rust colored Lichen was a sign of treasured old age.smiles to you :)

Luiz Santilli Jr said...

Hi Jennifer

Wonderful and interesting your post!
Thanks for posting in TODAY'S FLOWERS.
Hope you have a happy and great 2009, with your family!

Luiz

kayleen said...

How interesting. One can learn so much by visiting the blogs of others. Nice photos. Thanks for sharing.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you for an informative post about things I didn't know very well! Very interesting.

Darla said...

Very interesting post, I love the different looks of nature.

Arija said...

Lovely varieties of Lichens!
We have golden ones on the Desert Ash along the road that light up like the sun when the trees are bare.
Nice post.

Lilli & Nevada said...

Oh i love your selection of flowers and interesting information as well

ilanadavita said...

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing and happy 2009.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Very nice photos, and interesting information about lichens. Thanks!

lynlyn said...

you have a pretty collection, very interesting.

Gill - That British Woman said...

very interesting and great photos.

Gill in Canada

Norm said...

beautiful and a unique collection of photos.

Natural Moments said...

Their colours and textures are all so varied and beautiful. They are an excellent indicator towards the health of our environment.

Amanda said...

What a great choice for your submission.

Tammie Lee said...

wonderful lichens you have found and shared with us!