Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lichen Looking

Continued my deeper segue into lichens. Have made several field trips seeking species out. Here's a short video of my adventure, mostly capturing aesthetics of lichen searching, to Kootenai Creek (Bitterroot National Forest) yesterday:
Below are two photos of somewhat common, distinct-form lichens...variously referred to as tube, bone or pillow lichens. Yes, the naming scheme fits; many plant and animal have common names that include a description of form or color. The genus is Hypogymnia and for the most part species in this genus are found growing on bark, occasionally on moss over rock. These lichens are not really small and lend themselves to photos by plain point & shoots. Taking along a magnifying lens is also a good idea for the in-the-moment experience. The color and structure of these plants is beautiful and abstract, though my questions also center how and why. On your next walk, try looking for lichens-they can even be found in urban areas :-) 
Hypogymnia physodes or Monk's-hood lichen

Hypogymnia tubulosa or Powder-headed tube lichen