Listening to Lichen
Last week in gardening, I visited one of Mother Earth's most impressive gardens, the boundary waters canoe area.
When I think about the BWCA, I often envision the mosses that cover so many surfaces in the woods. To me, anything greenish and fuzzy is "moss" but actually a lot of it is lichen and technically it's not a moss, or even plant really..
Did you know that there are like a million types of lichen? That it can basically live on anything, creating mutually beneficial relationships wherever it goes and it's one of the oldest living organisms on the planet?
Yep. It's a pretty bad-ass lil species that can basically make friends with everything, on top of being beautiful and widely varied. Hat's off to you lichen's! Even though you often get called moss (mostly by me).. so let's clear that up..
Here's what the internet had to say about lichen:
"A lichen is a composite organism that arises from algae or cyanobacteria (or both) living among filaments of a fungus in a mutually beneficial relationship (symbiotoc relationship). The whole combined life form has properties that are very different from properties of its component organisms. Lichens come in many colors, sizes, and forms. The properties are sometimes plant-like, but lichens are not plants. Lichens may have tiny, leafless branches (fruticose), flat leaf-like structures (foliose), flakes that lie on the surface like peeling paint (crustose), or other growth forms.
A macrolichen is a lichen that is either bush-like or leafy; all other lichens are termed microlichens. Here, "macro" and "micro" do not refer to size, but to the growth form. Common names for lichens may contain the word "moss" (e.g., "Reindeer moss", "Iceland moss"), and lichens may superficially look like and grow with mosses, but lichens are not related to mosses or any plant.:3 Lichens do not have roots that absorb water and nutrients as plants do.:2 Instead they produce their own food from sunlight, air, water, and minerals in their environment. When they grow on plants, they do not live as parasites but use the plants only as a substrate."
Hunting lichen makes a person hungry! So let's take a food intermission shall we?
Full disclaimer, I take zero credit for the creation of any of any fancy things you're about to see, but I did help with the bacon one day, so that counts for something:
What can we say? we're serious about breakfast.. and about adventure!
If you are too, get out there and explore mama earths gardens!! You might just pick up a pro tip from the woman herself and see some pretty OK nature stuff along the way too.
Be safe kids! And pick up your trash!!