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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lichen and Moss- brittle and soft.

Sometimes it is hard to understand how large mammals like Reindeer can survive on Lichen as their main fresh food underneath the snow.

I have been fascinated by this fact and what it does tell me, -I think- is that there must be quite a bit of goodness in the little buggers.

Three weeks ago, I stopped when I spotted a small fallen branch on the road, underneath 2 Scotch Pines which grow above on top of the bank, which consists mainly their roots.

The trees are growing on top of a -dry-stone, I suspect- wall, and there are some gaps or small ledges here and there in the wall of sand and roots on top.

With my little grabber, which I carry behind me in my wheels, day and night, I picked it up carefully and then placed it in one of these ledges.

The bank/trees are just visible here in this picture I posted on Birding on wheels the other day.
(the bank is not really a stone wall anymore, it is real compacted clay -a tidalriver is behind it and the bay about 30metres backwards.

I placed it there because I had to move my wheels- it was around 4pm and I needed to get to the side of the road. I took around 50 photos there, then too the branch home on my lap, very carefully so I would not damage the delicate 'leaf' structure.
Here I took about 50 photos more and it is still lying in my window, the idea was-and still is, is to find a nice place for it outside.

Yesterday I did a whirlwind tour of my local patch. I had been late and slow that morning and good not get going really. Because of this, I was also late in getting to the shop. then needed to get home first before going out again.
I'd have preferred an outing in the morning at Low Tide. Now, at High tide, not one bird was present in the bay. Only ones I spotted were 3 Hooded Crows in a tree across the road, and later, 4 young Jackdaws, imitating a Rook's call. Many drivers, going past, must have wondered what I was looking for as they saw me, scanning the top of the tree and the telephone cables in my effort to locate the culprit.

All I could see were the Jackdaws though, and neither did I spot any other copy catting birds. An adult Daw soon came from across the road, yelling loudly, and trying to tell the youngsters they were acting dangerously with a Rooks roosting tree not that far off.
They did indeed fly off after having been told off.

Almost home, I met up with a lovely dog with an injured leg, and its owner, and the sudden sight of a Song Thrush, made me turn around and followed the road back to the bay and took the backroad home.
I thuoght I might see a Redwing here. I did not see any other birds, but a few little Blue Tits which were going around above my head, what I did meet was a clump of these and also some Moss. Which, like the Lichen, challenged me to quite a number of photos.
Of course these had to be cut down to a more manageable number, which I managed eventually.
Last night I was reading about the Catherine Moss, in the November issue of the BBC Wildlife Magazine which has large spores and which grows underneath shrubs.
I have seen other species of Moss this summer, with taller and very thin 'fronds. Now I still have to remember where this was.
What I did notice, yesterday and before then, is that we see a lot less Mosses than we used to.
I now remember that the other Moss specie I was thinking of grows near the river and along the coast road. Unfortunately, the weather is not very promising and perhaps I might be able to stay dry for a few more than 15-120 minutes on Sunday, if I throw precaution into the I do hope so.

These are photos of the Moss which I took yesterday

And a few more Lichen


  1. I really like lichen and moss. You're pictures are marvelous. I believe we have the same kind here.

  2. Thanks Crow, they are very inspiring species indeed.

    I had not thought I'd be able to photograph these. Growing either very low or too high to get close enough. This time I was double lucky.

    Plus I now start to recall more times I had seen one of these species not too far from where I had photographed Wild Flowers/Birds or Insects, so that is for when the weather is less Wet and Wild, perhaps even this year?


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