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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lichens

I was a little hesitant to post these photos, as I know very little about lichens.  However, I've always been drawn to them — they somehow feel ancient, and have attractive structures and colors.  And perhaps someday someone out there will be able to help identify the species in these images.

Lichens consist of several organisms — a fungus and a photosynthetic partner (alga and/or cynobacteria).  They become more noticeable after rains, expanding and brightening with newly available moisture.  On Bodega Head, lichens can be found on a variety of surfaces including rocks, trees, bones, driftwood, and even rabbit droppings!

Here are a few photos from 21 January.  

Note the red parts on the species above are reproductive structures where spores are produced.



The photo below is from February 2009, but I couldn't help including it, as it's proof of their occurrence on rabbit droppings (for you nonbelievers!).

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