Thursday, December 06, 2012

Last of the green

Greenshield lichen
December is only just getting started but already the weather her eon Roundtop has been through more changes than you could expect over en entire month. It’s too warm, then it’s cold, then it’s going to get warm again and then there’s rain or maybe ice. I barely know what to wear from hour to hour, let alone from day to day. 

My photo today is a greenshield lichen . Actually this is two organisms, a fungus and an algae, so it’s not a plant at all. This and the mosses are about the only thing around the cabin that’s still green.

The lichen is common on Roundtop, but I think this example is a particularly nice one. Many are smaller and appear less three-dimensional. Lichens are usually quite sensitive to pollution, which is why you don’t see them very much in urban areas. This one is flavoparmelia caperata and grows mostly on trees. There’s another variety of caperata that seems to prefer rocks, and I have that one here too.

It was a quiet day on the mountain.  The most exciting thing that happened was a quick sighting of a golden-crowned kinglet. It was too fast to even reach for the camera, let alone get a shot of it.  Ruby-crowned kinglets are more common here--or at least more commonly seen.  The bird likely won't hang around very long, but they are always fun to see.   


Pablo said...

Lichens and ferns are about the only green things around my woods now too.

Scott said...

Nice lichen image, Carolyn. I dunno'; kinglets often hang around here all winter long, and I'm just a bit further east of you. Maybe you'll have these little sprites stay with you if the weather doesn't get too harsh.