needing a shave or a haircut?

I have no idea what different sorts of lichen these are, but I thought they deserved a closer look. lichen-1975It is easy to overlook this thought that life just is. As humans we are inclined to feel that life must have a point. We have plans and aspirations and desires. We want to take constant advantage of the intoxicating existence we’ve been endowed with. But what’s life to a lichen? Yet its impulse to exist, to be, is every bit as strong as ours-arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on. Lichens don’t. Like virtually all living things, they will suffer any hardship, endure any insult, for a moment’s additions existence. Life, in short just wants to be. 
― Bill BrysonA Short History of Nearly Everything

41 thoughts on “needing a shave or a haircut?

    • Thanks, LuAnn. The wind has been too nasty to walk the beach, or expose the camera lately, so I make do with whatever catches my eye. The lichen are all around here, but I thought they might be due for a closer look. I have some shots from the blueberry bush in bloom already, but I keep forgetting to go back to see when I posted them last year. I’m thinking they’re way early, but I could be off.


  1. Gorgeous work, Gunta, and as you’d easily guess I’ve tried many times to get good shots of the plentiful lichen culture we have here in the PNW. But it’s harder than it would seem. Lichens are fascinating – and the Bryson quote is perfect. These could be Ragbag (Platismatia glauca) and Forking bone (Hypogymnia inactiva) – don’t you love the names? Here are more: Laundered rag, Pimpled kidney, Freckle pelt, Peppered moon , Lettuce lung, Tickertape bone, Blood-spattered beard, Antlered perfume: they are a poem waiting to happen, no?


    • Thanks ever so much, Lynn. I tried to identify them, but it was beyond my patience level. But I LOVE the names….. thanks for the help. Much appreciated. The names seem like they would have made some good Dr Seuss material. Bryson has become one of my favorite authors lately. He is a lot of fun, except for his current book (see Goodreads below) which is turning into a bit of a slog. He’s my bedtime reading and the other is audio for the car.


      • Yes, perfect for a Suess book. I picked up a nice book at a book sale yesterday – Home Chronicle of a North Country Life, by Beth Powning; Sierra Club 1996. She write beautifully (I know you appreciate that) AND she took all the photos. She lives in New Brunswick, CA, so it’s not our neck of the woods, but not dissimilar either. Here’s a quote: “Our small, human home is an element of winter’s silence, as indistinguishable from the black sky as a rock or a tree. It becomes, simply, another creature that lives on the great home of earth; and its bulk folds gradually into the darkness, like a black horse grazing a night.”


        • Is that CA as in Canada, or California? If it’s Canada, I love that area from a cross-country I took up around the Gaspe Peninsula then down thru New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, taking the ferry down into Maine…. This was back in the 70s before passports were required. Sounds like I would enjoy the book, too.


    • Thanks, Nick. Never been around so many lichens before, or at least I’ve never paid enough attention. They ARE fascinating, but seemingly a difficult subject as you said. Amazing what’ll catch your eye or attention with camera in hand…. O_o


  2. Lichens have always been good friends of mine. Constant companions on all my treks through forest and desert spaces. Thanks for giving them honor.


    • I’ve tried googling the lichen. Near as I can figure there’s a symbiosis ‘tween a fungus (the hairy version?) and algae (the flat stuff?). The do seem to appear together.


    • Near as I can figure, lichen is a symbiotic relationship of a fungus (I’m guessing that’s the hairy stuff) and algae (presumably that’s the greyish flat stuff). It sure is interesting especially viewed up close like this.


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