During a recent visit to the Adirondacks, I couldn’t help but admire the lichens. These diminutive vegetative creatures (a mix of fungus and algae or cyanobacteria) thrive in the boreal forests that cloak the high peaks. Why lichens? Once you learn to focus in on very small scale, you discover a world of beauty and mystery. This idea was expressed by 13th century Zen Master Dogen using the metaphor of the moon reflected in a drop of dew (“there are mountains hidden in hiddenness”) and 600 years later in the opening stanza of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself: “I lean and loafe at my ease, observing a spear of summer grass.” Appreciate the small patterns of nature, and you will never suffer from a lack of beauty, which is why Henry David Thoreau wrote that the “lichenist fats where others starve….his provender never fails.”
With thanks to nature photographer John Franklin for helping me identify the species, here is a sampling of what I encountered:
5 thoughts on “Some Adirondack Lichens”
[…] a recent post on lichens, I quoted from Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself: “I lean and loafe at my ease observing […]
Also recently visited the Adirondacks, Bog River Flow, and have a photo of a large lichen, about 2 feet across and a foot wide completely enveloping a tree stump in the water. Would like to identify it if possible. Not able to add a photo here, however. After looking at your pictures, maybe it is a large Cladonia as well .
LikeLiked by 1 person
Howard, if you email me the picture, I’ll see if I can get it identified
What about those larger leathery black on the bottom – light brown on top up to several inches (5-6 inches) in size – which I saw in Adirondacks near The Glen – overlooking Hudson River- Edie silky seen in the side of big ruck face with ferns in cracks
Looks like camouflage
What is this?
I have some pics
John, that sounds like smooth rock tripe lichen