Saturday, 15 November 2014

Day 14 - world in a wall

Day 14

Hi all I was on a walk at Rievaulx Abbey it was a bit misty so I couldn't see much wildlife so I started looking closely. There was some stone walls around the perimeter of the grounds so I decided to look at it. The second I got there I saw this:

Dewey Cobweb

There was quite a number of these and seeing as I was zoomed in to the wall I looked around even more closely. Doing this opened up a whole new world. A lichen world. As I did my research I found out there's hundreds of species of lichen, and here are a few I found:

Lichen #1

Lichen #2

Lichen #3

Lichen #4

Lichen #5

Lichen #6

Lichen #7

Lichen #8

All these lichens were found on the same wall which is pretty amazing. You can see that some are single colonies of lichen like Lichen #3 and some are several colonies like Lichen #8. Lichen #6 has a small red thing which looks like a red mushroom but we are not sure if it is or if it's some sort of lichen we haven't seen before as some have mushroom like fruiting bodies. If anyone knows then please tell me in the comments. I really like Lichen #1 because it looks like some lichen have grown on a type of mushroom but it could be a type of lichen from the same family as the red thing from Lichen #6. I didn't know how many types there were before i did my research, nor how tricky it would be to try and identify them, so sorry I haven't had time to.

Here are some facts about lichen:

  • Lichen are actually two things, fungus and algae that have a symbiotic relationship (i.e. they both benefit).
  • Some colonies can be over 9,000 years old!
  • The algal partner produces essential nutrients for the lichen through photosynthesis.
  • The Ancient Egyptians used to stuff the mummies with lichen. (Why? I don't know.)
  • Lichens are pollution indicators, they only like high quality, unpolluted environments.
  • Lichens can be use as dyes for clothes.
Here's a few links:

Hope you enjoy.


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