Lichens Blog

I've come recently to lichens. I'm an enthusiast but not an expert. Here are some of my observations. So far these are all from Jefferson County, Iowa. If you have comments, corrections, or any kind of rant about these posts, please let me know. You can email me here.

Fluffy Dust Lichen

Fluffy Dust Lichen 

When I first walked past the big Black Walnut tree, I saw only a cottony turquoise fluffiness against the trunk. When I learned that its common name is Fluffy Dust Lichen, I thought that was perfect.      March 6, 2022

Caloplaca on bark

Caloplaca on Bark

I've never seen this lichen before, with eggyolk-yellow apothecia bordered with white rims. No thallus, or just the barest whitish grainy bits, which look more like rock crumbs, or salt. I still have it only partially identified.      March 2, 2022

Hoary Rosette Lichen

Hoary Rosette

One of the "rosette" lichens, it has the habit of spreading out in from a central point, roselike. It lives because in has algae living inside its body, which provide the energy and sugar it needs in order to grow.   Feb 21, 2022

Lacy Lemon Lichen

Lacy Lemon

This lichen grows on tree trunks, and it's found throughout North America. It is easy to spot, and it turns out to be surprisingly easy to identify. Here are the things to look for in identifying Lacy Lichen Lemon. Feb 12, 2022

Mealy-rim Lichen

Mealy Rim-lichen

You might notice a small, grayish green spot on a twig. You probably wouldn't see the little yellow saucer structures that that mean it's a lichen. But through a hand lens or a microscope, its structure appears. Feb. 8, 2022

Frost Lichen

Mmm, Donuts!

This little lichen growing in my woods is mostly white. Under the microscope, its surface looks as if it has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Like donuts. Below, its odd rhizines attach it to the twigs. Feb 1, 2022

Lover Lichens

Lover Lichens

I often find them together on the bark of a small branch, intertwined like lovers. I'm not sure whether it's because they need each other or just that they like the same neighborhood and are trying to share a house. Jan. 23, 2022

Ruffle Lichen

A Ruffle Lichen 

I picked up a little twig from under the trees. Every spot was covered solid with lichen. This pale lichen was small enough that I could cover the whole bit with the tip of my little finger. A Ruffle Lichen. Jan. 8, 2022

Gold-eye Lichen

Light from Heaven 

How I appreciate the way that big wind a couple nights back brought down treasures from up in the canopy. One of the millions of twigs had a spot of gold in the center, like a stone in a ring. Gold-eye Lichen. Dec. 20, 2021