Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Egg Yolk Lichen

Egg Yolk Lichen (Candelariella rosulans)

The only color you see this time of year are the bright colors of lichens clinging doggedly to the rocks. They stand out like face paint at the Superbowl.

You've heard the torrid story of lichens haven't you? It is the naughty tale of Freddy Fungus and Alice Algae and how they took a lichen to each other and now live in SIN-biosis. I giggled girlishly when my mother first told me that story on a summer camping trip. Ah, the things that entertained us before iPods. Alice is not quite the perfect kept woman. While Freddy provides the home she provides the food. Because of this, lichens only need air and water to grow.

Egg Yolk Lichens (Candelariella rosulans) are common throughout Colorado. They are crustose in form and can cover huge rock faces. I like lichens because they remind me that Nature can colonize any habitat no matter how harsh. A little chartreuse on a dreary winter day is not bad either.

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