Looking at Lichens

Guest Post by Jocie Brooks Old Man’s Beard and Bear’s Hair can be found on sub-alpine trees in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. Most of us are familiar with the grey wispy lichens that garland tree trunks and branches. If you’ve been cross-country skiing at Mount Washington you’ve probably seen this stringy stuff that locals call “old man’s beard” or …

A Trio of Lichen

I’ve begun taking regular lunch time walks and exploring the farm fields and country lanes around my workplace in rural Comox Valley, British Columbia – at least when the weather is good. Often I’m a little stretched for subject matter, especially at this time of year. Fortunately, lichen always adds some colour to grey winter days. This week, I focused …

A Lesson in Lichens

The bright red apothecia of Toy Soldiers (Cladonia bellidiflora) stands out on gray winter days. Quite often it is the small things that are missed when one is walking with being attentive. This week I discovered a beautiful community (?) of lichen on a log near the ocean at Miracle Beach Provincial Park. I’ve been specifically looking for cladonias since …

A Pleasing Peltigera

Freckle Pelt (Peltigera sp.) one of two possible Freckle Pelts – P. aphthosa or P. britannica. A lesson in how to identify a Peltigera, learned in retrospect. When I saw this lichen growing in moss at the base of a rotting stump in Miracle Beach Provincial Park I recognized it immediately. It was a Peltigera, a pelt lichen, and its …

Taking a Lichen to Lilac

Contrary to popular belief, it does snow occasionally at sea level on Vancouver Island. Every year in either late November or early December we get a snow fall that generally shuts down the schools and makes driving hazardous. This year the snow came in mid-December and was thick and heavy. It didn’t last long but it did do some damage …

Lungwort

Lungwort | Lobaria pulmonaria November storms provide an opportunity to look at lichens that are usually a little higher up and out of reach. This week, while walking at Miracle Beach Provincial Park during a lull between squalls we found some beautiful Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria) on a branch of Big-leaf Maple that had blown down in the high winds. Lungwort …