Phoneography show and tell: lichen

Spring seems to have truly arrived in Auckland; the freesias are out and my plum trees are beginning to blossom. It was really tempting to capture  those things – and in fact I have. But since I’ve used the pictures in other posts, I’ve decided instead to focus on some other natural phenomena I’ve been photographing – lichen

I have a pittosporum outside my window that – as a tree – is reasonably pathetic. As a host for some amazing lichen though, it seems to be 4-star.

Flourishing lichen; tree not so much

Flourishing lichen; tree not so much

Until I took these photos, I hadn’t really given much thought to lichen. I didn’t know what it was, beyond the fact that it grows on trees (and concrete, wood and headstones) and in a multi-choice pub quiz environment, I’d probably say “vegetable” rather than “animal” or “mineral.”

lichen2There are lots of different lichens, and actually, it’s made up of two different organisms living in symbiosis; a fungus and it’s photosynthetic partner – usually a algae or a cynobacterium.

lichen3In this cool partnership, lichen gets to look completely different to either of its component parts.

Lichens are edible, although some contain chemical compounds that are toxic and need to be removed before eating. They are also used in medicines and in dyes. In my home country, Scotland, there is a long tradition of lichen gathering and processing for the production of fabric dyes.

Moving right along … I’m not great at the botanical bit. All of the photos were taken on my iPhone and edited with Photo Editor by Aviary. I did a bit of fiddling with the colour, but the main difference between the pictures above and this one below is simply time of day.

lichenThanks to Sally at Lens and Pens by Sally for the Phoneography Challenge. This week’s theme is Nature, and you can see Sally’s photos here.

And here are a few more you might like on the theme of Nature:

Phoneography Monday 9-2-13

3 thoughts on “Phoneography show and tell: lichen

  1. I never paid much attention to these myself, if I am able to identify them at all!! So this post and the botanical stuff is interesting to me 🙂 I love #3 for the depth of field 🙂 and the many different textures of what I can only assume are lichens all looking slightly different from each other?


    • I hadn’t paid much attention either; but we have a tree that is more lichen than tree and the colour and texture is really interesting. thanks for visiting; and commenting. much appreciated. 🙂


  2. Pingback: Phoneography Challenge, The Phone as Your Lens: (The Exhilaration of) Nature | Lens and Pens by Sally

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