Someone recently asked me about some black stuff he was seeing on rocks. I noticed this one today and did a bit of research. I thought it worth sharing. The following explanation comes from eHow.com:
"Crustose lichen is the only plant that will grow on a bare rock. This is accomplished by gathering small amounts of water and then in winter when the water freezes, it cracks the rock surface, providing the lichen with minerals and organic materials. Over time this process forms a tiny bit of soil on the rock. These lichen tend to lay flat on their host, looking much like paint splatters, making them hard to remove. They range in color from black, gray, brown, orange, yellow and green. About 75 percent of all lichen in the world are crustose lichen. When dating stone walls and gravestones, scientists measure the radius of this lichen growth since it grows so slowly and lives for centuries."
Read more : http://www.ehow.com/info_8463741_types-lichen-grow-rocks.html
Toad: Hey, man. What are you doing? You’re messing with my habitat.
Man: Sorry Toad, but you’re hiding in Stiltgrass. I need to get rid of this stuff.
Toad: Huh? I like this stuff. It makes good cover and keeps me shaded.
Man: Uh-huh. Too good. It’s choking out the native woodland ground vegetation. And besides, you need bugs, and this isn’t good bug habitat.
Toad: What? Look at me, man. Do I look like I’m starving?
Man: Yeah, looks like you’ve done well this year. But not because of Stiltgrass. When cold weather comes you’ll need a better place to snuggle down. I’ll just get this Stiltgrass out of here and then you can have your proper habitat.
Toad: Fine. I’ll just sit quietly here and pretend you didn’t see me.
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.