Walking in the woods and looking at trees generally involves a lot of looking up but not seeing much detail from my ground-bound viewpoint. Sometimes, though, the detail is not "up there" but down where it comes into clear view. The lichen on this oak trunk was right at eye level, so I was able to study and capture it on camera. It does appear that the bark is dotted with "little gray beards".
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
Thoughts on the park, its residents and how to preserve its natural beauty.