It’s been a cold, gray, rainy week. I’m not complaining – we need the rain. It was hard to talk myself into going out for a walk this afternoon, but I was glad I did.
I took a lot of random photos and pished at some birds, and on my way back I came across an old stump with some eye-catching lichen growing on it.
Beyond a basic understanding of what lichen is (a symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae or bacteria), I know almost nothing about it, but I’m assuming the red bits are some sort of fruiting bodies. Am I right? I tried to look up information on the life cycle of lichen and ended up just confusing myself, mostly.
At some point I’d really like to learn more about identifying lichens (and mosses and lycopods). I think there’s a lichen field guide in the school library – maybe it’s time to check it out. In the meantime, I’m dubbing this one “red hat lichen.”
UPDATE: Ah ha! Cladonia! Maybe. At least there are lichens in this genus that look very similar to mine with the red hats.