#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream
There's a trail I like to take through someone's property – a vast acreage of new hardwoods, marsh and un-mown meadow overgrown with weeds that used to be farmed. Now it's used for horseback riding, but I never meet any horses. Through some brush there's a ruin of cabin, most likely built and enjoyed as a teenage hideout, years ago. And parked on the edge of trail that must have been road is the rusted frame of an old pickup truck, with its metal steering wheel held by a wood frame featuring a lovely lichen - which is what caught my eye, stirred my appreciation, and made me wonder:
Why are lichens important?
Lichens are important for several reasons. One of the most obvious is that they are beautiful to look at. How enchanting would the Pacific Northwest be without the long drapes of Alectoria sarmentosa (witch’s hair) hanging from the branches of the old Douglas firs and Sitka spruce? How colorful would the rocks and cliffs be in the Rocky Mountains without the reds, yellows, and greens of the crust lichens? Without these living creatures hanging off of trees or clinging to rocks, our natural areas would look pretty boring and a little more lifeless.