Thursday, 6 May 2010

Glenelg Lichens

When I visited Glenelg last November I was interested to observe the large number of lichens growing on the stones and amongst the mosses which cover the boundary walls surrounding the ancient brochs. I decided that when I returned, I would like to study these in greater detail.

I have to say that learning even a little about lichens has been an interesting experience. There was such an assortment at Glenelg that I probably missed many more than I photographed. I don't believe that any I've included are particularly rare and my attempts to indentify them were neither sophisticated nor very scientific; I tried my best to navigate a way through a key and compared my photographs with those in books or on the websites of experienced lichenologists. As ever, I am happy to hear from anyone who might identify them differently.

Throughout the region, trees were found covered in these Unsea filipendula, often hanging in lengths of up to five feet as in the right-hand picture:


The following is Peltigera membranacea, olive green above (top) with cream undersides (below) ...



These are two more of the Cladonia family, both no more than 20mm tall, the first Cladonia coniocraea, the second Cladonia squamosa ...



... while the following are two Ochrolechias, the first Ochrolechia parella, the second Ochrolechia tartarea ...



This last lichen has been the hardest to identify. The Scottish Lichen Group have told me that it is Lecidea lapicida ...


Finally, this fern. I should probably have been more rigorous, conducting an intimate examination, and I'm sorry I didn't. From my limited reference sources describing ferns I would say that it looks like a spleenwort, but I can't be sure so hopefully someone will tell me ...

... My thanks to Phil Gates, who has kindly suggested Polypodium, which is common throughout Britain on wall tops, as in this case, trees and rocks. The fronds are 10-40cm long, flat and oblong, with lobes more or less equal in size. Because of the location, this example would, I think, be Common Polypody (Polypodium vulgare)

9 comments:

kirstallcreatures said...

I'm really enjoying your foray into the world of lichen. Its something I haven't got to grips with yet, so am finding the subject interesting. They each create their very own delicate and complicated patterns. Have you seen Jessica's Nature blog, http://natureinfocus.wordpress.com/she concentrates on natural patterns (mainly coastal) which have a similar feel, well worth a look. Best wishes, Linda

Phil said...

What luxient lichen growth.... and exquisite photos. I think your fern might be a Polypodium species....

holdingmoments said...

Everyone of these pictures is excellent Emma.
The first two are like some sort of decoration, hung from the tree. Beautiful to look at.
Love the low angle for the two Cladonia, and the two Ochrolechias are like pieces of abstract art.

Emma Anderson said...

Thanks to Linda, Phil and Keith for your comments and especially Phil for the Fern i.d.

Roy said...

All amazing shots Emma.

abbey meadows said...

Fantastic shots Emma...I too have a panasonic Lumix FZ28 but I wish I could get results like yours...I'll have to practice more.

Beyond The Garden said...

what great pictures and so interesting. Identification must have taken alot of work.

Tarset Shepherd said...

I love that fillipendula stuff. Unlike you I've never quite got around to working out what all the strange names are but that stuff has me in awe every time I come across it. Like the tree near sidwood house which is absolutely ladden, I can spend ages just staring, studying in wonderment. Great photos and thanks for letting us all know what these lichens are

Emma Anderson said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments.