A couple of posts ago I showed some lichens that I found growing on a boulder. I have also seen many different lichens growing on trees and branches, both live and dead.
This hairy looking lichen was on a live tree. I think it might be a beard Lichen, but they are hard to identify so I’m never completely sure. It could also be reindeer lichen or antler lichen.The Apache painted wolf-lichen (Letharia vulpina) crosses on their feet so they could pass their enemies unseen. Wolf lichen is one of the beard lichens and is poisonous. It was used in Europe to poison wolves, but was also the most widely used dye lichen for Native Americans.
This one looks more like a bunch of antlers to me than the one in the previous photo, so I’m going to assume it’s one of the antler lichens. Lumbermen often develop allergies to this type of lichen because of the acids they contain. Because this one and the one in the previous photo are shrub-like, they are Fruticose lichens.
I love the different colors and shapes of lichens. This one that I see as green my daughter says looks orange-yellow. Since she’s the one with no color blindness, I’ll go with her assessment. One species of yellow lichen (Evernia) which grows on pine and fir trees was used as poison on stone arrow tips by the Achomawi people of California.
This one looks orange or maybe orange-red to me. It was growing on a dead branch.Two species of lichens were recently exposed to open space for over 14 days by the European Space Agency.The lichens not only survived, but were still able to undergo photosynthesis. This means that lichens could be the first earth creatures to colonize another planet. Scientists believe that one day they will be able to transport living organisms to Mars.
These look bright red to me. They were also on a dead branch. I’m not sure which species of lichen they are, but I think they’re one of the leaf lichens.It is estimated that there may be as many as 20,000 known species of lichens, and scientists think that more than half of them contain substances with antibiotic properties.
I think this one is a “hammered shield” lichen, (Parmelia sulcata) so called because each lobe looks as if it had been hammered out of a metal sheet. Some lichens, like Vitricolous lichens will even grow on glass. Vitricolous is from the Latin vitrum (glass) and cola (indicating inhabitant). It literally means “glass inhabiting,” and these lichens have damaged stained glass windows in European cathedrals by etching the glass as they grow.
This one growing on a crabapple tree looks as if it’s made of play dough. It’s possibly one of the leaf lichens. Fruticose lichens are shrub-like, foliose lichens look like leaves, and crustose lichens look like crusts. Some lichens grow only a fraction of an inch in a year. This one seemed to appear overnight, but has probably been on this branch for years. One odd thing about most lichens is how easy they are to miss unless you are looking for them. Some lichens can be mistaken for other things. The salt lichen is glossy black and grows in large colonies on rocks that are exposed to sea water at high tide. It is often mistaken for spilled crude oil.
This is one of the most common lichens that I see often, especially on red oaks. It might be “heather rags,” (Hypogymnia physodes) so named because it is ragged and gray and grows among the heather in Scotland. Scottish names for lichens are among the best I think, with names like Sunburn, Rock Hair, Yellow Candles, Golden Pine Lichen, Little Clouds, Oak Moss, Crab’s-eye, Coral Crust and Sea Ivory.
I wasn’t sure if these were even lichens, but I have since found photos and descriptions of lichens known as “common script lichens” (Graphis scripta) which appear very similar. They are said to grow on smooth barked trees, which these were. Lichens are so sensitive to air pollutants that in 1972 school children throughout Britain mapped lichens around their homes, which helped produce the “Mucky air map of Britain.”The map showed where clean and dirty air was to be found in Britain.
I’m not sure what these are either, but I like them. They were growing on a birch branch. If they are “olive-brown, broadly rounded, smooth to slightly wrinkled and sometimes very shiny” it’s possible that they are “lustrous camouflage lichen,” also known as wart lichen. (Melanelia exasperatula) The trouble is, they look kind of maroon colored to me. I wonder if the “exasperatula” part of their scientific name is because people can get so exasperated trying to identify lichens??
No, probably not.
I hope you enjoyed seeing a few more New Hampshire lichens. Thanks for stopping by.