I have mentioned several times how well mosses grow in the Robson Valley. Well, lichens also find the environment around here “growth friendly”. Above is a photo of an old fence post at the edge of my pond, covered with lichen.
Situated on the slope above our house is an old rockslide whose boulders are all covered with lichen. It is a pioneering plant that can establish itself in places where most plants wouldn’t be able to find enough nutrients to survive. Even my old green truck, that sat derelict out in my pasture, started to support lichen growth. The plant seems only to need a hard surface where it can collect some moisture and a bit of sunlight.
If I remember my botany, lichen are a combination of both algae and fungus. The fungus supplies the moisture and structure and the algae which can give the partnership food that it generates from sunlight. Over many many years of living in a spot they create enough moisture and nutrients that then allow other plants to become established.
Below is a photo of our lichen-covered picket fence.
You can view my paintings at: www.davidmarchant.ca