Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lichens and liverworts and moss, oh my..

I am recovering from a terrible sinus infection and a possible tooth infection. Seven days of treatment with Amoxicillin were just a waste of time. Now I've been on Augmentin for 3 days and I am starting to recover. My sinus condition is better but I still have a good sized boil just over the root of one of my teeth. I suspect that I am going to lose that tooth. At least the tooth does not hurt much anymore as most of the nerves in it are probably dead now. The tooth has been discolored for a while. My PA suggested that I wait to see if the Augmentin stops the boil before I see the dentist.

Anyway I am finally feeling well enough to take little walks around town and admire the moss and lichens and liverworts. It is easy to see where the pollution is in this town just by looking at the lichens. Near the sawmill and the freeway I can only find pollution tolerant lichens and even some of them look pollution stressed. But just 11 blocks away and upwind, I can find lichens that require clean air. Here is a wonderful example on a sugar maple tree. When I was admiring this wonderful little patch of diversity a neighbor walked up to me and asked me if I was tripping.. perhaps I was. I can actually name almost everything in this picture by sight, how trippy is that? The white lichen is Parmelia sulcata, it is pollution tolerant but is very stressed out living on this tree, perhaps the air is too clean for it here and it is not getting the nitrogen it needs. The big black lichen is Sticta fuliginosa, the small black lichen is Nephroma resupinatum, the large green lichen is Lobaria pulmonaria all pollution sensitive species. There is an Orthotrichum moss in the picture as well as the Porella navicularis liverwort. I can not ID the tiny mushroom in the dead center but I suspect it is a basidio lichen. Yes, I could probably spend hours tripping on just the little patch, but it's right next to the main road and it raises eyebrows when I linger here for too long.

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