From the pictures on television and on the internet this morning, other parts of the midwest and the East Cost are getting pounded by yet another winter storm. If the choice is between a Polar Vortex or a blizzard, dare we ask to see what's behind door #3? What troubles me immensely is the prospect that this Winter's weather pattern could be the new normal, thanks to climate change patterns. Warm Alaska and cold Minnesota is a pattern I can do without.
lichen, one or two types? © harrington
While visiting Wild River State Park last Spring, I noticed this branch encrusted (is that the right word?) with lichen (a combination of a fungus plus a cyanobacteria or an algae). I hadn't gotten around to trying to identify what it is (they are?) until now. I'm still not sure, but yesterday's entry in Larry Weber's Backyard Almanac suggests it / they may be "blue-green lichen." That seems like it could be right for the specimen at either end of the trio. For the one in the middle, I think I need to do more research. Since I'm also in the process of reading Robin Wall Kimmerer's Gathering Moss, I may have the excuse I need for a new field guide. Now, if only the specimens I run into in the field will try to look more like what's in the field guides, I might be in business. I could even learn if John Kinsella is using his poetic license on lichen or telling a literal truth.
Lichen Glows in the Moonlight
Lichen glows in the moonlight
so fierce only cloud blockingthe moon brings relief. Then passed by,recharged it leaps up off rocks
and suffocates—there is no routethrough rocks without having to confrontits beseeching—it lights the way,not the moon, and outdoes epithets
like phosphorescent, fluorescent, or florescent:it smirks and smiles and lifts the cornerof its lips in hideous or blissful collusion,and birds pipe an eternal dawn, never knowing
when to sleep or wake. They mightbe tricked into thinking their time’s up,in the spectrum of lichen, its extra-gravitalpersuasion, its crackling movement
remembered as still, indifferent, barelyliving under the sun, or on a dark night;climbing up you’d escape, but like all greatmolecular weights it leaves traces
you carry with you into the realmsof comfort and faith.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can. Be kind to each other while you can.