Micro-landscape wonderland

by Patrick Kavanagh

I’ve recently been spending some time on my hands and knees with a tripod and macro lens discovering some of the wondrous micro-landscapes created by the tiny lichens and mosses living on dead wood. Here are some that I’ve found. I think some of the lichens are cup lichens (Cladonia), but would really appreciate some names for some of the species in these shots.

Lichen stack 1


lichen stack 2 crop


lichen stack 8


6 responses to “Micro-landscape wonderland

  1. Are they Triffids ?

  2. What type of ecosystem did you find them in? Are they growing on rock (if so, what type) or decaying wood?
    I’ve recently, and somewhat reluctantly, bought myself a field guide to lichens but I haven’t dug into it yet. It wasn’t my first choice because all the pictures are black and white! Unfortunately my first choice (Bruce Fuhrer & …?) is out of print and I can’t find a second-hand copy for sale. Obviously botany is just a passing fad.

  3. No triffids that I found, Alex, but I suppose a Sundew would count as such for insects. Maybe another time.

    Dayna, these were all on rotting wood and in Heathy Dry Forest – Long-leafed box canopy with grassy understorey and Daphne Heath. It would be great to have a field guide!

  4. Nice photos! The mosses and lichens seem hard to identify. Maybe in picture III there is Cladonia pyxidata, Pebbled pixie cup and Polytrichum, Common haircap moss and the same Polytrichum in picture I.

  5. Thank you Patrick, I love that this post and micro-landscape gives me food for creative thought. It’s an interesting and intricate world.

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