Friday, October 28, 2016
A fascinating array of color and life forms inhabit this old windfall. Gnarly white bracket fungus oozes out of dark bark recesses...then doesn’t quite know what to do without a vertical surface on which to cantilever.
Emerald moss seeks out a bit more light on surfaces in brighter shade. And blue-green and gold lichen—a composite, symbiotic organism comprising both a fungus and moss’s more primitive cousin, an alga—likely took up residence here before either of its neighbors.
It is a study, too, of endurance. Fungi and mosses, surviving deep Minnesota winters, can live for years. Lichen, given a more durable substrate than this bark—which is being devoured by the fungus—can easily grow for centuries.