A cool day

A cool day and Gracie was feeling good. So a short morning outing to the grasslands was just the ticket on February 11th. 🙂

Gracie certainly agreed! Before long, the the days will be too hot for her. And I had a mission that was perfect. Additionally this unit has plenty of ponds for her! “Perfect…” she said!

So my mission I choose for myself, was to look on the Loblolly Pines for lichens. In particular, crustose lichens. These are the lichens that look like someone has painted them on the substrate.

Indeed this genus, Chrysothrix is a favorite with its neon colors!

We found several species of Chrysothrix! In fact here, you can see one is yellow and the other is greenish. This type of lichen is called leprose. It is composed entirely of granules. The granules are made of the fungi and algae. Some leprose type lichens have fruiting bodies. However the Chrysothrix genus in North America does not.

Above in the previous photo, you may have noticed other greens on the bark. More crustose lichens! I do not know what they are yet. But I am working on them. Crustose lichens make up 77 percent of all lichens (Tripp & Lendemer 2020). They are the least collected and/or noticed. Many have not yet been identified. Hence, I have hard time with them.

Insect casing with crustose lichen to the right.

These are tiny crustose!

Why? Someone knows…

Clear sap!

An insect case that seemed to glow!

We saw an alien’s face LOL. It also looks like something might have eaten some of the outer “crust”.

On this Loblolly Pine, an old injury had made the sap run!

None of the sap was sticky, And this one was clearer. I still am waiting to find a critter stuck in amber or sap.

The pine had a bed of pine needles on the side. I wondered if a critter had used it. And by now you recognized the Chrysothrix lichen on the tree, right?

Finally, we found a moss! There were not many mosses to find among the Loblolly Pines. In fact, at the bases of pines we didn’t find any. Usually it is a good place for mosses.

To sum up the outing, Gracie had a good time! Indeed, we did too! Also of note, the Tiny Bluet (Houstonia pusilla) and Whitlow Wort (Draba cuneifolia) are blooming now (Feb 20).

Biologists successfully hatched gene-edited ticks for the first time

The ups and downs of a great vertical migration

Core memory weavers and Navajo women made the Apollo missions possible

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


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