Last week I was vacationing with the in-laws in upper Michigan. They live on Lake Huron in a wooded area. One of their neighbors pointed out an unusual growth on a nearby wooden fence: “matchstick moss,” he called it.
Intrigued, I grabbed my camera and tripod and took some pictures.
Man, are these things weird. And tiny. For scale, that’s a woman’s wedding band in the pictures below.
!http://community.moertel.com/~thor/pix/20060707/Cladonia-cristatella.jpg(Cladonia cristatella, British soldier lichen)!
!http://community.moertel.com/~thor/pix/20060707/Cladonia-cristatella-close.jpg(Cladonia cristatella, British soldier lichen, close-up)!
Here’s some more information on the fascinating little guys:
- Lichen image gallery: Cladonia cristatella
- Tom Volk’s Fungus of the Month for July 2002: Cladonia cristatella
- Lichens from Backyard Nature
Now that’s interesting stuff!