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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:24 AM   #1
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Default Mostly Lichens

Had a bit of spare time to head up to Holston Mt (Bristol TN end of the mountain) to enjoy some wintry views and to continue learning/cataloging our native moss species. At first I thought it might also be a good day for views across shady valley...
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:25 AM   #2
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But the clouds thickened quickly, making for rather gray views over towards Iron Mt.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:28 AM   #3
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But that thick overcast made perfect light for enjoying (and photographing) the abundant lichens up on the mountain.
Lichens are actually two living things - a fungus and an algae that grow together ("They took a likin' to each other!"). Very tough plants that can grow in very difficult conditions. But they are damaged by air pollution.
Holston Mountain's clean air is great for many lichen species.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:29 AM   #4
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Here are some detailed views of one of the varieties of "Rock Tripe" lichen. You can see the fruiting bodies on some of these (new lichens coming...)
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:31 AM   #5
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And here are two tiny "Lichen Gardens" with some nearby mosses as well. The little cup-like growths are called "pixie cups."
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:32 AM   #6
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We did find some interesting moss species on the mountain too (still working on the identification!)
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:33 AM   #7
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We also found plenty of fungus, thriving in the cool and damp, and some interesting reminders of the abundance of bloom from last summer, now gone to seed...
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:35 AM   #8
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Back at the home park, sun broke through briefly, long enough for this coot to enjoy a somewhat warmer swim.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 6:36 AM   #9
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Will be out in the new snow today, checking on park wildlife (tracking) and checking trails.
Hope you are enjoying a great start to the new year, and that enjoyed this brief jaunt up the mountain. Thanks so much for your comments, critique & suggestions.
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Old Jan 6, 2011, 3:59 PM   #10
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I really enjoy looking at your post, Mole.
They bring back fond memories. Thanks for sharing.
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