2006/07/03

Just Another Brick In The Wall

My new desktop picture shows a lichen covered retaining wall not far from our house here in Japan. Lichens are one of those things that are so ubiquitous that they become background and usually escape out attention. Yet if one takes the time to stop and look, they offer a subtle beauty with their colors and patterns.

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Lichen are found on every continent on the planet and the in harshest climates, from the Sahara Desert to Antarctica. Taking form with many different shapes and colors, they are symbiotic organisms made from members of two and sometimes three kingdoms: fungi, algae, and cyanobacteria. The lichen fungi uses one or both of the other two for their food making capability. In exchange, the lichen offers the algae a structure to live in. Fungi and algae can live separately, but they do better together.

As part of the ecosystem, they provide food for some birds and animals and are used by traditional Native American cultures as medicines and dyes. Lichen grow so very slowly that some of them are believed to be among the oldest living things on earth.

So take a look around - on the ground, in the trees, on rocks - and discover the beauty of the lowly lichen.

13 comments:

Happysurfer said...

A lot of things we take for granted. This for one. Thanks for highlighting its presence and importance, Pandabonium.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Even the simplest forms of life can be amazingly complex.

(Why do I suddenly hear Louis Armstrong singing?)

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

My favourite Australian artist, John Wolseley painted several works based on lichen. He's an artist/geographer/scientist who peers at both minute living things and philosophy and the big picture, going to places like Pategonia for source material.
W.

Pandabonium said...

Cool Wendy. I'll have to check out his work. Thanks.

FH2O said...

... it's not just another brick in the wall! ;)

Pandabonium said...

Thanks, FH2O.

PinkPanther said...

PandaB: Another pretty ‘n natural desktop wallpaper. NICE one.
Surely, if we open our eyes and look around those subtle things, we would feel that we’re living in such a lovely and beauty EARTH, as well as to increase the colorful of our life.
You see! Moody captures some vivid and pretty spiders on his lately post.

Pandabonium said...

Thanks Pink Panther. I like your new picture by the way. Yes, I saw Moody's spider - beautiful. Taking time to be aware of our surroundings can open a whole new world to us.

Robin said...

No No bad fengshui.. imagine, looking at a block wall every day is bad chi..

ok ok.. that's if u beleive fengshui.

haha

Pandabonium said...

I thought bad fengshui was when you put a rock next to a hardplace and get caught between them. ;)

The Moody Minstrel said...

No, that's just plain bad luck!

Momo the Wonder Dog said...

I thought fenshui was a Chinese lichen found on the Great Wall.

Robin said...

momo.. and shih tzu is a breed from China,

you know.. hehe