Site 22: Lichen on the Rock Wall
In creating, the only hard thing's to begin;
A grass-blade's no easier to make than an oak.
James Russell Lowell - A Fable for Critics
The distinct deep yellows, bright oranges, and ghostly greens of the growth on the wall to the right often draw the eye at this sight. Lichens are primitive plant-like organisms that evolved millions of years ago. What you see is actually the result of a mutualistic relationship between a fungi and an algae. The algae cells photosynthesize, creating sugars from basic chemical components using the energy of the sun. The fungi provide space for the algae cells to grow, supply it with nutrients, and can use the sugars to perform their own cell functions. Here, this species of lichen likely belongs to the Caloplaca genus.
Land of Fires - Site 22