An Alien World

Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia fimbriata)

Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia fimbriata)

It’s like looking into an alien world, but it our world, and the world of lichen. This trumpet lichen grows on the bough of an old willow by my local river, and it is a bit like looking in on an alien landscape. This is a tiny grey-green cup-shaped lichen. Closer inspection reveals a rough, granulated appearance. This lichen is composed of a fungus and an algae which form a symbiotic relationship, where both life forms benefit each other. The trumpet-shaped podetia (cup-like structure) holds the apothecium (reproductive structure) and helps aid in spreading the lichenโ€™s spores when raindrops splash down inside them. Podetia 6 to 30mm tall, 2 to 6mm diameter cups.

Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia fimbriata)

Found on soil and rotting wood. Common and widespread.

Looking closer at the image below the lichen can just about be seen growing amongst the thick mat of moss on this large willow branch.

Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia fimbriata)

Photograph of Trumpet Lichen (Cladonia fimbriata) taken February 2012, by local river, Staffordshire. ยฉ Pete Hillman 2012. Camera used Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38.

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25 thoughts on “An Alien World

  1. Amazing photos Pete, you certainly do some great macro’s.!

    I was getting into Bryophyte’s, however I found that too many of the authorities were even more controversial than those concerned with entomology so I gave it a miss. However at a personal level I still find them very interesting and have a good few photos too.

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  2. Such amazing details when you get that close – an alien world for sure! It is the same when you get some really close ups of insects, some of them really looks like small warriors coming straight out of a movie! ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Great shots Pete. I did a whole series of what I called “Micro Landscapes” a bunch of years ago. As a kid, I loved to lie on the forest floor with my face in close to the mosses and lichens. I’d imagine being a tiny being wandering in a great forest!

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    • Thank you, John. The micro world is indeed an amazing world, and I can understand why you lay on the forest floor letting your imagination go. It is certainly a good way of getting up close to a side of nature which most of us don’t always notice and pass by everyday.

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  4. Thanks for liking my fancy grasshopper. It was a stroke of luck that I spotted it as I was leaning down to take a flower photo. I also enjoy nature and macro photography, especially fungi and plants, so I am going to take some time to look at all your wonderful images. These lichen photos are great!

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  5. We have a little patch of these on the side of the drive which I’ve photographed a few times, but your pictures are superb, so sharp! I love the single little cup. We have so much lichen here, they say it’s because the air is so clean.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, Jude ๐Ÿ™‚ They are quite difficult to shoot being so small and trying to get the focus right, but worth the patience and the effort. I really enjoy these micro-worlds ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

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