Liking Lichens

Liking Lichens

Lichens on basalt, Liking LichensLichens #59874

One of my favorite quirky subjects I love to photograph are lichens. Lichens grow just about everywhere but unfortunately are unappreciated by most people. They are some of the oldest organisms found on land, dating back perhaps 600 million years. They live in some of the most extreme conditions and are an important food source for animals such as caribou. For humans they are a natural source of antibiotics and pigments. Lichens are also an indicator of clean air as they will not grow in the presence of  pollutants.

During my recent visit to Cottonwood State Park in Oregon I saw some outstanding lichen colonies. A large outcropping of columnar basalt which remains in shade harbored a beautiful display in many striking colors. Juxtaposed against the interesting patterns and cracks of crystallized basalt, the lichens made a wonderful abstract study.

Admittedly this kind of subject matter isn’t appealing to everyone, but I had a great time picking out interesting compositions.

Lichens on basalt, Liking LichensBasalt and Lichens #59895

Lichens on basalt, Liking LichensLichens #59869

Lichens on basalt, Liking LichensLichens and Basalt #59897

Lichens on basalt, Liking LichensBasalt and Lichens #59881

Liking Lichens

Last vestiges of summer

Purple Monkey Flowers

These two photos were made last week as the fall rains started settling in on the Pacific Northwest. I was surprised to still see such vibrant color in the alpine. This summer seemed to fly by at the speed of light. One day in May I was completing my Southwest photo edit and planning a full season of travel and nature photography, and the next thing I know September is drawing to a close.

As some of you may know the last three and a half months have kept me at home occupied with family medical emergencies. It’s easy to feel that I lost nearly four months of photographing in a business that is very difficult to survive in during the best of times. However when I reflect on the fact that I’ve been given such a great opportunity to be with and help my mother, and that my family has been brought closer together than they’ve been in a long time, I truly feel blessed. So in retrospect this actually has been a very rewarding summer.

Alpine Lady Ferns

A Change in the Weather

After several months of mostly beautiful weather a wet Labor Day weekend is upon us, heralding the changing of the seasons. While summer will certainly be missed some of the best is yet to come, roadside fruit stands laden with the harvest of apples and squashes, crisp autumn mornings and warm clear afternoons, the smell of wood smoke from a cabin, and of course the glorious colors of the leaves.

Spring Wildflowers

A common wildflower here in the Northwest is the Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum). It’s often overlooked because it is everywhere, from empty lots and backyards to woodland trails, and is often considered a nuisance plant. However when seen through a close-up lens the flower has a quiet beauty that is nicely photogenic.