Friday, October 8, 2010

Pic Today 10/8/10


LOTS TO LIKE
ABOUT LICHENS

Lichens survive better than most life forms
on our planet, and have for millions of years.
There are more than 14,000 different species of lichens,
living in almost any climate or condition --
in the frozen arctic, hot arid deserts, rocky coasts,
even toxic slag heaps.
Lichens grow on rocks, sterile soil or sand,
altitudes too high to support plants,
and survive extended spells of total drought.
They've been sent into the total vacuum of deep space
for 2 weeks, only to return in perfect health.

Lichens come in every color of the rainbow,
and can be scaly, leafy, shrubby or crusty.
They don't possess roots, and yet require
water and sunlight to survive.

Remarkably, each lichen is actually a
symbiotic relationship between 2 organisms --
a partnership between fungus and algae.
They thrive together in a unique arrangement
that neither would be able to handle on its own.

You've seen them on rocks, in trees, on gravestones,
in your yard, in the wild.
They've been used in traditional medicines,
soup and salad recipes, dyes and perfumes.
(Yellow lichens are always poisonous!)

Lichens thrive and survive, no matter what.

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