An unreliable memoir

Urban Lichens

Chewing Gum Lichen

I’ve been looking at lichens. As with most of the natural world, the closer you look, the better it gets. All is well – until you try to do a formal identification. Now my head hurts. However, this one is a “Gimme”, as our American cousins say. An abundance of lichens is often an indicator of unpolluted environments, but the Chewing Gum Lichen is one of the commonest urban species, growing on rocks, concrete and other urban substrates such as my garden path that are enriched with nitrogen – such as from bird droppings. I admire the way these little aliens cling to life, and merrily shrug off me walking on them all the time. If we ever wanted to introduce life on Mars, I’d send these chaps.

Chewing Gum Lichen, Lecanora muralis. Sony DSC-HX20V f3.2 4.5mm 1/100 ISO 100

Chewing Gum Lichen

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