21 March 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Close up on the branch of an apple tree


28 comments:

  1. Spring, when the world awakens. Great shots.

    ReplyDelete
  2. that's cool, I love close up shots...Spring is coming!
    Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like somebody will have apples this year!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting close-ups. It's the small things that'll matter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. wonderful shots
    mines Up :)
    visit me at http://jenz.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like closeups. They cause you to see things you'd ordinarily miss.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beautiful sign of spring.

    http://hummingbunny.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a nice reminder that this is spring.
    Happy WW

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, wonderful moss and lichens! I believe that kind of lichen suggests you have less pollution (well, or it's the complete other way round... I studied lichens once with my eldest daughter. They are an environmental indicator... isn't that cool?)

    ReplyDelete
  10. LL - that is cool! I miss being in a classroom environment for that very reason. I remember coming home from school some days & prattling on about all the cool stuff I learned. Pardon me while I go Google lichens ... :o)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great pics! I have these, but can't get these good close-ups.
    Happy WW!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kirsten, how beautiful! I'd say you're doing really well with your new camera! Thanks for stopping by my place.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can't wait for the 31st - it will be great to catch up.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great closeup shots! I am so happy it's Springtime. I also like the different shades of green on the tree. Beautiful picture.
    Happy WW!

    ReplyDelete
  15. So, did you discover anything about lichens? Do tell.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I learned a lot about lichens at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichens#Ecology.

    These are tough little plants, rootless and able to tolerate long periods of dehydration. They often grown on rocks & other non-pourous surfaces, but also are found living on other plant life (like the apple tree). Interestingly, they are not parasites: they do not consume or poison the plant they are attached too.

    As far as ecological indicators go, this is what the article has to say:
    "Although lichens typically grow in harsh environments in nature, most lichens, especially epiphytic fruticose species and those containing cyanobacteria, are sensitive to manufactured pollutants. Hence, they have been widely used as pollution indicator organisms."

    Interesting little organisms, those lichens!

    ReplyDelete
  17. So, which kind is yours? Indicator or health, or no?

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am reasonably certain it is an indicator of health. Residents of this particular area of the state are adamant (both on personal & corporate levels) about using clean, renewable sources of energy & limiting the use of single-occupant vehicles; there is a lot of emphasis ride-sharing, riding the bus (many of them are using biodiesel fuel now), riding a bike, etc. On the whole, embracing a "green" lifestyle is as much a part of the culture here as espresso and fancy microbrews are.

    I know that we have good air quality here (96% of the time, according to scorecard.org) and that our governor is adopting some of the Kyoto protocol into law at a state level as it is pretty clear that this won't happen anytime in the near future with the federal gov't.

    I haven't yet had a chance to look into the specific type of lichen on that tree, but now I'm very curious about what it might indicate. I see those all the time, but it wasn't until I saw them through a camera lens that I recognized their beauty. They're quite marvellous, actually.

    I'll do some more research this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow, you and LL are having quite the lovely conversation here!

    Missing your beautiful and amazing posts, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  20. i just read all the comments and i loved the exchange between you and l.l.- it's so great to keep that sense of curiosity and wonder about nature. you not only saw this beautiful site, but wanted to find out more about it...what exatly it was and it's purpose.

    cool! i learned a lot about lichen just reading this interchange. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Reminds me that my crab apples will be blooming soon. Well maybe not soon but eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you, all. Really. This week, I've felt a bit like Wilberforce in that part of "Amazing Grace" where he tells his butler that in spite of the dazzling political career he has before him, he'd rather be looking at spiderwebs. That is a bit of what I've been doing this week - just taking some time to be amazed at the world around me & giving my computer time a brief rest.

    I imagine I'll be posting something new soon, but definitely just needed some time away from my computer. :o)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow. There really ARE websites for everything. Check out what I found at lichen.com/environment (I kid you not!):

    "With more than 3600 species in the United States and Canada, lichens are a major component of biological diversity. Lichens, though, are extremely vulnerable to habitat alteration, so it comes as no surprise that the habitats with the highest lichen species diversity are the remnants of ancient forests and other undisturbed ecosystems.

    The association between high diversity of lichens and pristine habitiats is so clear that scientists use lichens as indicators of ecosystem continuity -- to help them identify areas that should be protected.

    Certain lichen species grow primarily (or even exclusively) in undisturbed habitats. Pseudocyphellaria rainierensis, for instance, grows in the old-growth coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest." ...

    "In a baseline air-quality study, lichen specimens from the Tongass National Forest in Alaska were chemically analysed to see what toxics were in the air.
    Most lichens are extremely vulnerable to air pollution. When lichens disappear, they give early warning of harmful conditions."

    Oh, I see a post about LICHENS in my near future!

    ReplyDelete