Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ABC Wednesday - "F"

(click on photo to enlarge)

"F" is for British Soldiers?

Whilst taking my "D" photo a couple of weeks ago, I discovered an interesting growth on the old timbers of the bridge upon which I was standing. I had never seen such before, and had not the faintest inkling of what I was observing. I took my camera, with photos, to my gardening daughter's home and we looked it up in her Fungus book (she has a book for just about every sort of thing one might encounter in the great outdoors.) Turns out that what I had on my camera card was a lichen named British Soldiers. A quick Google search revealed the following:

"British Soldiers is a lichen which gets its name from its resemblance to the uniforms worn by English soldiers during the Revolutionary War. A lichen is not just one organism, but a fungus and algae living together to form a new organism.

The fungus in British Soldiers is called Cladonia cristatella. The algae is known as Trebouxia erici. Because lichens take the name of the fungus part of the relationship, British Soldiers is also known as Cladonia cristatella." - The above information taken from the Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools web site. More information on British Soldiers can be found here.

This fungus/algae combination is really tiny. I estimate that the longest of the growths shown in my photo were about an inch long.



ABC Wednesday was created by Mrs. Nesbitt. Please visit the ABC Wednesday site to view others' interpretations of this week's letter, "F."

37 comments:

SHUANG said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TSannie said...

I've never heard of that fungus/lichen, let alone seen it, and it's beautiful! You must go back and get lots more photos! I remember that fungus/algae/lichen lesson from high school biology class (a looooong time ago). Thanks for the reminder lesson.

Your photo is really wonderful, Pat. Great F contribution....and L contribution....and A contribution... ;-)

Louise said...

The photo is fabulous! The name and description are hilarious!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

How interesting Pat... I have never heard of such a thing. I'm learning more and more every day..

Thanks!
Hugs,
Betsy

Betsy from Tennessee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Betsy from Tennessee said...

Sorry-my blog published twice... Duh..
Betsy

naturglede said...

That was a good one for the F. Love it. Have a fun abc:)

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

It is so Fantastic and Fabulous to read all the F post. Excellent choice.
I think it is amazing with this ABC.
You learn new stuff every week, thank you Pat.

xoxo Tyra

Hilary said...

That's a fantastic photo, Pat. And truly an interesting background to its name. You never fail to have unique posts.

अविनाश said...

fantastic capture

Reader Wil said...

That is new to me! I've never seen such a fungus! Thanks for taking the trouble of taking a photo of it and lateron looking it up. It's learning every time new things that makes blogging so interesting.

Carolina said...

Oh gosh Pat, you managed to capture that lichen (that I never heard of) beautifully. Stunning photo! Great post!

jinksy said...

Guess the old English Redcoats had the same scarlet uniforms...

Snap said...

Wonderful! And, Educational! Just what I'd expect from you! :)

Hugs--

Kate said...

Great photography, and what an interesting lesson.

Thanks for sharing

Kate
cholulared.blogspot.com

Jeannelle said...

Oh, Pat.....this is so interesting. I have never heard of such a thing. Good for you to enlighten us to this unusual member of nature. Bravo!

Suldog said...

Educational! I love to learn something when I come to someone's blog, and I wasn't disappointed today. Thanks!

Jay said...

Lichens are fascinating, aren't they? I've never seen one so colourful though!

Tumblewords: said...

Superb photo! I love local lichen but have never seen anything like this...gorgeous...

Arkansas Patti said...

Great shot and such a lovely fungus. Pretty enough to want to cultivate. Wonder if you could?

Sandi McBride said...

Quite fetching for a fungus.
Sandi

Berthddu Suit said...

What a great post, really interesting. I don't think I've come across this fungus before. Thanks fo sharing it!

Countrygirl said...

What a pretty picture and great lesson!

Patty said...

I've never seen anything like that before. It's quite lovely.

pictureeachday said...

Ooh! I don't ever think of lichens as beautiful, but this one is! I never knew that a lichen was fungus and algae living together. Thanks for the info :)

magiceye said...

such an interesting post and brilliant picture!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I've seem these before but never knew what they're called. Nice photos. The lichen is such a lovely shade of green with the red.

JC said...

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

George said...

I've never heard of British soldier fungus, but seeing the bright red I would say that the name is appropriate.

Dragonstar said...

That's really fascinating! I'd no idea that a lichen could have that sort of colouring.

RuneE said...

Now you have taught me something totally new! That saved my day.

PS Thank you for the very pleasant comment!

Pretty Me!! said...

nice and informative...

Moannie said...

That is amazing...who knew such a plant existed before zoom lens?

Dreamybee said...

That is really cool-what a great find! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. :)

Miss_Yves said...

Fascinating shot !
A name full of ...fancy!

ramblingwoods.com said...

That is so interesting as I didn't know that and it shows that paying attention to little things in nature can reap big rewards...great post.. Michelle

Grace and Bradley said...

Beautiful picture, i have no idea of what it is in the begining. Very nice information, an interesting read.