Lichen Covered Rock


Lichen and Moss Covered Rock

Rocks are of a plenty in Vermont. There are many jokes about them being our best crop. Certainly they are reliable. This rock used to be bare naked. In the course of creating terraces, building field roads and stone walls we move a lot of rocks around. Many of them pulled from under the dirt where they haven’t seen the light of day in a thousand years or more. When they come out of the soil they’re often yellow or white. With time they change color due to exposure to the air, water and life.

This rock was dug out of the soil in 2008 when we were creating the South Field Plateau which we use as a winter paddock and for summer crops. When the rock was pulled from the soil the track hoe scraped the rock with it’s teeth. Interestingly those scrape marks still don’t have anything growing on them after all these years of exposure to the sun and rain. Something is different about the raw scraped rock than the older surfaces that were inoculated by the soil. They both appeared clean seven years ago one now grows moss quite nicely while the other remains naked. It gives one an appreciation for how long life must have taken to recolonize the land after the glaciers left.

The rock next to this one is still completely naked and yellow after seven years. A different chemistry I suspect although they came from the same dirt bank. Both were dumped here thousands of years ago by the glaciers. Perhaps they came from very different locations far north of us. In truth, neither is like the ledge rocks we have around here so I think they’re both late comers.

Outdoors: 64°F/34°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: Ruts are nice. Just think of them as groovy.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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3 Responses to Lichen Covered Rock

  1. Dawn Carroll says:

    I always get a kick out of Craig’s List posters that list moss covered rocks for sale in this area where I live (high arid desert) . Some people have no idea that moss & lichen are two different breeds of cat entirely.

  2. Sal says:

    Glacier poop! We have tons and tons, and around here white rocks other than granite that are dug up and exposed to air turn red. An ugly, rusty red that stains clothes and equipment. On the other hand, we have our pick of gravel pits- at least 20 within a 5 mile radius.

  3. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    In the deep south they have Spanish Moss, a moss form that is parasitic on trees, and that has a ghostly affect. In Southern California they have what they CALL Spanish Moss, but which I discovered, as an adult, is actually a lichen with a similar appearance. Enterprising old lifeform.

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