~Do you Believe?~
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Cladonia pyxidata - Pixie Cups (Lichen)|
As a lichen this plant is composed of algae and fungus in a symbiotic relationship, where both plants gain benefit and neither are harmed by the relationship. The pixie cup looks like the name implies a tiny cup (1/2 inch high) on the forest floor used by the pixies or wood fairies to sip the morning dew from. They are often found in close association with Another type of lichen called "British Soldiers", because these have a bright red fruiting cap at the end of the stalk, making them look like the red capped British Soldiers of Colonial times.
Most lichens are edible, not necessarily tasty, with few containing toxic substances. The Pixie Cup is one that can be eaten if one were in dire straights and needed something to put in an empty stomach. This particular lichen was once gathered for the presence of didymic acid which was used as a treatment for tuberculosis. Possibly the most interesting lore of the Pixie Cup is that it was valued by the Eskimos who used it as wicks in their blubber oil lamps. The lichens would be floated in the oil and then lit. The oil would burn off of the lichen and continually be replaced, allowing the lichen to remain viable as a wick for quite some time
Take a close look at a Pixie Cup Lichen. The cup is where the spore-like soredia reside, these are fungal hyphae entwined about a colony of algal cells. When a rain drop lands in the cup, the soredia are scattered about. The next generation of Pixie Cups will not grow until the soredia connect with the host algae, Pleurococcus on the ground near the site. When they enter the symbiotic relationship the Pixie Cup will grow again in the new location. The function of the algae in the process is to provide the food for the lichen, this is done through photosynthesis. The fungus is responsible for providing the structure to the lichen. Neither plant would live as well individually as they do in combination.
Notes from www.laurentiancenter.com
Not an incredibly sharp image of this lichen, and I am aware that there is no real focus point. I’m practicing my macro shots so please bear with me!
This Lichen was growing on a rotted tree stump. There was also an interesting fungus growing. Typical ‘mushroom’ shape, approx an inch high (maybe smaller), cap was bright orange and slightly speckled, (but not slimy/shiny) stem bright yellow. No sign of a ring or volva. There is nothing in my book; if anyone can help I’d appreciate it.
Thanks for taking the time to look
Fisher, marhowie, sAner, liquidsunshine, TAZ, extramundi, sandpiper2, Liz, flagman has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
- [2005-04-15 8:11]
Well done on this shot. Excelent composition and details. Well presented, Julia.
Really like this Julia! Great composition as the eye travels from left to right, bottom to top of frame.. Great details, color and a very interesting grouping/formation of Pixie cups..Excellent note. Very well done!
P.S. - Yes, I believe!!
- [2005-04-15 9:54]
Excellent note. Very well composed and very interesting subject. Good colors & POV. This is original; not your average post. A wider DOF would have made this picture perfect. TFS Julia. :)
- [2005-04-15 10:14]
Hi Julia. Excellent photo, very good description. I greet.
A well composed shot Julia,
Good colours and details, the notes are interesting.
Thanks for posting
What no duck!!! More depth of field would have been nice but then there never does seam to be enough of it around. Very good note.
- [2005-04-17 4:31]
Belle et intéressante composition photographique pour ces etonnants spécimens de champignons. Jolies couleurs et bonne netteté.
Well Done !
Nice work. Here you show how you can get a nice DOF, with only F:2.8 and hanheld. You managed very well to show this always interesting subject. I have also posted a Cladonia with fruiting bodies here, if you are interested: http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Europe/Spain/photo4313.htm
Thanks for your comment!
This is really good, haven't seen anything like this over here and I didn't know that lichens are edible. The light and details are nicely presented, well done.
- Liz (24)
- [2005-04-26 21:59]
Good macro, color and note. Julia, any photo of that orange mushroom shaped fungus?
A very interesting subject and note.
Composition is good, a lot to see all over the photo. Lots of detail.
Thanks for sharing.
I've often tried to photograph these same lichen in the forests near my home but haven't had sucess. I love your view of them, great focus and lighting, well done.