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Something different

Something different
Photo Information
Copyright: Art Roberts (Art_R) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 244 W: 20 N: 839] (3892)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-02
Categories: Lichens
Camera: Nikon D 80, AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm w/ TC-20EII, 62mm UV
Exposure: f/16, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Blue Things II, Alberta Badlands [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-08-14 7:35
Viewed: 3632
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 8
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi Folks , today I decided to go with something a little out of the ordinary from my usual type of stuff :-)

my main problem here is 'what is it?'

well I am not entirely certain what type of growth this is classified as , but it somewhat struck me as interesting and kind of pretty so I photoed it...

when trying to research what this may be called I tried names such as Lichen but that gave a definition of a plant that lives off of other plants , moss , but all of the images where green and none of this growth was , so I tried to search rock eating bacteria , and found the name lithotrophic bacteria , which translates as 'rock eating'.

well to get back to the beginning , this is another of the things I saw in the badlands , a place that in some ways is very similar to desert , there are very few plants that grow along the hills in the badlands , cactus and what I think may be sage ( but have not tried to research that plant yet) , also some areas with moss.

the land is simply not fertile , there is soil eroded of the top of the hills that stops in some pockets , and also just makes its way to the valley , then there is a large degree of fertility that makes its way along the river , and then there is nature.

the way that I kind of see it is in the Alberta prairies lies this area of 'bad land' striped down to ancient rock by an ancient flood , and these old rocks sitting next to the fertile prairies are like a vacuum in life , one thing that nature abhors is a vacuum....

this is a world of life , and where things die , or where life has become difficult , nature moves in , to regenerate life. this bacteria is a beginning of that process , a form of life able to ingest and convert inorganic material into organic material , eroding away at the rocks and turning it into soil.

slowly but surely nature will take back this 'bad land' with such bacterial growths , and drought tollerant plants growing and dieing year in and year out , each cycle adding the valuable nutrients to the area.

when this area was formed it was striped down to these rocks , I am sure it did not take long for the river water to make fertile the area around the river , now there are grass lands forming as well , and one day down the road I am sure the entirety of the stark hills will also be reclaimed.

the hills themselves tell the same story . paleontology says that the colored lines of the hills show where the land was dry arid and infertile , and where it was wet lush and fertile , and these lines also show that the land has been back and forth through these conditions a few times...

of course , I am still not a scientist , so this is really just more of the way that I see it :-)

thanks for stopping in.

eqshannon, red45 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

If your asking for sure it is Lichen...blue Lichen is not as common as other colours so nice that you got this shot. I have not seen any since my days up near the BC Wilderness Border just west of you. nice reminder..fine image Art!

Hi Art!

Bob is right, these are lichen. I dont know which species, there are so many different. Here in our Alps and Prealps we have white, grey, green, orange and yellow ones on the rocks. I like this abstract painting very much and wanted to congratulate you for having tried something different.

Kind regards


  • Vinster Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 91 W: 5 N: 185] (789)
  • [2008-08-14 13:31]

Hi Art
Well done on posting something different! Lichens are amazing colonisers of bare rock like this. They are symbiotic organisms - the bacteria break down the minerals of the rock, and the algae use it (along with sunlight) to make food for the colony. Some specimens in the Arctic have been found to be hundreds, possibly thousands of years old despite only being a few inches across!
Kind Regards

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-08-15 2:22]

Hi Art!

Yes, this is lichen, or rather few species of lichens. I like this kind of posts - something not so common, well photographed and with interesting note. Good work!

Wonderful colours and patterns. Very well seen!

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