Lichen Maine

The next time you’re in the woods, somewhere in Maine, and you see this particular (enormous) rock, you should take the time to climb up the ridge right behind it. You’ll be in for a treat.


As you come to the top of the little ridge, all of a sudden you see sky.  The top of the ridge is rock, and doesn’t support tree growth ver well. To the right the ridge slopes down very quickly towards a stream. If the conditions are damp, watch your footing. Wet mosses and lichens can be slippery.


It’s a rather enchanting stream.
(There will be more pictures of this stream in a future post…)

Along this ridge is a breathtakingly beautiful area of lichens.


They grow exuberantly, a half a foot tall in places, intermingling with low bush blueberry, and seedlings of spruce, maple, and birch. If you put your head near the ground you lose you sense of scale, and start to think that you’re flying over groves of trees.

The lichen colors range from white to grey to green…


Speaking of scale, these lichens are so perfectly tree and bushlike that architects have long used them in their model building presentations.


First leaves newly unfurled, a young maple tries for a roothold.


Lichen, rising, like puffy cumulus clouds on a summer day.

To every tint in between.



Some call this type of lichen “reindeer moss”. What an amazing combination of delicacy and toughness. A Maine winter is cold and snow-laden. Winter comes and goes and somehow this organism is not flattened by snow or ice.

Miracles never cease.

3 responses to “Lichen Maine

  1. Beautiful, as I live in a hot dry climate we never see anything like the size and amount of these lichens, anywhere. They are amazing for their strength and tenacity. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Lichen It | thetompostpile·

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