parmelia lichen


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Wednesday 1st December 1999

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Xanthoria parietinalobes and apothecia LAST NIGHT'S wind dislodged lichen from the roof. It gives me a chance to take a closer look at this scaly, orange-yellow lichen Xanthoria parietina, which is fairly common on concrete posts and on walls. Through a magnifying glass it looks like an alien landscape. There are broad flat lobes around the edges and disc-shaped spore producing bodies, the apotheca, dotted all over the plant.

It is a lichen that can tolerate a certain level of pollution, particularly if it is growing on an alkaline surface, such as mortar, asbestos or limestone. It grows on the concrete based tiles of our extension but not on the terra-cotta tiles of the original roof.

ash We don't see much wildlife on our walk around the valley. But it's still a good feeling to get out into the wintery landscape of the valley with its bare trees, such as this Ash by the lane. The branches are bare but deep green Ivy clings to the trunk.

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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