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Friday, March 20, 2009

TRAMPING AROUND

PERSIMMON WITH LICHEN BANDS

OK, I am determined to become more knowledgeably about the biota also known as the natural life; animals and plants, around me. I am finding that nature is complex as well as mysterious.

Today it was sunny and in the fifties -- a good day to take a tramp up the hill through the woods. You would have thought that I was heading up MT. Everest as I packed a shoulder bag with binoculars, camera, ID guides, pen and paper etc..

With the poison ivy fairly pulled back from the paths and the ticks not active, I felt a bit more bold in examining trees and vines off the beaten path. This primitive path is uphill and is mainly stony from the underlying limestone of the terrain.

One tree that I discovered is believed to be a Persimmon. At first I thought it was an Ash then a Tupelo, but my daughter straightened me out and said it was a Persimmon. It has alligator type bark that is chunky-type squares. It has fruit that animals like and people wait until it drops from the trees and is soft so they can use it in baking breads and jellies.

Anyway, what was extraordinary was the trunk. Some white symmetrical bands of white were running intermittently up the tall trunk. My thoughts were that the tree was diseased! Notice the bands in the photo above.

After I showed the tree's photos to my daughter she again came to my rescue. No, she said, its lichens. She explained that they are one-dimensional lichens in the crustose family. Meaning: my tree was healthy. Lichens do not harm trees.

Well, identification of the tree and then the lichen was 3F -- fun, frustrating and fascinating. I have a whole woods to explore and like I said in my previous post -- this in going to take years. And as I said before -- all good things take time.

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