All photographs copyright (2003-2013) by Kris H. Light

Some of the nice things about lichen is that you can enjoy them year-round; they grow just about everywhere; they come in a beautiful variety of colors, shapes and textures; and best of all, they don't move in the wind! My poor husband will now have pu...
Some of the nice things about lichen is that you can enjoy them year-round; they grow just about everywhere; they come in a beautiful variety of colors, shapes and textures; and best of all, they don't move in the wind! My poor husband will now have put up with me taking photos of another kind of organism! ;) These lichens were photographed after a snowfall in the Smokies on Feb. 22, 2009. Lichens are incredibly resilient organisms, they can withstand cold, heat, and drought. Their "Achilles' heel" is poor air quality since they absorb water and nutrients from the air. Park rangers and researchers are studying the health of lichens in the higher elevations of the Smokies to help monitor air quality.
Lichens grow at an incredibly slow pace, some from 0.1mm to 0.5mm / year! Large lichens can be very old; all the more reason to not damage them!

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