Thursday, January 5, 2012

British Soldiers

We have British Soldier lichens growing on a rotting log in the woods in front of our house. They're called British Soldiers because the red color of the fruiting bodies reminded someone of the red coats worn by British soldiers in the 18th century. They do look like a tiny regiment of Red Coats, come to think of it.

If there is anyone here who doesn't know what a lichen is, it's a plant made up of two other plants, a fungus and an algae. One source stated that this fungus (Cladonia cristatella) and this algae (Trebouxia erici) can each live on its own, but that each seems to do better in association with the other. And, of course, neither is British Soldier without the other.

All of these photos were taken with a Canon 60mm macro lens borrowed from my daughter-in-law. Thanks, Karen!


  1. It's these kinds of things that always get me to philosophizing about such ideas as an essential oneness. It's certainly beautiful lichen.

  2. Oh, I love these! I love photographing lichen myself. It always amazes me that there are so many of them out there. I like to think of them as rock and tree art!

  3. Pretty pictures. We got a macro lens for Christmas and have been practicing with it.

  4. Love these little guys! Great pictures!