Thirty Days Wild, thirty posts throughout June (and July!) something that is grounded in our wild world. This year posts are from our travels around the north coast of Scotland on the North Coast 500 route and a visit to Orkney. Stand by, for lots of sky, sea, wildlife, history, Spud the dog and random musings.
Lichen, a symbiosis between fungi and alga. The islands of Orkney have the most sumptuous lichen I’ve ever seen
I’ll not pretend to try and understand of identify them, the most accessible information I could find is on The Woodland Trust website, which is ironic because if there is one thing Orkney is in short supply of its trees.
Lichens are often an indicator air quality and pollution. The leafy and beardy species being the most fragile, in their response to the air quality.
I can confirm the air on Orkney is palpable in its freshness, its a striking feature of the islands; as is the quietness (apart from the gorgeous, gorgeous,birdsong)
its’ a quietness that presses on the eardrum, as unfamiliar with this void of noise, it seems to scan for familiar sounds amongst the white noise of wind, sea and birdsong
Orkney has so much archaeology it makes it your head spin. It has standing stones a plenty. The perfect host for a colonisation of lichen
In close view they look like maps of different worlds, which I suppose they are.
There was a time when man deemed a good idea to clean the precious stones of lichen. The lichen fought back.
They also takes hold of more contemporary standing stones