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Looking again at lichen

I was looking through our photos from the Garvellachs the other day, and it struck me just how many beautiful images we have of lichen.   There’s lichen growing on almost every surface in these windswept islands – a sign of the damp, mild climate and pure air.

Here are some of my favourites.   Let me know which ones you like best!

Photos copyright © Colin & Jo Woolf

If you’re smitten by the Garvellachs (like me – how did you guess?!) take a look at my recent feature about an intriguing underground chamber close to the medieval chapel.


  • housesandbooks

    Terrific collection of lichen photos! Some of the lichens that grow here in North America can be used to make fabulous purple dyes for yarn. Who’d have thought grey could turn to purple when heated and soaked? For all I know, these same species grow on your side of the Atlantic as well. (Of course, when collecting from the wild, one must never over-pick.)

  • Carmen Mandel

    Each is absolutely unique in beauty and textures. Moss and lichen are fascinating organisms. Great pictures!. The faded cross and the Grey Seal are very interesting sightings, too. All are lovely!.

    • Jo Woolf

      Thank you! Lichens really do make wonderful works of art! I love the faded cross too, so simple – more beautiful in my eyes than many of the more elaborate memorials in other graveyards.

  • tearoomdelights

    You give us an impossible task, Jo! I like them all but if I weren’t choosing the seal (and the appeal to ‘pick me’ does make me want to pick it), I would go for the third photo of the lichen-covered wall. I like the bleached look of it, but each of the other pictures are worth a pick too and I’m glad you put them all in. Lovely variety.

    • Jo Woolf

      🙂 I love the third photo too, and the first one because it’s such a lovely shaped rock. I’m really glad you liked them all! Not sure how I will break this to the seal, though.

  • Darlene (Colvin) Wayman

    Hi Jo from South Texas USA!

    I stumbled across your blog when doing some internet browsing on lichen. Love your pix! Love your writing! I share your love of rocks, lichen, and all things in nature. I think it’s all so incredibly fascinating! So much so that it’s beyond me when folks are NOT fascinated….go figure.
    Hubby and I bought 5 acres of virgin land in the country and we’re in heaven! We’re building our new home but are only clearing enough for our house and will keep the rest like our own private little nature park. This area of Texas is mostly limestone and is cave “rich”. We have a very small cave opening begging to be explored along with many sink holes and fissures on our property. (Check out “Cave Without A Name”, Boerne TX, It’s almost literally our back yard.) I spend many hours on our property examining and collecting rocks, and admiring the different forms of lichen that grow in our area. Absolutely amazing!
    My ancestry is Scotish/Irish/English. I think I feel my ancestors calling when I read your posts and see your beautiful photos. I need to do some research and find out more about where my forefathers called home.
    Anyway, the world is a richer place because of you. That is the real beauty of the internet…meeting interesting people like yourself, visiting places without leaving home, having access to a vast amount of knowledge, and sharing bits of wonderful things about and around the world! God Bless You!

    • Jo Woolf

      Hi Darlene, Lovely to hear from you and thank you SO much for your kind words which are very much appreciated. It’s wonderful to find kindred spirits across the world. I do agree with you about lichens in particular – we are always stopping to photograph them – and there is an abundance of them in Scotland, with the clean damp air! Likewise, I am also addicted to collecting rocks. It’s a passion that never goes away. It sounds as if your ancestors are definitely calling to you! I wonder what part of Scotland (and of England/Ireland) they were from. I did take a look at the ‘Cave without a name’ – and wow, what spectacular formations! How lucky to have that close by. It looks like a magical place – a natural treasure. Thank you for sharing this. Bless you too for your comments, and I hope you continue to enjoy The Hazel Tree! 🙂

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