This Sunday afternoon I had a look through my recent photos of some of the lichens that I find growing in the area here, some of them in our own garden, others are found in the local forests of West Cork, growing on trees but also on rocks, on stone buildings, on roofs. Our own roof has some orange lichen (I read that this is a sign that we live in a clean environment… no pollution). I love lichen and find them fascinating but so far I have not had much luck with identifying them, for proper identification you need more than the naked eye, a microscope or at least a hand lens. So I’m not going to attempt to put identification with my photos as yet. Lichens are a combination of a fungus and one or more algae in a mutually symbiotic relationship. I read that the algae do the photosynthesis, providing the fungi with energy for reproduction, the fungi in turn provide structural form and protect the lichen from bright light . I find lichen beautiful and in fact would love a workshop on their identification, it would be very interesting especially as there are so many types of them growing here.
This misty Sunday afternoon was a good time for a walk in Myross wood. I’d been to the plant sale there and after picking some new plants for the garden, and a cup of tea that is just what I did. The birds were singing and there was a wealth of new life, flowers and plants, young leaves on the trees as well. I found plenty of beautiful mosses and lichens, also some fungi. As it has been rather wet the last week the woods were full of moisture and many of the plants had rain or mist drops dripping off them. An ideal way to see the forest, beautiful and calm, no wind. There were few other walkers. I could hear the brook from afar adding to an overall feel of dampness which in fact did not disturb me, rather it gave me a refreshing feeling. April in West Cork can be a nice month, still chilly at times but when the sun comes through it gives all of its warmth at once, a very nice feeling that is. Often the month of May is already our summer with temperature going over 20degrees Celsius. But seeing that it is still April the days can be unpredictable, today was misty and windstill, very quiet. The detail that is to be found on the forest floor among some of last autumn’s leaves is amazing, all the new life, so fresh and delicate, beautiful and interesting too. I found plenty of that today. The many photos that I took of the lichen I’ll be showing in another blog post, I simply love lichen and mosses too. Meanwhile enjoy what follows today and thank you for visiting.
From inert fossils and lichens, to the very much alive and energetic lizards, bees and ants, and a huge range of other creatures, the flowers, trees, the amazing rocks and limestone buildings, the land here has such riches to offer for the eye and the mind. It will take me a while to analyse it all. I have taken so many photos while here, and I still have so much in mind to write about. I am still finding out about the agriculture, the organic and permaculture on Gozo. I’m also reading up about the local bees, the honey, the production of local wines, the economy of the land. I have met local people on buses and in shops and we have had great chats, I have also visited the libraries and talked with people at an art exhibition. I find the Gozitans very approachable, they are friendly people and welcoming to strangers.