mercredi 2 février 2011

Lichens of the Lot

The Lot is a wonderful place to go lichen hunting.  Our forests are so covered in lichens that the bare trees look pale green.  I've been thinking about lichen dyeing for a couple of months now and was inspired to go ahead and try it when I saw this beautiful blog post

Yellow lichen on a maple tree.

Slimy black rock lichen.

I spent an hour today collecting 7 different types of lichens from around the yard. 

Lichen growing on moss.

A very common lichen that grows on oak trees.
 I'm fermenting my lichens in a mixture of two parts water to one part ammonia.  Three of the jars are already turning beautiful shades of pink and orange.  I'll keep shaking them daily for three or four weeks to get enough color for a first dye bath. 

Large dark brown lichen growing on moss.

Oak moss and other lichens growing on an oak.

 Three weeks should give me the time to identify my lichens.  It's important to remember that many lichens are slow growing and some are protected by local laws.  When you collect lichens, try to collect only lichens from fallen branches.  If you're collecting lichens from rocks it's a good rule of thumb to collect only a very small portion of the total number of lichens.

Another mystery lichen.

 Here are a few rock lichens.  Some of them are much too thin (or slow growing) to scrape off of the rocks, but I thought you might appreciate the pretty pictures.

Beautiful patterns made by several different kinds of lichens.

A common bright orange yellow lichen.

A small white lichen.

A spotted rose colored lichen.

A delicate peach lichen.      

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