With all of the recent rain and wind, the ground is littered with branches and limbs of the looming oak, cedar, sycamore, pine, hickory and other (60+varieties) trees. After the rain finally subsided (11 days straight!), we made our way into the sunshine to clean up the land. So much down wood made for some lovely backyard fires and meals cooked on it!
Before I toss the sticks in the flames, I inspect them. Many of these sticks are covered in a grayish-green moss-like stuff. However, it’s not moss, it is a species of lichen called Usnea. Around these parts, we call it Bushy Beard, or Old Man’s Beard. Usnea is not moss or a parasite or a plant. It is the manifestation of a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungus, like other lichens. There is also oak moss growing along-side, but that I’ll save for another day.
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