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Lichens are an interesting combination of fungi and alga that symbiotically partner to make something more than either one separately.  They have varying shapes depending on the fungi that’s present and usually live in places that plants have a hard time surviving, such as on rocks or dead wood.  They are small, generally, and are easy to miss unless you slow down.

 

They have many interesting shapes that are especially cool once you look at them under a microscope.

Lichen page © 2011 Karen A. Johnson

Lichen page
© 2011 Karen A. Johnson

 

Once I was introduced to them in that way, I started noticing them more often.  Then my friend brought in some British Soldier lichens (Cladonia cristatella) and I was entranced by their bright red caps and textured stalks.  Sketching and playing with polymer clay ensued and this is the result…

British Soldiers sketch

British Soldiers sketch

British Soldier Lichens-necklace of polymer clay © 2015 Karen A. Johnson

British Soldier Lichens-necklace of polymer clay
© 2015 Karen A. Johnson

I’ve been thinking about these red-capped beauties ever since and hope to see them in the wild some day!  Enjoy!

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