Alpine lichen (Stanislav Sýkora)
Scanned lichen fragment

You might be surprised to find masses of lichens pending from pine branches at altitudes of over 1900 m above sea level. Yet on the southern slopes of the Alps, such a sight is quite common. While the nights are freezing, at noon the burning sun rays make sublimate enough of the abundant snow cover to raise air humidity to levels which lichens love.

The picture on the left is actually not a photo at all. I have just taken a small fragment of the lichen and scanned it on my computer scanner. I think that the result is a most pleasing example of abstract-art, though all the merit goes to the lichen and none to me.

Macugnaga (Valle Anzasca), Northern Italy, Winter 2004.

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