Likin’ the lichens.

It has been quite a year for lichen around here. As you can see we have been getting quite a show. The usnea (‘bearded’) lichen loving the wet and the sunny breaks.

Introducing my new mandala muse. LICHEN.

A serpent in the sky and lovers in leaves led me back into the forests around my home, searching for fresh inspiration.
A neon, fibrous, filament glowed invitingly.
A symbiotic fungal, algae, layered, magik caught my eye
And however hard I blink
It invades my being with it’s beautiful form.
Like it,  we all are only just hanging on,
gasping for the sun and clean air.

Kat Robertson. 2018

I decided to have a play with creating some new lichen mandalas. I think I am in love. Their structure is so much fun to work with.

lichen 6 point mandala 3lichen 6 point mandala 5lichen mandala 2lichen mandala 3 point inverselichen mandala 5 point 6lichen mandala 5 point inverselichen mandala 6 point inverseUsnea lichen mandala 1

I find these mandalas are also inspiring more explorations into ‘drawing out’ some of the ‘characters’ and creatures the symmetry brings about. The stories the lichens tell. Hopefully will some to share here soon.

As a side line I am also learning loads about these symbiotic, half fungus, half algae, tree fascinators! I became interested in, perhaps, doing an Open University degree in them, but as soon as I started looking into it all my inner dyslexic aspergers watched all those long dictionary words wobble in front of my eyes and I knew it was not for me….the internet is a wonderful resource tho and I am beginning to observe the different species in the garden and pay more attention to these extraordinary organisms, for want of a better word!

They are not plants, they are made up of two distinct species, they do not harm the trees, all they need is a perch to get the sun and nourishing rain…they do help fix the nitrogen in the air, thereby aiding the tree, and the rotting lichen ‘drop’ serves as nourishment. Made up of many complex layers they breathe for us all, totally independently, despite their parasitic appearance.

I find there is a lot to like.

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