We've had some good nature walks this month and also a visit to the Blue Mountains. The last time we went The Three Sisters were obscured by a thick mist so our youngest missed out on seeing them but this time we had a great view and just as we were about to leave the mist rolled in to hide them again.
The Three Sisters, Katoomba, NSW
This week we used challenge # 42 on the HONS blog and went looking for the three main types of lichen.
1) Crustose (crusty)
2) Foliose (leafy)
3) Fruticose (shrubby) - which unfortunately we didn't see at all.
Barb has links to websites on the page I linked above. Some others we used are:
This Natural History Museum in the UK has a video explaining what lichens can tell us about pollution in our local environment. Apparently many lichens are sensitive to pollutants such as sulphur dioxide and are used by scientists as 'pollution indicators' as they monitor changes in the patterns of air quality.
Lichens and people - ways in which lichens have been used...stuffing mummies, curing baldness, the manufacture of perfumes and cosmetics amongst other things.
We spent about an hour and a half exploring some of our local bush tracks this morning. It's a lovely time of year to go wandering through the bush - the weather is nippy and the snakes are hibernating. There's only the leeches to contend with and the occasional dog we seem to attract. A very friendly one joined us at the park and accompanied us through the bush. We couldn't get rid of him and ended up re-tracing our steps to get back to where he originally met us after a good hour of his company.
A Track Through the Ferns
A Local Fire Trail