Monday, March 30, 2020

Green ghost

This is a strange thing. In a tangle of old dead ferns, thimbleberry canes, alder branches, blackberry vines and ancient logs, all in shades of brown and grey, a large mass of pale, sickly green shone out. I pushed through the weeds and climbed over a few slippery logs to get a better look.

It's a stump, almost completely encased in lichen.

Of course, these lichens are everywhere, but what intrigues me is that on none of the surrounding logs or branches is there any sign of it. Just on this stump. The green on the logs on the right is moss; there was no lichen on them.

View from as close as I could get without breaking my neck.

The lichen is mainly lipstick cladonia; here and there you can see the tiny spots of red on the tips. Scattered throughout are a bunch of those button lichens that grow on old trees.

UPDATE: In the comments, M. Goff identified much of this mass, the green stuff with pinkish buttons, as Icmadophila ericetorum, otherwise known as "fairy barf", "fairy puke", "fairy upchuck", and more politely, as peppermint drop lichen or spraypaint lichen.

UBC has a good photo, here.


Muy extraño: en un lío de helechos muertos, ramas de aliso rojo, cañas de mora y de "thimbleberry" (Rubus parviflorus), y troncos caídos, viejos y podridos, todo esto en tonos de café y gris, una masa pálida, de un verde claro, llamaba la atención. Abrí camino entre la hierba y sobre troncos resbalosos para poder verlo mejor.

Es un tronco cubierto completamente por líquenes. Estos líquenes son bastante comunes, pero lo que me sorprendió es que ninguno de los troncos y restos de plantas alrededor traían el liquen; solamente en este tronco se veía.

El liquen es Cladonia sp., o sea liquen "lapiz labial", y además unos botones de un liquen parecido al que encontré en el manzano.


  1. I enjoy following along with your explorations, thanks for sharing! You might check out the lichen Icmadophila ericetorum, I think it's probably a good match for much of what you were seeing on the stump.

  2. It looks like something alien. - Margy


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