Mindful _________

Originally uploaded by mulysa_may

Seven Planet, a new ‘Eco-General Store’ in Old town is having a grand opening party this Saturday from 4 to 10 pm.

Come see my painting ‘Mindful Observation’ printed and mounted on Plywerk, as well as other artists’ works, all on the theme of mindfulness.

What do Forking bone, Devil’s matchstick, Blood-splattered beard and Punctured rocktripe have in common?

No, they are not all garage bands in the Pacific Northwest. These are the common names of lichens. Lichenologists are admittedly an odd bunch. But despite the dark nomenclature, these unique organisms are a healthy part an nearly any ecosystem. Lichens are a symbiosis between fungi and algae or cyanobacteria. A favorite quote from Pojar and Mackinnon, “Think of Lichen as fungi that have discovered agriculture. Instead of invading or scavenging for a living like other fungi – moulds, mildews, mushrooms – lichen fungi cultivate algae within themselves.” Wow.

There are over 1,000 species of lichen in the Northwest, and they grow every other place on earth as well. In fact, they do quite well in Antarctica. Because most types are very sensitive to environmental toxins, they can be in important indicator of air quality. Which is one reason we would do well to observe them more attentively.

About Mulysa

I love my work as a landscape designer and artist. When I'm not planning homesteads or working in the studio, you'll find me hiking, photographing, gardening, baking, cooking vegetarian meals with friends, reading and working on sustainability issues...with my baby on my hip in Portland, Oregon.
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