Small IS beautiful: Lichens in Bute Park

It was a very chilly day in Cardiff yesterday but, ignoring the temptation to stay indoors, I went instead to Bute Park to meet Alan Orange who works as the Curator of Lichens at the National Museum of Wales. After a comprehensive, illustrated slideshow, we trooped outside and didn’t have to walk too far before finding our first lichen. These composite organisms, part fungus part alga, cover many of the trees in Bute and can look yellow, green or grey to the naked eye. I’d not given lichens as much attention as they clearly deserve because, apart from being fascinating, some are really beautiful when examined through a hand lens or the eye of a camera. Here are photographs of some of the specimens that we saw; I’ve done my best to label them accurately but, if there any inaccuracies then, as always, I’m happy to be corrected! Here’s a Wiki on the subject.

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6 responses to “Small IS beautiful: Lichens in Bute Park”

  1. Jen says :

    The lichen (lichens?) look so nice. I couldn’t make the walk unfortunately because I had an exam the next day I realised I needed to do some more work for…. Do you know if there will be anything similar in the future?

    • Prevaricat says :

      Hi Jen … sorry you couldn’t make it; hope the exam went well? We won’t have another lichen walk for some time I wouldn’t imagine. We don’t charge for our walks but the guest speakers charge us so we have to space these events through the year. Glad you like the photos though – it’s well worth looking at the trees in the park and seeing these lichen for yourself, especially if you have a hand lens or magnifying glass; I had no idea that they were so beautiful 🙂

      • Jen says :

        That sounds like a good idea – I bet lichen is something easy to overlook but once you start noticing it in detail you see how different each type is and spot it in lots of places. Maybe I’ll post some photos when I get a chance to go down there!
        Will be keeping an eye out for other events in Bute Park in the future 🙂

      • Prevaricat says :

        Nextthing is the Big Garden Bird Watch on Saturday 26th of this month. Two walks to spot and record birds, oddly enough 🙂

      • Jen says :

        Ooh, that sounds interesting. What time are the walks?

  2. Prevaricat says :

    From 11 to 3, starting at the Education Centre (Secret Garden Cafe). See you there then 🙂

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