Lichen Walk

I attended a lichen walk that was organised by the Natural History Society. Unlike most other events this one required pre-registration to ensure that the group was manageable for teaching. It was held at Thetis Lake and after attended a moss walk a month previous I purchased a new piece of technology. Well new for me and it is my new favourite piece of technology. It’s a hand lens.

The hand lens opens up extremely clear images of very small organisms. A lot of the lichens, mushrooms, and mosses that can’t be seen clearly without a lens. It is very helpful for identifying different species but it can also lead to seeing some remarkably beautiful things. Mine cost me 60$ at the Rockhound Shop on Cloverdale. You can get much cheaper hand lenses online but the quality of the image will suffer. Mine may be a bit overboard for image quality but I adore it.

The lichen walk was very enlightening. Lichens are incredibly interesting as lichens can be composed of symbiotic relationships between up to five different kingdoms. A “typical” lichen is composed of a fungi, an algae and a yeast. Lichens is an area of study that is in desperate need of researchers. There’s still a lot we don’t know about them. Juliet Pendray led this walk and she teaches a class on lichens at Royal Roads University. If you are interested I recommend it highly.


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