Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


I flatter myself that I pay good attention to my surroundings.  I operate under the pretense there is no gesture made by the flora and fauna sharing our spaces that could be wasted.  I spend time every day looking.  Noticing.

And yet there is and has been a thriving community growing right overhead without me seeing it at all.
Until today.  We had a delivery truck with a particularly tall superstructure come up the drive and besides unloading angle iron pieces for the windows we are having installed, it knocked off a colonized oak branch.
One little oak branch.  One slender structure supporting an entire host of moss and lichen in varied forms and colors.
Squamulose, Foliose and Fruticose have all set up shop in close proximity.

"Live" oak, indeed!

I found it entrancing.  I couldn't take my eyes off it.  Every different vantage point reveals more life and new colors.  And this palette!  I want to shrink down and immerse myself in this visual playground of blues and greens (and greys and yellows...).
I kept walking around, putting the branch here, then there, looking at it against various backdrops.
It is a universe in miniature.

Some days beauty apparently has to fall at my feet to catch my eye.


LindaCTG said...

Love this! I love looking at the fungus on tree limbs but yours is especially gorgeous.

TexasDeb said...

Linda! Thanks for dropping by. I'll admit that I've always had a warm spot in my heart for all the epiphytes - ball moss, Spanish moss - the usual suspects. But once I got a close up look at lichen? I became president/treasurer/secretary of their fan club immediately.

Lancashire rose said...

Sometimes we are only made aware of such things by an accident, as in your case. I hope the little colony survives but if not then they were certainly appreciated in these beautiful photographs.

TexasDeb said...

Jenny: Thanks for dropping in. I know you are recuperating from an accident of your own - hoping you are properly on the mend! I've tried to support the colony - I'm moving it into the greenhouse where the moisture levels are consistent and we'll see what happens now the branch itself is no longer viable.

Kathleen Scott said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing this with all the photos. I don't know anything about lichens except that hummingbirds pull lichens from the trees in which they nest and decorate the outside of the next to camouflage it. Not the tree next door, mind you, because the lichens there might be a slightly different color or form; has to be the tree in which they site the nest.

TexasDeb said...

Kat: Wow - that is absolutely fascinating about the hummingbirds - I had no idea. You are such a font of information. Everybody must be jockeying to sit next to you at gatherings. I know I would.

I have two hummingbirds frequenting (and fighting over) my two feeders. I had one in front and one in back until the back feeder became a consistent target for ants. Now both feeders hang in close proximity out front and have attracted the attention of the local anole, who apparently like a sweet cocktail of an evening. I prefer wine personally but I get the impulse.