Hikin’ for Lichens in Hawksnest

Discovering the surreal scene of smooth beard lichens swaying in the trees above Olivers Pond

Naturalist Tom Walker guided us on Nov. 13th in discovering the world of local lichens while hiking the scenic Olivers Pond trail in Hawksnest State Park. Lichens are symbiotic organisms formed from the union of a fungus and an alga. They stabilize and add nutrients to our soils, provide shelter for invertebrates, and promote soil formation on bare rocks.  While they may be found all over the globe and in the harshest of conditions, they thrive in areas with clean air, high humidity, ample sunlight, and moderate temperatures. The constant sea breezes surrounding Cape Cod make it the ideal place to explore lichen diversity.  

Enjoy the photo gallery below courtesy of lichen fan and photographer Gerry Beetham.