Prepare yourselves, this is going to be one of my most bewildering blog posts yet.  More so than vermicomposting, toilet odors and pumpkin reproduction.

This morning I enjoyed another run through my new neighborhood.  I’ve been mapping out my runs on this website (so I know the distances I’m covering) and this is the one I did today.  It takes me though this lovely golf course neighborhood northwest of my house.  Needless to say, the golf course is near the streets titled “PGA Blvd.” and “Masters Blvd.”.  I don’t live there, but it’s pretty to visit, especially with some of the houses’ holiday decorations.

So…today I was running along a backstretch of Cove Rd., which is on the southwest part of the loop, and the houses ended and I had hammocks on both sides of me for several hundred feet.  No, not the kind I wished I had in my backyard, but the ecological kind.

And down on the ground were not the low-lying palm fronds that are elsewhere in the neighborhood, but lichen fields!

When I think of lichen, I don’t think of Florida. I think of 10,000′ alpine tundra, with reindeer eating the stuff. In fact, the kind of lichen I found is nicknamed “Reindeer Lichen”.  I had visions in my head for the rest of the run of reindeer licking rocks with lichen.  We saw lichen on an alpine tundra in Colorado in August, in fact.  This website answered my questions about lichen in Florida.

Lichen I had photographed on a rock in Colorado this past August, we were at about 10,500′ elevation here.  I never imagined seeing lichen in Florida!
From 2010 08 09 Rocky Mtn Natl Park Day 1

I was so intrigued by this field in my neighborhood, I stopped to check it out.  Took a few pictures with my phone camera:

You can use lichen on model railroads.  The greener lichen makes nice shrubbery.
From 2010 12 17 Lichen
The red stuff on the ends of the lichen on the right was interesting to me, but I didn’t want to touch it.  This website discusses the “matchstick” lichen a little more.
From 2010 12 17 Lichen
The area was covered in it!
From 2010 12 17 Lichen
Just doesn’t seem very Floridian, does it?
From 2010 12 17 Lichen