By Maddy Hunt, SCA Interpretive Ranger
The other day I hiked the North and South Hancock loop located right off the Kancamagus Highway. It was a lovely foggy day in the Whites. Upon firing up my camera on top of North Hancock, it became immediately apparent that my camera’s battery had decided to “check out early”. But that was alright with me, because sometimes I find cameras to be distracting when I am trying to get lost in a nature.
So on I hiked through the sub alpine zone section between the North and South peaks. With no camera or landscape views (it was quite cloudy), I checked out some of the small vegetation around me. I stopped and admired the way boreal bearded lichens gracefully dangle from tree limbs; inspected the way british soldier lichens, ever so regal and poised, held fast to a tree trunk; got overly giddy when I found my favorite lichen species, Tuckermanopsis, growing around a Balsam fir twig. Ah, bliss.
But then of course, reality hit: “Mad, lichens are really boring”, my sister said to me on the phone a little later that day.
I know that’s just, like, her opinion, man (this dudette clearly abides), but I wasn’t gonna stand for it! I knew there could be only one way to respond to such a claim: devote one of my New Hampshire State blog posts entirely to lichens to share with everyone how varied, beautiful, fun and unique lichens are. Plus, its not everyday you get to play out a sisterly quarrel in a public forum – unless your a Kardashian, of course.
So for the remainder of this blog, I am going to post a very modest selection of lichens that I have found along the way this summer. I hope you, dear reader, find them as beautiful as I do, and that you will check them out on your own adventures someday (this includes any quests that take place in the realm of Dungeons and Dragons).
Thank you for reading my blog this week! As always, Hike Safe, Hike Smart, and have fun out there!