Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Lichens on Storm King Wall, 2010"

After our wedding at the end of September we decided to take a "mini-moon" and climb north of the city up the Hudson to check out the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, NY. I am still sorting through the 300+ photos I took of the magnificent landscape and accompanying sculpture, with more posts to follow, but this one I wanted to share right away. Andy Goldsworthy in 1997 and 1998 created the "Storm King Wall", a perfectly constructed stone wall that winds between a stand of shade trees and goes down to disappear into a nearby body of water. Originally introduced to the concept and the piece via the must-see documentary Rivers and Tides, my wife and I were both very excited to see it in person. And you might imagine my pleasant surprise to not only find the wall during our afternoon hike through the landscape but to find a ton of different lichen species growing on the beautiful gray field stone. Talk about mixing art and horticulture - I was loving it! Lichens are amazing characters in the biological world and I can't even begin to describe their complexity and value among natural ecosystems. Luckily I found a website created by the Sharnoff's, who wrote Lichens of North America along with Irwin Brodo (Yale University Press, 2001), so if you want to get your Sunday morning science fix on, check out

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