I expected I would swing briskly along, work up a little healthy sweat, since there's not much to see in the woods this time of year, right? Ah well, best laid plans and all that. As it happened, the steady drizzle had dampened the tree trunks and darkened the bark, so that all the marvelous colors and patterns of lichenous growths on those trunks were more evident than usual. Of course, I had to stop and admire the many variations.
Some growths were a soft velvety green, with patches outlined in baby blue.
Others were speckled like the sides of a trout, with varying shades of pale green.
This pale-blue patch was adorned with tiny black wormy shapes.
The base of one tree was speckled with large blue flakes.
This branch was covered with circles of both blue and green.
My eyesight is too compromised to distinguish moss from liverwort with my naked eyes, but a macro shot with my camera revealed the overlapping leaves of one of the liverworts in the genus Porella.
Stopping and starting along the trail as I did, I did not work up much of a sweat. But I was out there long enough to get drenched by the constant drizzle that, after a while, set all the twigs to dripping. Not wanting to risk wetting my camera, I packed it away and headed home, wondering how many exquisite variations on a theme of lichens I had missed.