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You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 12/12/10 - 12/19/10

Friday, December 17, 2010

Florida Discoveries 1: Where are the Reindeer? Reindeer Lichen

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. 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

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Weather Station is BACK!

We re-assembled our weather station in our backyard over the weekend. We have plenty of fenceline to choose from, and you can't see the equipment from the street (always a bonus in a deed-restricted neighborhood).

You can see current conditions on the right-hand column of the blog now, or you can click on the "sticker" and save that page to your favorites.

We also have several other local weather stations with which we can compare our data. I'm not quite sure our wind vane/anemometer set is high enough off the ground, we have some wind direction inconsistencies that we'll monitor for the next several days.

It's nice to have this back, especially for rainfall information...we can use that data to assess whether I have to water plants.

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