Seeing Green

I was not feeling jealousy, and I was not anticipating money, and I was definitely not thinking about the Nicki Minaj song. I was literally seeing green on the rocks by the shore today.

At first I thought someone had gone down there with a can of neon spray paint and sprayed a message on the large, almost flat, surface. But, no. I had to rapidly climb down from my high dudgeon when I realized I was looking at lichen in the sunlight. It is a glorious colour.

Nearby there were a few rocks with small patches of the same lichen. This inspired me to find out a little more and it seems that lichens can grow on all sorts of surfaces, natural and man-made. They need lots of water and sunshine, and they can survive a large range in temperatures, which explains why they seem to like these rocks. (

At the same online source I discovered that “some lichens can tolerate much higher concentrations of metals than other plants or fungi. They also have a high tolerance for radioactivity and can be the first organisms to colonise, or the longest to survive, in areas of high radioactive contamination.” ( So, I imagine that after we humans have created disasters with nuclear reactors, the earth starts its healing process with lichens. That is an oddly comforting thought.


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