deer lichen or deer moos - Cladonia evansi (previously Cladina sp.) deer lichen - Jester Cladonia perforata, an endangered reindeer lichen. Call it 'The Scream'

Deer lichen and friends

Update, 2016. I have learned more about deer lichen from biologists tasked with restoring Florida Panhandle forests to their natural condition. Most of the deer lichen in the Florida Panhandle is the result of 50-70 years of degradation. Deer lichen is not fire-tolerant. It belongs in coastal scrub plant communities.

Let's look at some organisms commonly called deer moss. Some of them are deer lichens. Previously I said "possibly endangered". The photo on the left above shows deer moss, a reindeer lichen, Cladonia evansii. The photo on the right shows a lichen that often grows with it. The following photo is the endangered one. People talked about deer moss during my first five years on the Emerald Coast in the NW Florida panhandle. The natural environment is extensive in Pt. Washington State Forest and Deer Lake State Park. Almost everywhere I walk in the woods, I see these life forms in countless fantastic arrays, seeming to bubble up all over the place. First I was told it was "Reindeer Moss". It didn't look like familiar rich green moist moss. The deer here are not reindeer. Every once in awhile a new fact would come, such as: they grow on the ground, not in the ground; they have no roots. You can carry a piece to another location, set it down, and it continues to grow (sometimes). A big chunk could be 40 years old (or 100 or more). When the air is wet, the moss is soft and flexible. When the air is dry or in hot sun, the moss is stiff and brittle. Some parts are reproductive, some are not, and they look different. I hear more common names such as deer lichen, reindeer lichen, dixie lichen.

mapIn the spring of 2007, a prominent horticulturist who has consulted to major local developers revealed a shocking fact. Not only are some of these strange life forms endangered, they are largely unknown in the sense that she is unable to categorize or describe them precisely, because information is hard to find. Deer lichen is a worthy cause. Far from being a biologist, I won't do academic studies, but find basic facts and get to know these beings. Reindeer moss is a family of fungii; it is a lichen. Various species are found worldwide, even in the arctic; there are 14 species in North America and two species locally in NW Florida. There are no reindeer here, but if there were, they might eat it. The plan is to document deer lichen in a small area (see map). The plan includes other areas of interest in the Florida panhandle and the New Jersey Pine Barrens. As I go, visions come. For a list of them, see the visionary Visions section on the topics page. That also includes links. Temp to maps.

Set Sights on Sites

Within the area are several neighborhoods or sites. As I bring them online they come on in chronological order, as follows. When adding more images, info, or movies about a site, I add to that site number in chronological order.

  1. Eastern Lake Trail
    1. Point Washington State Forest (under development)
    2. Image of (possible) red jesters 2007-3-22
    3. N of 30-A contingent to Cassine Trail access to Pt. Washington State Forest, Cladonia prostrata. 2009-01-18
    4. N of 30-A contingent to Cassine Trail access to Pt. Washington State Forest, wet Cladonia evansii. 2009-02-05
    5. N of 30-A contingent to Cassine Trail access to Pt. Washington State Forest, Deer Lichen Diversity. 2009-03-26
    6. N of 30-A contingent to Cassine Trail access to Pt. Washington State Forest, Deer Lichen. 2010-02-24
  2. Heron's Watch Way
    1. NE of Eastern Lake, forest Sanctuary panorama 2004-12-27
    2. NE of Eastern Lake, forest deer lichen panorama 2007-3-29
    3. NE of Eastern Lake, forest deer lichen overview panorama 2007-04-05
    4. NE of Eastern Lake, forest deer lichen with Chunk Tets Visions movie 2007-04-05
    5. NE of Eastern Lake, forest WWP307 - deer lichen lives on air panorama 2007-04-07
    6. NE of Eastern Lake, path Nature trail to and from lake 2007-12-20
  3. Scenic 30A Deer Lake State Park
    1. SW of Deer Lake, highway deer lichen beside Scenic 30A video 2007-07-05, + 3.1a (before mowing), + 3.1b (2008 spared mowing)
    2. SW of Deer Lake, highway five year item under Lookout 2007-07-05
    3. SW of Deer Lake, highway nine images, deer lichen patchwork 2007-09-06, + 3.3a 08-05-15
    4. SE of Deer Lake, WWP907 - Deer Lichens to Eat, Litter, and Evolve 2007-09-27
    5. In park, New leaf in old deer lichen photo 2008-05-01, + Better one in 2012
    6. NE of Deer Lake, west of park entrance with deer lichen, Earthball 2010-01-02, Earthstars 2010-06-02
  4. Off the grid or out of neighborhood
    1. Imagine, Evolution - Deer Moss of the Mind 2007-05-10
    2. Photo - Deer lichen with Red 2007-08-23
    3. Imagine, Evolution - Multiple Symbiosis 2007-09-13
    4. St. Joseph Bay Buffer and Aquatic Preserve Deer Moss Diaries or Deer Lichen Blog 2007-10-07
    5. Camp Helen State Park - new fungus is deer lichen {NOT} 2009-01-15
    6. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park - Deer lichens 2009-03-11 + 4.6a 09-04-02 + 4.6b 09-04-24
    7. Eglin AFB - Enmeshed Deer Lichen 2010 + Endangered Cladonia perforata 2014
  5. Eden Gardens State Park
    1. Nature walk - Communing with Deer Lichen video 2007-08-30
  6. Lakewood
    1. By sidewalk - Lakewood Dr. N Discovered 2007-08-30
    2. Vacant lot - Lakewood Dr. S 2009-03-05

This is deer lichen path 0. deer lichen path icon. On each related page, find a deer lichen path icon that links back here or forward to Lookout 2008, MindField path icon (devoted to visions), Lookout 2009, Perspectives perspectives path icon (devoted to facts), Lookout 2010 (forward to Mindfield 2012), Lookout 2011 (events), Lookin 2011 (visions) and path icon Lookout MindField 2012 (Rainbow Bridge). See also New Jersey 2009. Back to Lookout.

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