Greetings fellow Funky Fungi friends.
I bring to you a short story of adventure about how I photographed a type of plant that I haven't seen before. Small little cup shaped, what I assume to be, Lichens were nestled into the corner of some boulders on the side of a cliff. I was so excited to see them that before I knew it I had broken the cardinal rule of Photography; No Shot is worth risking life or limb.
I had climbed down a snow covered hill some 75 feet above a frozen lake. I picked a safe path and worked my way down the ice, snow, and rocks to a cliff that was only 30 feet off the ground. The arctic sun had taken a toll on the snow cover on this section of the cliff and from above I spotted some weird little "circles" on the ground. Kneeling down I saw it was a type of plant or lichen. From there I managed to climbed down onto a ledge that was only about 2 feet wide and half covered in snow. Luckily it was flat and not sloped. At this point I still hadn't truly looked down, but as I reached behind me to grab my small camera pack I noticed that there wasn't a soft snowy spot to land below me, but instead jagged rocks that had been fractured off the wall by expanding water. "Well, I'm safe enough here so I might as well get the photos before I bug out," I thought to myself.
Once I had completed snapping a few photos I put my camera back in its bag, a simple amazon basics "purse" style pouch. (100% recommend, it's kept my camera safe at 130 km/h across bumpy tundra terrain.) I put the camera pouch behind my back and started to look for a way to turn around and make my exit. It did not take long to determine that I wasn't going to be able to turn around safely. And with nothing before me but a very steep snow-covered section I opted for the only sensible option. To climb straight up and NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!
I said an apology to the lichen that was just my subject and gently planted my knee onto the ledge near them. It was unavoidable for me to not damage them at this point, but I managed to pull myself up the boulder and onto less steep terrain. Looking back I couldn't tell if I crushed the plants because some snow had fallen and covered where they were. With a small bit of guilt I marched back to the top of the hill and found a nice snow-covered section with no exposed rocks to slide down to the frozen lake. A gentler, less dangerous path of descent.
Unfortunately I am unable to identify these plants. I know calling them plants is technically incorrect, but it is a common term that won't confuse many. If any of you are able to tell me what species of Lichens I have photographed that would be excellent. I know my Crinkled Snow Lichens and look forward to photographing the beautiful yellow mats that will be exposed in the coming months!
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