“Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

See the Beauty: Breath

. . .

Pause for a moment of gratitude on your next walk in the woods.

Allow your eyes to take in the bright yellows, greens, and oranges all around you. Then let oxygen fill your nostrils and dip down into your lungs.

The lichen blanketing branches, wrapping tree trunks, and decorating rocks made that breath of fresh air possible.

. . .

A complex life form unlike any other organism on earth, lichens consist of both a fungus and an alga working in symbiotic union to survive in even the harshest of conditions — with the fungus providing the protective structure and the algae delivering the nutrients.

Some are crusty. Others leafy. And others resembling tiny branches.

But lichens are more than just ornate organisms. They’re vital to their ecosystems — providing food to some animals and homes to others, sheltering rocks and trees from harsh storms, and preventing soil erosion.

And most importantly for our survival, they cleanse the air we breathe by consuming dust and small pollutants from the atmosphere and converting carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis.

. . .

Turns out, there’s a lot to like about those little lichens.

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