When I first visited Mazomanie Oak Barrens State Natural Area a few months ago, everything was still blanketed in snow, but I noticed a surprising amount of lichen diversity on fallen logs, tree trunks, and branches (see this short video I took). Today I returned to find EVEN MORE lichen diversity that had been revealed by the snow melt. Many of them were a bit crispy from a recent (last fall, maybe) prescribed burn, but no less gorgeous.
My heart drew me higher and higher, taking care not to disturb the communities growing on the rocks, while pointedly ignoring my brain that was telling me not to climb around alone when the leaf litter was so slippery. But my heart does what it will. And my heart sought out the lichens, mosses, and ferns of the bluffs.