Appreciation: Vote for Canada's National Lichen!

Discussion in 'Fungi, Lichens and Slime Molds' started by Frog, Feb 29, 2020.

  1. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Calling all Canadians:

    Please help us celebrate some of the smallest and most excellent things in Canada's biodiversity: Please vote for the National Lichen for Canada!

    Lichen Vote

    before March 20, 2020

    I advocate for Bryoria as a particularly excellent choice! See below for more information on this candidate

    Thanks!
    -frog

    lichen vote Bryoria.jpg
    "... Horsehair Lichen (Bryoria) ... In North America, horsehair lichen is predominantly a Canadian genus. In a sense, these conspicuous lichens unite Canada east and west and, with the help from tundra horsehair lichen (Bryoria nitidula), also north and south. More particularly, horsehair lichen, among the epiphytes, is THE defining lichen genus of the boreal forest, which in turn is THE defining ecosystem of Canada as a whole. In the northlands they occur in numbers unimaginable, festooning the branches of fir, spruce, and pine, hanging like little prayer flags and blowing in the wind: a blessing to all Canadians.

    Less whimsically, horsehair lichen was the basis of a crucial starvation food for some of Canada’s indigenous peoples and remains an important forage item for flying squirrels, voles, caribou and, to varying degrees, ungulates as a group.

    Horsehair lichen is also the genus that first hinted at a higher-than-expected level of complexity in the lichen consortium of disparate organisms. In this way, they underscore the point that sustaining a unified ecosystem – or nation for that matter - takes more than meets the eye—a lesson we must never lose sight of and, indeed, will need constant reminding of in the times ahead. This last point argues for the value in recognizing the lichen consortium as emblematic of the Canadian identity which, after all, is synonymous with multicultural diversity. As for including a genus of scraggly hair lichens as a candidate for a Canadian emblem, it’s well past time we all began to go a little deeper than surface colour or elegance of form. These intricate brown tresses – nowhere more diverse than within our nation’s borders – are pure Canadiana and, for this reason, just the thing..."
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2020
  2. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    That Bryoria is going to be a hard sell based only on those photos! The other candidates are so photogenic.
     
  3. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Admittedly it is easier to see Bryoria's loveliness in person ... but I am hoping that folks can be captured by their other qualities and iconic Canadian-ness. The rich history of use of "Wila" and "Texa" in Indigenous cultures, the magic of Caribou winter food for their survival, the snowpack raising up the Caribou to feed on the long rich brown tresses higher up in the conifers... and so forth :-). More deep than showy, like our vibe and cultures and boreal landscapes in this country :-)
     
    wcutler likes this.
  4. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Bryoria pseudocapillaris by Curtis Bjork:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Bryoria fuscescanes by Curtis Bjork:
     

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  6. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Who can vote? I didn't (not being Canadian!), but I couldn't see anything that would stop me from voting? Or even voting multiple times if I opened the site repeatedly in a private browser?
     
  7. Frog

    Frog Rising Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I think it is likely that we are on the honour system to only vote once, and to only vote if Canadian.
     
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    We're Canadian, Michael. We wouldn't do that. :)
    Maybe they never considered that National Lichen news would be so far-reaching.
     
  9. Margot

    Margot Well-Known Member

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    While the choice of a national lichen is of great import to we Canadians who are preoccupied with all things botanical, I sure hope the question never turns up on Canada’s Citizenship test . . . “What is Canda’s national lichen?” We could lose a lot of potentially great candidates. Even the question, “What is Canada’s national sport?” is tricky . . . no, not hockey, but lacrosse - in summer, at least. Seriously though, how will we use the choice of a national lichen to advantage?
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    You should have a look at the UK citizenship tests - so ridiculously complex that even the vast majority of UK citizens would fail them.
     

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