Lichen: a fungus that grows symbiotically with algae.
Infants have such beautiful skin, smooth, fragrant, unblemished by life and unburdened by experience. Ethereal beings, all eyes, sweet nubbin toes, and dimples.
Life happens. Our stems thicken and grow hard bark. Toward the end, the lichens come to decorate our brittle shell. The green shoot rests silently in the center of all this drama, waiting to see what happens next.
Photos taken at Longleaf Preserve on June 8, 2010.