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During a hike through the Valley of the Five Lakes in Jasper National Park we encountered a grove of trees covered in Old Man’s Beard, a type of lichen that grows in tassels attached to the branches of trees. These lichens grow extremely slowly and are sensitive to air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide, a byproduct of burning fossil fuels. I found it peculiar that we only found this lichen in a single grove of trees located in a small area. Clearly there must be something unique about that location or those trees, but I cannot put my finger on what that might be. We hiked this trail twice this weekend as many of the higher elevation trails are still snow covered. The Valley of the Five Lakes is at the bottom of a valley just south of the town site and is one of our favourite day hike trails.
May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.