Similes abound for this distinctive lichen – it is also compared with golf tees and even Shrek’s ears – but the pixie reference is reinforced by the suggestion that its rough texture is “pixie dust”. There’s loads of it on the stone wall on the right of Johnny Lane as you climb the Chevin. Lichen is fascinating stuff: actually two organisms – fungi and algae – living together in a symbiotic or mutually beneficial relationship. The algae provides food through photosynthesis, whilst the fungus provides stability and protection.
Photo by Bernard Spragg