Sunday, March 4, 2012
Cryptogammic Soil Crust
You may have to not only open this picture, but zoom in a little to see the soil. This is one of the better pictures I have of cryptogammic soil crust. This dark brown growth is alive and is one of the strangest of the desert phenomena. It is an association between algae, lichen, mosses, and fungi. See Wikipedia:Cryptobiotic soil. This soil is a good example of how much you can miss while walking anywhere unless you are educated enough to realize what you are looking at. When I was living in the jungle, I learned that it took a long time before you could see anything. When I first arrived, the jungle looked like a solid green wall. After a couple of years, it looked all different colors, browns and greys and blacks. This soil in the desert is like that. Casual visitors never know what they are missing.