Linda Grashoff's Photography Adventures

Back to the Garden 3

November 7, 2017

I tagged this photograph with “lichen,” but I’m not really certain that the white marks on the large rock are lichens. What else could they be? Fossils in the stone?

Later in the Day

Scientist-husband David suggests “mineralized inclusions in the rock. Could be of biological or abiotic origin from what little I can see.”

Evening Update

We now have two more opinions favoring the lichen theory: One is from my husband’s colleague in the Oberlin College Department of Biology, and one is from Art Murphy, who usually knows a fossil when he sees one. (See Art and Fossils.)

14 responses

  1. Anonymous

    This one is a beauty! I immediately thought of the way leaves print themselves on paper and fabric given the right mordant. Don’t know if this can work on rocks but it is really lovely.


    November 7, 2017 at 6:05 AM

    • Thanks for your musing. I’m glad you like the photo, whatever those marks are. I’ve added my husband’s guess above. (He’d never comment on the blog itself!)


      November 7, 2017 at 10:46 AM

  2. Gorgeous shot, Linda. Seriously!


    November 7, 2017 at 8:06 AM

  3. Thank you, Ken. And thank you for adding “seriously,” so I know you’re not kidding. (Are you?) I think this photo has problems, but I thought it an interesting enough image to post. Here’s what I fear: 1. The eye doesn’t move smoothly over it but jumps around, making one wonder what was the photographer’s intent. (The photographer’s intent was to show a cool little collection of natural things.) So a problem with composition. 2. Even the green moss and orange-brown leaves don’t save it from looking muddy. So a problem with color. I also have a problem deciding when to post a photo that I don’t think is my best. I post them and then apologize—to wit, this reply to your comment.


    November 7, 2017 at 11:24 AM

    • You don’t need to apologize, Linda. This is a beautiful composition with color and texture that compliment each other. The only thing I don’t like about it is that I didn’t take it.


      November 7, 2017 at 11:36 AM

  4. Re your comment to Ken, I think it’s a nicely low key shot showing off the leaf, the moss, the rock textures, and the quiet Fall colors. Yes, my eye goes back and forth between the leaf and the lichens, but hey, more to love. 😉 The leaf edge follows the rock edge nicely, too.
    I agree with the lichen theory. They appear to be growing outwards in bands. Check this out –


    November 7, 2017 at 9:36 PM

    • I’m glad that you found something(s) to love in this photo, Lynn. Since you wrote, Alan has added his comment. See what you think of the extended conversation.

      About the lichen theory: Your link didn’t show up, so I’ll try adding it here: That’s cool! How did you find it? . . . Also see the updates above the photo.


      November 8, 2017 at 12:03 PM

      • I searched something like white lichen rings on rocks – I don’t remember exactly.
        I look at all your photographs pretty carefully. Alan described how the eye moves, the circle & diagonal, etc. That all makes sense. Yes, it’s preferable to have one’s images grab people quickly, but not every one has to do that. I don’t think so anyway. Looking longer is a good practice, hard to do these days. If you’re going to analyze it that much, maybe the aim is an image that is interesting enough at first glance that someone stays with it long enough to find more as one lingers. 🙂
        Or maybe the aim is to be good enough. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        November 8, 2017 at 2:18 PM

  5. ag

    Linda: I applaud you for voicing your doubts in responding to Ken as it really opens up the discussion to wider concerns and perspectives. So thank you for that and by all means continue to do so,

    Like you, I had questions about this image when viewing it at first. The more I look at it though, it kind of grows on me. Yes, it’s a collection of somewhat disparate elements, but they balance each other out in surprising ways: the brown leaf holds its own against the gray/green moss-edged rock; the smaller objects on the left act together as an equal weight to that same rock. Rather than jumping around, my eye travels in a circle inside the frame, with strong diagonals and shapes keeping me from getting lost. As far as color goes, I don’t find it muddy looking at all.

    As for the lichen debate, I’m afraid I have nothing to add. I’m not even sure what tree the large leaf comes from 🙂


    November 8, 2017 at 1:51 AM

    • Thank you for weighing in on this, Alan. Of course I’m happy to know that the photograph kind of grew on you. You raise another issue, though. How are we to think of a photograph that doesn’t grab one right away? Perhaps you gave this one another look because of the comments. Perhaps others who subscribe to this blog looked at it longer (and had it grow on them) because they have liked other photographs I have posted here and worked to see something in this one. (“She must be up to something. What is it? Oh, yeah, it’s kind of nice now that I look at it longer.”) I’m going to say that a photograph that grabs one right away is a good photograph. What I don’t know is whether I can say that a photograph that is interesting only after it has been looked at longer can be a good photograph. What do you think?

      BTW, it’s a sycamore leaf. 🙂


      November 8, 2017 at 11:00 AM

  6. ag

    Here’s my two cents: I think we’re on very shaky ground if we’re to evaluate photographic quality based on whether an image is liked immediately or only after a second viewing. To me, it’s more important that an image has staying power over time. I’ve posted pictures on Pixetera that I thought were fabulous, only to wonder, months or years later, what I was thinking when I did that. And I’ve also found a reverse effect as well: some photographs gaining new strength with a more distant perspective.

    Liked by 2 people

    November 8, 2017 at 11:29 PM

  7. I love that leaf – perfectly positioned. Assuming the discussion is about the whitish rings, I’m sure that it is associated with a form of lichen – I have seen it many times before in the UK and in the Alps


    November 10, 2017 at 3:03 AM

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