Isle Royale National Park Plants

As we move briskly along the trail my eyes are drawn to a patch of orange through the evergreens near the rocky shore. It looks as though someone had painted the craggy stone from my vantage. Perhaps some sort of freshwater coral? Our gaiters protect us from the thorns of devils club as we approach for a closer look. We feel miniaturized by the cow parsnip that towers over our heads in large white blooms. The broad leaves of the aster rule the groundcover, rivaled only by the maple shaped leafs of thick thimbleberry. At last we are standing over the patch of bright orange. It is a fungus called lichen. On closer inspection we see it is everywhere in shades of orange, light pink and green. We attempt not to step on it as now all the shore seems alive.

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