Feb 2, 2023
Tiny forests of mosses poked up between pale sand grains. Carpets of bluish lichens protected little hills, and pixie cup lichens raised their chalices as if waiting for the right vintage of raindrop. Here, miles from the desert, was another community of cryptobiotic crust holding together sand as the stone falls apart. The sandstone on the South Shore is five times older and gets twice as much rain, but otherwise is not so different from some of the rocks of the Colorado Plateau.
Looking up from Lilliput, I saw the patterns of diversity and connection in that small patch repeat themselves in the forest, across the landscape, and throughout the world.