Those splotches on rocks, tree trunks and twigs? Lichens! Lichens are actually a symbiosis between two major divisions of life, neither of which is a plant. And you can find them everywhere, as long as the air is not polluted, explains Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Natural Sciences Nathaniel T. Wheelwright.
If you want to make your own natural history observations, The Naturalist’s Notebook (Storey Publishing, 2017) by Wheelwright and Research Associate in Biology Bernd Heinrich, provides guidance and a systematic format, with 100 percent of royalties going to conservation and environmental education.