new lichen

For discussing walling related subjects not included in other headings.

Re: new lichen

Postby CarolJane » Mon May 12, 2014 6:22 pm

bloop wrote:As Jerry pointed out earlier, the photos are of little use without context - a small area of a wall chosen at random is not representative. Photographs should show a much larger section of any wall, the location and stone type be identified (sandstone is acidic and limestone alkaline)


sorry Bloop I did say I put the photos up to see if anyone could help identify the stone, as a non-waller I`m a bit of a novice here!
the road the walls line is very narrow and a long shot is impossible.
But nevermind, I`m still poring vinegar on walls hoping for a fizz, although my tutor now wants me to look at the aspect of the wall instead, which is where my idea started. :roll:

thanks for all the info guys!
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Re: new lichen

Postby GregLee » Mon May 12, 2014 8:31 pm

David, thanks for that, fascinating stuff. Now we just need a method for dating old wallers, perhaps the thickness of the callous on their hands.
Caroljane, don't be discouraged, we're all rooting for you. Looking at different aspects or stone types sounds an excellent idea.

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Re: new lichen

Postby CarolJane » Fri May 23, 2014 6:53 pm

I`m rubbish at this forum malarky, didnt see there was a second page!
I`m cracking on....got a wall to use, it changes direction a few times so plenty of scope for aspects.
Using the same wall will, i hope, reduce the amount of age difference and for the lichen to grow.
I have looked at a thread on here about the speed of wallers and the rate a wall is built....it`s a techey subject so I`m steering clear! :shock:
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Re: new lichen

Postby waller 69 » Fri May 23, 2014 8:27 pm

Tetchy subjects are the one's I like, wallers tend to share a little of themselves and we get to learn stuff :wink: Pace is all about preparation and seeing the stone several steps ahead. For example; pulling out should leave the stones you use first closest to you, why would you move the largest stones to the back of the pile only to bring them back again???? If you do "random coursed" as you search the pile you should place similar thickness stones together, when that size comes up( or if you are smart you wall it in) you have a stockpile to work with :wink: :wink:
If you can discount the exceptions, a Hammer is the last thing a waller really needs :shock: open to discussion....
I have many hammers, I feel I have some way to go before I am a real waller :wink: discuss?
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Re: new lichen

Postby jerryg » Sat May 24, 2014 3:52 pm

A couple of questions to answer here.

GregLee wrote:Now we just need a method for dating old wallers, perhaps the thickness of the callous on their hands.


I have no callouses on my 61 year old hands even though I only wear gloves when it is cold, or I am mixing or using mortar. However I do not have fingerprints either most of the time, and have got bits of 2 fingers missing. How I would get through customs nowadays where they use fingerprints for recognition would be a problem. :?

Oooh Kev you know I love tetchy, :twisted:
waller 69 wrote:If you can discount the exceptions, a Hammer is the last thing a waller really needs ....
I have many hammers, I feel I have some way to go before I am a real waller


When I was a young novice waller I too tended to think a walling hammer was needed. Now a touch older and wiser I just have 4 hammers which are used for different things. An old ice hammer from my ice climbing days, which is really good when I am down in the bottom of the walls digging out old filling, it's like a baby pick. A 1lb brickying hammer which comes in handy for de-nodulising odd little bits off faces. A 12lb sledge hammer for making filling, and a 6lb splitting axe/hammer for attacking roots. To be fair I must point out that much of the stone we use doesn't break easily, and the stuff that does just turns to mush.

Each year there is one walling competition that I get sent details for, and each year I ring up the organisor to ask if there is a section where walling hammers are banned, but there never is so I don't bother with it. I pride myself on walling without the need of a walling hammer.
The chap that wins it every year is without doubt a really good champion waller, but he is that good that he seems to spend most of his time hammering all his stones into neat rectangles. If I was working next to him working with no hammer, I would produce just as good a long lasting wall, cos I have a good eye for how the odd shapes will sit together. But as my wall would not look as pretty as the tidy 'brick' wall next to it done by hammerman that it seems pointless bothering.

Me and Ness often remark that "It is a good thing the competition wallers are not using this stone or they'd just be working with a pile of hammered filling" as the stone just shatters when hammered. There is also an exhibition wall locally that has been used so often that there aren't many big stones left as they are hammered a little smaller everytime the hammermen rebuild the wall. You'd think that the stones have all been hammered into better shapes by now that they could just build the wall perfectly each time.

A little note for CarolJane, the wall I am rebuilding at the moment is made up of: huge pieces of irregular limestone, squarish quarried limestone,rounded granite boulders, slates, quarried sandstone, and rough rounded sandstone. This wall is a tall old Deer Park wall, which has been made with anything to hand from around the area. It is in on the edge of a limestone hill, the old sandstone quarry is about half a mile away, the limestone quarry about the same in the other direction, the granite boulders were from field clearances and the slate were probably brought in. I'll have a look to see what lichen is on it next week and see if I can get photos.

Hey Dave, can you date a wall by the number of different rock types within it? :roll:
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Re: new lichen

Postby david perry » Sat May 24, 2014 8:55 pm

I've seen some threads go off topic quickly but this must be a record?
From Lichen on walls to Walling Speeds and using hammers in two posts!!
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Re: new lichen

Postby GregLee » Sun May 25, 2014 10:17 am

I'm happy for Jerry to post anywhere on anything, his posts are always entertaining and informative.

My wife was complaining today that she prefers my earlier walls when I was shaping the stones less, she prefers the more irregular look of unshaped stones. I get a certain pleasure out of shaping the stones to a more regular shape, I think it is just a question of style. I know the feeling of "just one more tap" and then the stone falls into little pieces. It also depends a lot on the stones, not much fun trying to shape volcanic stones.
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Re: new lichen

Postby waller 69 » Sun May 25, 2014 10:51 am

Sorry for going off topic, however, here lichen and dressing stone go hand in hand, the soft stone is protected by the lichen, to remove it by dressing often reduces the stone to rubbish after a hard winter.....
hope that goes someway to help
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Re: new lichen

Postby CarolJane » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:52 pm

well the results are in...and it doesnt look good!
I have found that there is no association between the aspect of the wall and the lichen cover :?
which is fine apparently, science is like that...
BUT WHY???? :shock:
This is a retorical question by the way, dont want to get into trouble with my tutor :P
apart from that its coming along nicely :D
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Re: new lichen

Postby jerryg » Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:16 pm

Hi caroljane, thank you for your works.

I find it hard to believe that there is no "association between the aspect of the wall and the lichen cover" Does this mean that one cannot say which side of the wall lichen will grow? Or does this mean that lichen will grow anywhere it feels like?

Maybe it is different in different parts of the country. We (in the Lake District) often have to do total rebuilds of whole sections of wall that are only partly falling down, due mostly to the spreading of the foundations, but essentially mostly still standing. We like to rebuild these sections so that you can hardly see the new bit. If the wall has fallen to one side we can easily sort out the stone because the lichen on 1 side of the wall is a totally different colour than the other.

We once had to rebuild the front entrance slate wall of a very old 17th century abandoned church. The wall was still standing but bulging dangerously. The fact that there was a purple coloured lichen on one face and green on the other meant we were able to take it down and rebuild it so that the colours still matched up, so in effect the finished job looked like it had not been rebuilt. The heritage people were happy with the finished wall. It would have been nigh on impossible to do this without the different coloured lichen.

Of course I don't know whether the lichen is the same species on either side but different colours.

Also can you answer the question as to whether different lichens grow on different types of stone? or is this beyond the scope of your studies?

Can you could recommend a good book for amatuer lichen hunters?
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Re: new lichen

Postby GregLee » Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:57 am

I have noticed with the lichen in my original post in this thread, that the lichen germination doesn't seem to vary according to the aspect. The age and nature of the stone seems to be an important factor. I use flat horizontal cap stones and lichen germinates well on the flat surface on top of the wall.
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Re: new lichen

Postby david perry » Thu Jun 26, 2014 11:03 am

I agree with Jerry.

When I do repairs to sections of walling which has a 'posh' side and a rough side then it is relatively easy to spot the correct fallen stones simply by observing their lichen growth. Perhaps different species grow on different sides?

Either way I'd be interested to see where CarolJane got the information?
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Re: new lichen

Postby bloop » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:30 pm

I agree with David and Jerry and from personal experience believe aspect is of fundamental importance to lichen growth.

If you are interested in what grows on walls including lichens, have a look at Grasses, Ferns, Mosses & Lichens of Great Britain and Ireland by Roger Phillips and published by Macmillan,London
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Re: new lichen

Postby CarolJane » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:43 am

Yes Jerry I`m now wondering if i should have been more specific with species of lichen, but i just counted all together.
As time is short and I`ve got so much other course work to do as well as working full time, the essence of my kind of studying is "just get it done and hope for the best!" so unfortunately I wont be looking at types of stone and cover, I had to make a choice and i went with the aspect.
Im not doubting that there is in fact a relationship between the two, and i will mention in my conclusion the issue of different species, so thanks for mentioning that.

David, I collected the data myself, i do have photos of the site but for some reason i cant get them to upload on here so Im going to take some more later, with more detail to put onto my report, so I`ll get them on here too.
The location is Earby on the lancs/yorshire boarder.

Also, I would like to reference this thread in my report because you have all helped my a lot! I have learnt a lot and you`ve given my some great ideas.
If thats a problem at all then obviously I wont.
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Re: new lichen

Postby CarolJane » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:57 am

I found this site I thought you might like, its got much more info than i can ever hope to collect!

http://www.dry-stone-wall-flora.co.uk/index.htm
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