Granite boulders are common along this foothill trail. They are spread like giant marbles dumped out of a cloth bag onto the school playground at recess. Some of the boulders are clumped together, others stand alone in a patch of cactus or in the shade of a stubborn juniper with gnarled branches. Along this trail, lichen cling to the granite. Lichen comes in shades of green and consists of two symbiotic organisms. The fungi part sinks roots into resisting rock, extracts nutrients, holds on for dear life. The algae part piggybacks on fungi and uses photosynthesis and nutrients to make food for both of them. Winding up the trail on a morning hike, through a planet in transition, all looks stable, but nature is far from stable. Googling- lichen on granite- brings you life’s variety, delicacy, and will to survive. Symbiosis describes human relationships, as well as natures.  
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