'Tis the season to talk about reindeer, so it seems appropriate to share about the reindeer moss I saw in the Florida panhandle last week.
Lichens grow slowly - generally about 1-2 tenths of an inch/year. Because they are so slow-growing, they don't take disturbance well. In fact, if there is much disturbance, they will disappear quickly. It can take them decades to reappear, if they ever do.
So when I see reindeer moss, I get pretty excited. It means that the area doesn't get much foot traffic and is generally undisturbed.