Cola flavoured Hubba Bubba is brown. Or it used to be when I last had some in the '80's.
I have just stuck my head out of the window an have noticed a few pavement blobs. One is definatly chewing gum but one lookes like it may be lichen though. I may taken some photos later.
It may be just that the scallies around here have always been messy or something but you will find areas of it by chippies, bus stops, benches, taxi ranks, train stations and phone boxes. I'm suprised some areas aren't like mattresses by now.
Also consider this: while it may have been around for years if no one is actually removing the stuff then it has been accumulating for decades and it will eventually reach a 'critical mass' when you notice it and think "hello what 'ave we 'ere then?". Once you've noticed it then you will tend to keep noticing it.
I have been out and taken some pictures and stuck them on the interweb.
This is two white blobs right outside my front door. One would seem to be gum without question, it wasn't very old and looked just like a piece of flattened gum. The other one (on the right) could have either been a very old piece of gum that had worn through to look like lichen. This is a busy streach of pavement. This is a bad photo of some pink gum, no question that this was gum. It's very close to my wheelie bin so doesn't get trodden on very much.
Behind my house is an alley way. It goes nowhere other than the back of the houses as my house is the last but one in the terrace is sees very little traffic. I've never seen anyone other than the people nextdoor and the window cleaner there. But look some white blobs! I will stick my neck out here and say that these are lichen. Like this found on a wall nearby.
I think that this shows that some of the blobs, in areas of heavy pedestrian traffic are gum but those where ther is less traffic, or people more likely to put gum in the bin, then it is lichen.
They are good photos. They clearly show the obvious difference between white blobs and lichen. Also does lichen grow on all surfaces or is one type of stonework more prone than others?
This morning, near a tube station on my way to work I found a blob "work in progress".
There were several dark "old'uns", one which had spread smooth - with a dark outline or damp patch, a couple which had started to brown and a fresh lump, still with teethmarks. I shall of course attempt to photograph this cluster and, in a scientific but sad way, try to study it's progress.
Naturally, I'm going to find it tricky to explain to my workmates who already consider me dangerously odd since my knuckles don't drag along the ground and I read for amusement rather than necessity.
Good question. The paving slabs in the back alley are more like the kind that you would rave a patio out of. They have a rough surface unlike the pavement at the front of the house which is smooth more like flag stones.
The picture of lichen on a wall was one that I had anyway (husband is illustrator, uses textures as refrence material, (http://www.liveinabin.com)), so I don't recall what kind of stone it was but I think it was the wall of the local church.