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I am still thinking this is a lichen, here you can see when this population was yellow, http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/170...
Did you check out the other spotting when this population was yellow? The strands are very filamentous, this is more apparent in the other spotting; some of the areas look like a yellow mycelium growing from the rock. I had more photos this time around, but this was only one that turned out well enough.
This looks like a moss to me, could you see any leaves?
Lat: 35.00, Long: -85.18
Spotted on Nov 22, 2013 Submitted on Nov 25, 2013