Basalt of the Earth

Ferns grown in columnar basalt at Latourell Falls in Oregon's Columbia River Gorge

At Latourell Falls in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, ferns grown not just in the earth but on the columnar basalt near the falls. The ferns must be able to get enough purchase in the cracks of the basalt to not get blown off by the wind, and that wind brings enough water over from the falls (just to the right of this picture) that they can survive. There is lichen growing here too, but not the dramatic yellow lichen that grows further up the cliff face.

I love this place.

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