Gateway

A small tunnel runs underneath the roots of an old tree in Olympic National Park

This old giant in the Quinault Rain Forest had a little tunnel running underneath its ancient roots. Perhaps this tree was nursed by an even older tree that fell and has long since rotted away. Perhaps it is a gateway to a land of wonders meant only for the little ones of the world. It takes hard work and perserverance from a variety of people to preserve this kind of majesty from those who bow before the golden calf, never more so than now. To have stood and watched this tree grow from a speck to a giant, but I’d need more lifetimes than my own. Mine is but to revel for a moment.

Butterflies

Wood sorrel leaves are wet with rain

These wood sorrel leaves, wet with rain above a bed of moss, reminded me of butterflies with their wings outspread. I was hiking along the Kestner Homestead Trail in the Quinault Rain Forest after an earlier rain, and when I came back past the rain returned with me, pounding down in buckets. The leaves had folded in, still like butterflies, but the lens I was using wasn’t weather sealed and I hadn’t brought a backup. I was literally in the first few hours of my trip so I decided discretion was the better part of valor and didn’t photograph them with their wings down.

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.