The Clearing

Trees, some fallen, some standing, some broken, along the Hall of Mosses Trail in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park

Long ago a large tree fell over beside the Hall of Mosses Trail in the Hoh Rain Forest, forming a nurse log for younger trees to grow on. Some of those younger trees fell too and the park staff cut them with chain saws, they were probably blocking the trail, and behind them in the clearing you can see a tree that has naturally broken partway up the trunk. This will provide even more light into the clearing, allowing different types of plants and trees to grow before old giants eventually rise up again.

The Rainy Forest

The Rainy Forest

A simple portrait of the forest on a rainy day on the Sol Duc Falls Trail in Olympic National Park. It was really chucking it down at times and the polarizer on my lens had gotten blurry from the water and I couldn’t get it clear, yet I couldn’t get it to unscrew from the lens, so many pictures weren’t usable. Doesn’t matter, it was still great to be there, just being in a forest like this restores me. Even the trees that have died, broken, fallen over, are giving life to the sea of green that rises up in the open spaces. Many of these trees though will have lifespans that dwarf mine, if we’ll give them the chance.

Fern Canyon

Ferns grown on the canyon wall beside a stream in Fern Canyon

I’ve seen ferns growing on canyon walls before but never where they are about the only thing on the vertical walls as in the aptly named Fern Canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. Visiting the canyon had been on my list of places to visit in the redwoods, but so had many others, but it was a friend’s insistence that I go that made it a focus on this visit in June 2016. You can drive in but I hiked the James Irvine Trail from the Visitor Center down to the Fern Canyon Loop Trail.

It’s a mesmerizing place to visit, thousands of green hands waving gently in the wind, and I took some video with the old camera but hoped to return this spring with the new and better one. The road into the canyon was closed however so I decided to wait until the fall. I want to get there early in the morning so I can get some video without so many people around, the voices of people shouting was hard to avoid on my last visit, even when I couldn’t see anyone from where I was standing. It’s such a lovely and peaceful place — at least it is when the stream level is low like it was here, I can only imagine what it’s like when the water is high.

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.