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.

The Green Smile

A stream meanders through the Quinault Rain Forest

While I love the old growth sections of the rain forest with its massive trees, I love the younger forest too reclaiming this little section of the Olympic peninsula in the Quinault Rain Forest. I stood beside this meandering stream, swimming in a sea of green, a smile on my face. A little ways away young trees grew, covered in moss of course because this is the rain forest, while ferns grew in the open spaces below. Ferns whose ancestors first appeared hundreds of millions of years ago, before the flowering plants, but some of which have survived through to today. Some of which I grow in my yard, wood sorrel too, my little reminder of the forests that hold my heart.

Ferns grow below moss-covered trees in the Quinault Rain Forest

Han Solo, Frozen in Carbonite

Patterns in an old tree in the Hoh Rain Forest

Seeing Han Solo getting frozen in carbonite broke my heart as a child but it saved my life as an adult. I was hiking along the Hoh River Trail, reveling in the rain in the rain forest, when I saw this unusual formation in an old tree. I stepped back when I recognized the pose, like Solo all those years ago, an unfortunate photographer must have turned his back too long to the tree and was captured, enveloped, erased, as he slowly disappeared into the tree. Thinking back to that scene I’m glad they didn’t freeze my beloved Chewbacca too, I think that would have radicalized young Boolie and sent him over to the dark side.