Posts Tagged With: ferns


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Three trails take you into the depths of the Hoh Rainforest. The river trail is 17.5 miles long, the spruce trail is 1.2 miles long and the moss trail is .75 miles. We’ve seen a good bit of rainforest these days and decided on the shorter moss trail. Sixty feet into the trail and wham, this big cedar jumps out at you. I tried to take a panorama shot of it, with minimal success. It is just too big.

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And again, another panorama of a huge spruce tree…DSC05047 (Copy)

with the top showing above some other trees. I’m standing among giants.

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In a small cleared area, I was able to stand far enough back to get a smaller tree from top to bottom, except the bottom is hidden behind a rotting spar, but, you get the idea. Wow!

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And then when one giant falls across the path and another giant falls across it? How many years before they become decayed and dangerous? Twenty-five, thirty years?

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This trail is named moss and there is plenty of it. As we got deeper into the woods, we saw heavy moss like this.

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And this.

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The mosses are licorice moss and another that survives on the nutrients in the air. It can be pretty. But, some heavily covered trees look dead and ugly to me.DSC05101 (Copy)

The understory is beautiful and the woods an exciting walk through.

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A sign asked us to pace off this fallen tree. You are looking at half of it.

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I was stunned when I learned how tall they grow.

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You look at this living and dying forest, the mixture of the little things eating up the big things. This rain forest averages 155 inches of rain per year.

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If you hold still log enough, you’ll have a new hairdo.

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The fungi are relentless, and do their job and provide a bit of beauty too.

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We left the moss trail and walked part of the spruce trail. Doubtless we missed some different sites, but it was similar in many ways to what we had just seen. We packed up and went home.  Having missed lunch, we enjoyed an early dinner instead. If you have the opportunity, you should visit Hoh Rainforest.




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From Aberdeen, Washington, Melissa and David Moore invited us to their campsite at Lake Cushman Park. My father and David’s father were brothers. We’re not sure how long its been since we met. We do know it has been over 60 years.  That black ball of fur is Toby.DSC08894 (Copy)

Our ancestry connects us, but we found we have a lot in common, love of nature and books, and pets. For instance, we both were familiar with the small house movement. David went to see one of those 124 square foot places, but that was a bit too small. He built this neat cabin where he and his wife can get out of the rain and the confines of their small trailer and sit in a leisure chair and read, enjoy a snooze like a mini living room. A small footprint in the middle of a rainforest.

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A towering alder forest behind them leads to a delightful creek.

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A fallen alder stretches across the spongy duff of mosses and dead leaves. I estimated its height at 70 feet.

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Two of them provide a bench at the side of the creek, David’s favorite spot.  The quiet, burbling water, cool temperature, a personal haven.

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Melissa has her own favored place that looks upon her private “beach”.DSC08911 (Copy)

Of course, this creek roars and rises and gushes through this woods in winter.

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The mosses remind us of Louisiana.DSC08915 (Copy)

They eat into every crevice.

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David pointed out to us that this property was once an old growth forest. Average rain here is 100 inches and this is known as the dry side of the Olympic Penninsula. Huge stumps are a reminder of the lust for timber. The area was clear cut years and years ago. Like the Louisiana cypress, men in their folly cut every giant tree.

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On this particular stump, he pointed out, you can see where the logger cut a crevice and inserted a shelf to stand on while sawing the tree down, something hard to contemplate. It was most likely a dangerous business to be a sawyer.

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This forest may never be the same again, but with people like Melissa and David, in private lots and ownership, it is unlikely to fall to the axe and saws again, though it is questionable if it will ever regrow those giant trees.  (I forgot to ask what they were. Possibly redwoods.) But, mother nature, if given the chance…who knows? In the meantime, we can all enjoy the beauty and appreciate nature.



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Thousand Trails Thunderbird at Monroe has several woodsy trails. Though wet from rain the previous night, we decided to take advantage of a sunny afternoon and try the steep, somewhat muddy Bear Gulch Trail.

Walking under moss-covered branches, stepping over downed logs, seeking out areas disturbed by animals and guessing whether it was a fox or ring tail cat, or bob cat temporarily gives you the feeling of being miles away from civilization.

A small animal burrow. Oh, that I had my biologist daughter with me.  She would know in an instant what animal created this distinctive hole. She is more fun than anyone I know to take a walk with  in the woods.

Two  slugs were the only creatures we saw. At two inches long  when tightly snugged this slug was a real curiosity to me. I had never seen one like this before. Wikipedia tells me it is an Arion Slug. When disturbed, it stretched out by another inch.

Damp mosses cover everything that doesn’t move.

Old growth giants provide the deep shade.

Trees struggle to reach the sun.

Giant ferns make up the under-story.Where ever sunlight filtered through, a  plant with leaves  resembling maple  overwhelmed the ferns.

We walked every trail in the woods and reluctantly returned to civilization again.

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Because the Bronco developed a transmission leak, we extended our stay in Mt. Vernon. Today, we haul it to Monroe  and settle in for Mike Coleman to perform his magic on it. I’ve enjoyed this park for its beautiful woods, great Olympic sized swimming pool and the hot tub.

Walking around the park reveals the forest’s past. Huge crumbling, rotting trunks that now sport a new tree with roots and branches twineing around them.

You soon realize as you walk from Motor Home to pool, or recycling, or just cruising the park, that everywhere you look is a transformed old stump.

We must have seen a hundred of them; remnants of a once majestic rainforest logged probably fifty or more years ago.

One day we opted for a walk through the deep woods on the property. It was quiet and peaceful. We found Lush moss on many huge alders.

Ferns four feet high and five feet wide.

Deep shade.

Light struggling through the canopy.

Downed trees.

This tree was obviously cut. The moss quickly takes over.

We seldom get to walk where you could use a machete to fight through the growth.

Out of the deep woods, we saw wild flowers seven feet tall in the undergrowth.

In an hour and forty minutes we traveled but  5 miles distance through the woods.

Jim hasn’t spent much time in this park; we know we will be returning just to enjoy this woods again.

The park also serves as a preserve. For us it was a look back in time.

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