“the leaping greenly spirits of trees . . .”
— e e cummings

Tall trees of the Hoh Rain Forest

Tall trees of the Hoh Rain Forest

Our second Olympic National Park destination was the Hoh Rain Forest.  This temperate rain forest gets 12 to 14 feet of rain each year, but we were lucky to be visiting on a sunny day.  We began seeing moss-draped trees on the road leading into the heart of the rain forest.  Instead of fifty shades of gray, we were seeing fifty shades of green.

Fisherman in the Hoh River

Fisherman in the Hoh River

The road into the Hoh valley

The road into the Hoh valley

Green, green stream

Green, green stream

Hall of Mosses trail

Hall of Mosses trail

Tall trees on a rare blue-sky day

Tall trees on a rare blue-sky day

Living giants

Living giants

New growth on fallen log

New growth on fallen log

Light through a lacey green curtain

Light through a lacey green curtain

 

Nurse log (fallen tree nourishing new trees)

Nurse log (fallen tree nourishing new trees)

Rings of a fallen giant

Rings of a fallen giant

Ground cover

Ground cover

Noah peeking around the trunk of a giant

Noah peeking around the trunk of a giant

These ferns reminded me of sea horses

These ferns reminded me of sea horses

Ferns with Holga-ish effect

Ferns with Holga-ish effect

190-foot fallen Sitka spruce

190-foot fallen Sitka spruce

Moss-Hung Trees
by Gertrude Gilmore, 1936

Moss-hung trees
Like the mantilla of a beautiful lady’s ghost
Bearing elusive fragrance of a faint perfume
Soft, caressing;
Shaped
Like the wings of huge, inert gray moths, —
Weird and uncertain branches veining them
Gossamer, intangible;
And reshaped
Like fairy cobwebs interlacing mesh upon mesh
With lights of foolish insects caught within them
Restive, darting
With shadows —
Like half reluctant thoughts lately modified
In a world of fantastical shapes and causes,
Mystical, fleeting.

Mossy branches of a maple tree

Mossy branches of a maple tree

Moss-laden maple

Moss-laden maple

The Green Month of March

March 18, 2011

Just in case you didn’t see enough green yesterday for St. Patrick’s Day, here are a few photos celebrating the greens in Seattle’s March landscape:

A tuft of green moss like a pincushion

Green leaves strung like pearls on a necklace

Emerging tulips -- green edged in lavender

TSNW group on the Cold Creek trail

Yesterday was the Team Survivor NW (TSNW) annual snowshoe event at Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains, about 1-1/2 hours from Seattle.  It was so much fun to play in the snow, which was deep this year.  The beautifully groomed trail passed through snow-laden trees.  The snow kept falling in clumps as the day warmed up.  Here are some photos from the day:

Outfitted in my snowshoes; ready to roll.

The trail started at Hyak Ski area, a popular spot for downhill skiers.

Cross country skiers shared the Cold Creek trail with those of us on snowshoes.

Moss hung on the trees like green icicles.

The TSNW group looked like a human caterpillar following our guide, Sharon, in single file along the trail.

It was an overcast day, but occasionally a patch of sunlight illuminated the surrounding mountains.

Pinecones

Buds holding the promise of spring.

Heading into the home stretch

Just as we were ready to depart, the skies showed a few patches of blue.

Moss-covered public phone outside the Visitor's Center in the Hoh Rain Forest

On my day-off work this week, my husband and I took a road trip to the Olympic Peninsula to visit the Hoh Rain Forest, a temperate rain forest in our state that averages over 12 feet of rain per year!  We caught the Edmonds-Kingston ferry across Puget Sound to the Olympic Peninsula.  It hadn’t started raining yet.

On the ferry crossing to the Olympic Peninsula

One of the Olympic Mountain peaks

As we drove Hwy 101 north and west, we left any sun breaks and saw low-lying clouds caught in the trees on the mountain slopes.  By the time we reached Lake Crescent, it was raining.  From then on, our windshield wipers got a real workout.

Clouds caught on the mountain slopes near Hwy 101

It was still raining when we arrived at the Hoh Rainforest.  We hiked the Hall of Mosses trail, a 3/4 mile easy loop, where we were surrounded by immense trees, ferns, mosses and lichens.

Hall of Mosses trail

Ferns growing out of mosses on the side of a tree

Mosses and ferns

This fallen tree was 190-feet long!

Even the river was full of green plant life.

Some of the prettiest scenery on our drive was the section of Hwy 101 along Lake Crescent.  This was a trip where the journey was as satisfying as the destination.

Magnificent tree on the western shore of Lake Crescent

Low clouds over Lake Crescent