A Well Watered Paradise

Mr. Mouse and I just returned from a wonderful trip to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. While some parts of that region are comparatively dry (17 inches of rain per year) others are quite wet (110 inches of rain per year). We had the good fortune of visiting a different ecosystem every day, going for a fairly long hike most days, and learning a lot from the naturalist who accompanied our group.

For me, it was interesting to see many of the west coast forest plants that I so enjoy when I visit Point Reyes or even the Santa Cruz Mountains - but all on steroids. Or rather, on water.

The western sword ferns were 4 feet, lush and green. Thimbleberries abounded and we enjoyed the tasty fruit, just ripe. Here's a photo of a five finger fern.

We were in the area during an unusually warm and dry period - amusingly, when I said to a woman in a store:"Hot, isn't it?" she answered "Yes! Isn't it wonderful?" -- that wasn't precisely my reaction, but I appreciated that it was special for her.

The seasons are offset a bit from California, so I say mid-June plants in early July, like this lily.

Interestingly, there wasn't much color, but it was green, green, green, with the forest floor covered with moss even in the dryer areas of the peninsula.

Moss was everywhere in the Ho Rain Forest.

Several of my photos ended up overexposed because we visited on a bright day. But I still see in my mind the trees and the forest floor covered with moss.

I remember how peaceful it felt surrounded by green, quiet, even the footfalls seemed more cushioned and the birds more subdued. I felt as if I was seeing the world through moss-colored glasses.

Much more water than I was used to - and regrettably a good number of mosquitoes that found me irresistibly attractive. But the itchy bites are long gone, and I'll cherish the photos and the memories for a long time to come.


Anonymous said…
Great scenes, and I might react the same to their "warmth". A friend I knew in Phoenix moved near where you were, and I am dying to visit and take a break from the desert...

Moss on everything, I can almost smell it!
Country Mouse said…
My thirst is quenched just looking at these luscious photos!
Sarah said…
Living near the Olympic Peninsula, I am loving the heat this year. Last year at this time, we still had to have the heater on at night. I think I only wore shorts a couple of times.

Did you see any bracken fern? They routinely get to be 6 feet tall.