I was planning on showing you our what could possibly be our last homecoming, but we made a spur of the moment trip to the rainforest. It was so beautiful and overwhelming that I am skipping ahead. No, we didn’t have to travel to South America to visit the rainforest. We have one here in Washington. In fact, it may be the only coniferous rainforest in the world. What makes it a rainforest? Simply the rainfall totals.
Almost 12 feet of rain on average fall in the Hoh every year. Fortunately, on the day we chose to visit it was beautiful and the sun even managed to peek out.
We arrived early. Early enough that there were still only a few guests at the center. There were three trails to choose from. We choose to walk the two shorter ones and still managed to see plenty.
The floor of the forest is carpeted in moss and ferns. It was like a sea of green. I was a little nervous to be walking the trail because there were posted signs about charging elk. Apparently, several elk had been charging visitors recently. Yikes. So, my ears and eyes were on full alert. We were about half way down the trail when we were visited by a forest rabbit. He was a cute little thing. He followed us down the trail awhile and provided the kids with lots of laughs. He wouldn’t sit still for a picture. Shy, I guess.
We passed another rainforest meadow. Out of the corner of my eye I saw movement. I looked over and saw a female elk having some lunch about 100 feet from us. I peed my pants calmly ushered my children from the area. My husband wanted a picture so he lingered. I grabbed him by the shirt convinced him it would be wise to leave the area, so we continued our hike.
Moss was everywhere; hanging on the trees and growing on the floor, and the trees were huge. Some of the trees were over 300 feet tall. I was just amazed at the girth of them.
Here I am. I am standing between two trees that have grown together. Obviously they grew together several years ago. These trees have actually grown from a nurse log. A nurse log is a fallen tree that noursishes baby organisms like seedlings. Tree seedlings grow from the top of the nurse log and the roots grow around the log attaching into the ground. It is hard to imagine these trees ever being seedlings.
This is what it looks like when the nurse log finally fully decays. The kids had fun crawling under the tree. Nothing like a tree sitting on your children to give you the goose bumps.