Sunday, October 14, 2007

60% Sitka Spruce, 40% Western Hemlock

I forgot to bring the tree-identification handout the national forest ranger gave me in Quilcene, so when I got to the Hoh Rainforest visitor station I asked the Park ranger if he had one. This one was a one-page summary; he pencilled in the proportions on the sheet. 60% sitka spruce, 40% western hemlock.

I took the handout and a library book (Stephen Arno, Northwest Trees), and shambled along the Hoh River Trail, looking closely at all the conifers. If it's only going to be two kinds, surely eventually they will come into focus and I'll see that this is not that. Spruces are not hemlocks. Apples are not oranges. Oughta be obvious after a while, don't you think?

Yeah, right.

Some of the time I thought the big ones were all spruces, and the smaller trees in the understory were all hemlocks. Most of the time I knew I hadn't a clue what anything was unless it happened to be a bigleaf maple or a fern. Those I could recognize. But I had a nice walk in the forest, about an hour in along the trail, and then back again.

Spruces or hemlocks

Mosses hanging from Bigleaf Maple

PS First I went up the Sol Duc. Lots of fish hanging out in the pools below the Cascade, probably a couple hundred of them. But not on the move, just hanging out. No leaping.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Miriam, You are wonderfully busy.