Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Forest (Road Day #2)

Monday. Off we went to the Hoh Rain Forest. Stopped at the Big Spruce Tree to change pace from highway mode to ambling-though-the-forest mode. The sign there said look for elk. We looked. No elk. We went on to the visitor center, carefully examining the roadsides for elk. No elk. Ambled around the Hall of Mosses loop. Watched a douglas squirrel energetically digging up bits of fungus and eating them right at our feet, shyness wasn't in it. Watched some kids decide a patch of Oxalis behind a big log were shamrocks and that they had found the home of the leprechauns. Read all the signs.

My attitude to the Rain Forest is perhaps insufficiently reverent. Under the bigleaf maples I reach my arms out and hold still for a while, wondering how long it might take for the moss curtains to begin to grow. Another gorgeous maple, my arms just naturally reach out again. Wandering though a grove of, um, big trees, I might just say, "You know, there's some really big dudes in here."

Bigleaf Maple with curtains of Selaginella oregana (spikemoss) (Click for larger image.)

Back at Visitor Center a little girl heard us talking about elk and she said they had seen one at the Big Spruce Tree. (I thought that meant we could count it as sighted wildlife. S. said no.) We gathered up the lunch tote bag and started around Spruce Trail loop. There was another douglas squirrel, this one on a branch right over our heads in the middle of the trail; he wasn't shy either. Picnicked by the river. No sign whatsoever of the promised rains.

Hoh River (Click for larger image.)
Colonade of Spruce and Hemlock on a Nurse Log (Click for larger image.)

As we were driving out, there were elk. Several cars were stopped in the road trying to photograph them. There were maybe six of them. By the time we could see them well, they were leaving. They're really big.

Elk by the road. (Click for larger image.)

The day continued ridiculously sunny. We decided to keep on in have-it-all mode and go to the ocean. More in next post.

1 comment:

Sky said...

fabulous photos here! esp love the 1st one.