Sep 15, 2014

The Hoh Rainforest - Olympic National Park

The Hoh Rainforest is a temperate rainforest in Olympic National Park. I was really excited to visit because I had written a report on the Hoh Rainforest when I was in 6th (7th?) grade. The report was actually supposed to be about the Hoh Indian Tribe, but between the library and the young internet, I found next to NO information whatsoever on the instead I mostly just talked about their environment, the Hoh Rainforest. It was neat to finally see, smell, experience something that was just a far-away concept to me ever since my middle school days. Honestly, we were bummed that it was a glorious, sun-shiny day. I wanted rain! Or at least some clouds. Everything seemed a little bit thirsty, but as the sun machine came down, things got all nice and cool and a lot more mystic. 

We hiked to 5 Mile Island, and a quick jaunt through the Hall of Mosses, but first stop - the visitor center. These nature center/bookstore/museums are the best. I always go a little (a lot) crazy over the dioramas, graphic design and illustrations.


Me with the trees

Drippy moss curtains

The Hoh River is a gorgeous milky blue. I've never seen a river this color before.

5 MI. IS.
love these arrowheads

Everything grows incredibly fast. As soon as a tree falls, it's overtaken with moss and lichens and other small trees, providing nutrients to the young plants. These are called nurse logs. Once the new trees' roots reach around either side of the nurse log, and into the ground, they really take off growing. The nurse log eventually decays, leaving behind a row of trees that are about the same age, and typically in some crazy magic-doorway shape. It's very cool to understand, and see each stage of this process.

A little forest on a nurse log

Super dense growth, another nurse log

Ferns everywhere

A lot of this going on. You can't sit still for too long, or something will start growing on you... Our friend Tracy from Oregon says everything is so mossy, moist, and grows so fast, some people find little trees growing on their cars!

Hey slug, you're gross!

Mossy crescent moon log

Along the trail

 I don't know what this is. Fungi of sorts?

Here be wizards


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