Sunday, June 16, 2019

Olympic Day Two: Hall of Mosses

The Hoh (pronounced "ho" as in "ho, ho, ho") is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S. Protected from commercial exploitation, the Sitka spruce and western hemlock in the forest often surpass 300 feet in size. It's a mind-boggling height. Some of them are 23 feet thick!!! Again, photos cannot capture this magnitude. Just know that I found myself often saying aloud the word "wow." I often stopped to lean my head back and stare in wonder. It was awe-inspiring.

For this post, I'm limiting the photos to one short nature trail near the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center called Hall of Mosses. I have so many good pictures that I'm having trouble cutting the numbers down!

fellow tourist for scale

Throughout the Hall of Mosses trail were nature-inspired poems displayed on these signs. I loved it.

Maple leaves filtering the sunlight

One of my favorite learnings from the trip was about nursery logs. When a seed falls to the forest floor, it can be really difficult for it to take root through the debris and undergrowth. But when it falls on a decomposing log, it has easy access to all the nutrients it needs. So the forest is home to many rows of full-grown trees all lined up where a dead log used to be. These trees often have gaps under their roots where the log used to be, but as it decomposed it left behind empty space— so the trees look like they're on tip-toes all in a row! 

Another example of trees grown from a nursery log.

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