What could be better than gardens created by nature itself? This month, we visited Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula (my two previous posts have pictures taken there). They call it one of the most enchanting and diverse regions on Earth.
The two rain forests were so majestic, I want to see them again and again.
They are located in the valleys of the Hoh, Quinault and Queets rivers and are part of the ecosystem stretching along the coast from Alaska to Oregon.
The temperate rain forests only occur in a few isolated regions around the world.
Obviously, rain forests have lots of rain and fog. Precipitation in our forests ranges from 140 to 167 inches, 12 to 14 feet a year.
The temperatures are moderate: dropping below freezing and going higher than 80 degrees F is very rare. Mountains on the east protect the area from severe weather extremes.
It was impossible to find a spot not taken by a plant.
Western red-cedar, Sitka spruce, Western hemlock, Douglas-fir... Large old-growth trees were of enormous proportions. Some conifers are more than 200 feet tall.
Many Douglas-firs are estimated to be around 400 years old. Along the trail that we took, there were groves of Douglas-fir that range from 250-550 years old with some AS OLD AS 900 YEARS! Ecologists believe that this Douglas-fir grove originated in an opening created by a massive forest fire. Once established, Douglas-fir are long-lived but unable to regenerate in the deep shade and intense competition of the abundant rain forest vegetation.
What was the most exciting for me? The forests are only several hours driving time from us! It's basically in our backyard!
Well, almost in our backyard!
Copyright Tatyana S http://tanyasgarden.blogspot.com/