U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rain Forest Magic

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.

Ferns of different types made me think of dinosaur times.

Mosses and lichens were everywhere.

The blooms which I saw were predominantly of white color.

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 abandant 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!


  1. Incredibly beautiful!

  2. So cool. I've been to the rain forest in Costa Rica..Loved it! Your backyard is gorgeous.

  3. Your backyard is wonderful. I love the forest and wowser on those ferns. I'd love for a backyard with a bunch of them in it.

  4. WOW... this was a great way to cool off from the summer heat. I sit at my laptop in the air conditioning sippin on some ice tea LOVIN those refreshing photos you have shared today. Simply Amazing!

  5. I can almost see some Fairies Flying there. It is so like a fairy tale - wonderful place to visit and a very contrast to you backyard with everything organized. Fun to se both photos from both places. i do not think that you are that old, You are still young at heart.

    /Maria Berg

  6. That's wonderful, it's like being in paradise. Great photos Tatyana.

  7. Tatyana, what a magical place. That is just beautiful. Love your garden as well.

  8. Isn't it so peaceful and enchanting looking with all of the moss and ferns. Hey, I need some of those ferns! Just kidding. It is amazing to see things growing on old logs and trees. Nature just keeps going and making a way. Wonderful shots.

  9. Tatyana, please continue to take us on these wonderful adventures as you have been lately! I love it! Janet

  10. Very enchanting. I would love to have a forest in my backyard. We built our home in the middle of a field that had been used to plant cotton and other crops. Not the first tree around when we moved in. It has taken us years (31 to be exact) to get what little shade we have and we could still use more. Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos.


  11. Tatyana, you are really good at capturing nature at its best. Makes me appreciate the rainforests of my own country more.

  12. We love to go camping over on the peninsula, and when there I love to explore. We are so lucky to live this close.

  13. Such pretty pictures. It's sad that I've lived here most of my life and never made it to the rainforest.

  14. Fantastic pictures - thanks.

  15. WOW! That's just so beautiful! I love the forest, even tried to convince the rest of my family that we wold feel so much better living there. They didn't agree =( Your backyard looks great to / gittan

  16. And to think that's where I was raised! I knew that telephone booth had to be down there somewhere Tatyana.
    We go down to the Queets every year for a reunion where my Grandfather homesteaded. In fact they have now named the river bar where we have special permission to camp all these years after us! It is a beautiful and magical place and now I really appreciate it more than when I was a teenager stuck out in the middle of nowhere! LOL

  17. Can you believe I've never made it further north than Portland! Looks like it's about time! Those plants are amazing....

  18. Very Enchanting indeed!!


  19. Like another world. Stunning photographs of an enchanting place.

  20. Tatyana your pictures are superb as ever.

    What a beautiful temperate rain forest. It could easily have been New Zealand.

    Your backyard looks great too!


  21. This could possibly be the definition of lush growth! It is so garden is lovely! gail

  22. The rain forest is spectacular Tatyana. You are so lucky to live that close. It's so lush and green ~ the opposite of how it usually is here! Such a feast for the eyes. Your backyard is too. Thanks for sharing all the fantastic photos with us.

  23. Wow ... great photos ... I grew up going to Kalaloch during the Summer

    I have something for you at my blog ... go check it out ...

  24. Wonderful picture of your back yard. The rain forest looks truly magical!

  25. I'm packed and ready to take a trip to your backyard! Are you going to be home?!!

    I just hope there aren't any ticks there:-(

    Your photos are excellent!


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