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August 28, 2005
Olympic National Park: Quinault Rain Forest, March of the Maples!
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography

Lake Quinault and its rain forest is on the southwestern boundary of the Olympic National Parl.

Lakequinault

The battle of Hoh Rain Forest has been decidedly won by the Firs. At Lake Quinault, the Maples have the upper hand.

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Maples spread out at the top and let sunlight in for many things to grow at their feet.

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The firs grow closely together so that their sparse foliage above when massed together doesn't let anything too large get a toe hold below.

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The rain forest straddles Lake Quinault on the north and south...

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Piggy-back plants abound around the maple roots (note that reader Jan points out that without blossoms it's difficut to tell just what this plant is - it's in the saxifrage family).

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Alders bow to the massive spreading maples.

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In the midst of the rain forest, the park service has begun to restore an old homestead - built in the late 1890s.

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Remnants of the pastures and orchard are still there.

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Parts of the old homestead are still standing - this old house was lived in until the 1930s. The National Park Service recently acquired the area and intends to restore it for the public.

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They'll be able to use the storage shed again.

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I wonder if they'll restore this - or just let it remain a natural planter box.

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But why did these people choose to build their homestead in this place? This maple cathedral perhaps. It didn't look much different 100 years ago. These spreading maples tower over a cedar in the middle. Note the bench in the lower center portion - I think this is one of those scenes that the scale just can't be translated by a photograph.

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This is just the lower portion of what I'll call Homestead Cathedral.

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Even the clover feeds off the nurse logs here (Reader Jan points out that this 'clover' is actually Oregon oxalis).

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The maples spread out and make impossible shapes.

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It may be just to confuse the enemy.

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Under maple's tutelage there is more harmony.

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Trees can start again and the floor is covered with ferns.

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They build their own dragons for parades too,

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And the piggy-back plants can pile themselves up, one elevator leaf at a time.

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At a time.

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Even the firs grow something extra in a maple forest.

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On the north side of Lake Quinault...

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the creek beds are dry.

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But the south side is lush with waterfalls at almost every turn. Is it gravity at work?

This series concludes my posts for Olympic National Park for this particular trip. You might have noted that I missed Elwha and Sol Duc Hot Springs - and, of course, the interior of the park. Those beautiful places will have to wait for another trip - soon, I hope, soon.



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People Pulling

Good forest pics, there's so much lushness and greenery to capture. That's not clover on the logs btw, it's oregon oxalis (Oxalis oregana). The other could be piggyback plant (also called youth-on-age), but without seeing the flowers, it's kind of hard to tell because we have a couple of other wildflowers in the saxifrage family that have nearly identical foliage and growth habits.

I'd love to photograph that homestead. And especially that truck!!!! Gimme an hour and a macro lens and I'll go to town on it... :)

Jan

Posted by: JLB at Aug 30, 2005 9:01:00 PM

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