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Washington Trip: Part 2

Time for Part 2 of my Washington Trip photos. This post covers the second half of the first shoot day and includes the remaining Hoh Rain Forest photos plus a single shot from Ruby Beach.

Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

I talked extensively in the previous post about how amazing the scenery is in the Hoh Rain Forest. My urge is to keep trying to describe it, but I'm sure my words will only fall short. I hope my photos can paint a more accurate picture. But it means a lot when I say this place really is one of my favorite places I've ever visited.

Many of the pictures in this post were taken in a special section of the Hoh Rain Forest called the Hall of Mosses. This area consists of huge Bigleaf Maples covered with Cat-Tail Moss andĀ Oregon Selaginella. Everything is utterly dripping with green here. Just stunning. Throughout the entire forest, I felt like I was on Pandora and I'd see some Avatars walk out of the forest at any second, but the Hall of Mosses in particular was otherworldly.

Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

The Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

Here's a panorama of a particularly amazing section of the Hall of Mosses. I was lucky enough to have this view all to myself for quite awhile. Click the picture for a larger view to really see the detail.

Hall of Mosses in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

Another interesting phenomenon that happens in the rain forest is when trees fall and become "nurse logs." It works like this: a tree falls from natural causes, it starts to decay on the forest floor, then other trees start to sprout from this log as they absorb the nutrients from this decaying "nurse log." Eventually, this nurse log deteriorates entirely and all that's left are the trees that grew from it. But with the nurse log gone, these trees seem to grow in a neat row and as though they are raised up on stilts. This row of trees is called a "colonnade."

Deadwood in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

^ Deadwood on the forest floor gives new life to other plants.

Trees on a Nurse Log in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

^ Trees grow from a nurse log, leeching nutrients from the decaying matter

Colonnade of trees in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

^ Once the nurse log decays entirely, what's left is a colonnade of trees

And finally, I just had to get this shot of a pay phone near the visitor center of the Hoh Rain Forest. It's been photographed a million times by a million tourists, but I felt it summed up the rain forest quite well.

Pay Phone in the Hoh Rain Forest - Olympic National Park, WA

After my visit to the rain forest, I decided to race down to Ruby Beach to try and catch the sunset. Unfortunately, I left a bit too late and so I was very rushed at the beach and only came back with 1 decent shot. Click it to view a larger version.

Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park, WA

Coming up next: tons and tons of waterfall shots!