Monday, August 17, 2009

A Sacred String

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic Penninsula, WA

The moss in the Olympic Penninsula is almost indescribable. We hit a 28-day dry spell, so the normal green and spongy fauna is a bit on the crispy side. But it's still remarkable to see covering the pines and maples. Draping. Hanging. Looping down toward the soil. It helps ignite our imagination--and soon we're viewing unicorns, giant preying mantises. On a tour with a John the ranger, we discover the delicate balance of the temperate rainforest. The importance of the smallest of creatures--to the air, soil, and water. It is a joy to spend time here with my favorite aunt and uncle. Olympic National park is a sacred place-- a World Heritage site, and I'm thankful to a be a part of the magic. A part of the string that ties us all together.

River Treasures

Rivers. The current can carry your thoughts away, or gently lap them onto the shore for you to find when they are foggy. The rocks, so smooth, fit perfectly in your hands. And wildlife emerges to delight us. The kids search the waters of the Quilliute (after feeding baby Coho and Steelhead dead bugs with one of the rangers) for more baby fish. They rigged up a fishing "cups," but schools of hundreds of fish are powerful. Elusive. Swift. Nobody can scoop one, and things are looking pretty sad until...the catch of the day, a TADPOLE! It's not a salmon, but it's a river creature, giving us just a taste of something that belongs in such a spectacular environment. We release him and the sun sets, smiling, and happy. Just like us.