Smuckles’ Garden Camping Adventures

Smuckles’ Garden Camping Adventures is the story of several slug and snail friends who decide to go camping together. The story starts out with lots of laughs but pretty soon something scary happens! Follow the adventures of Smuckles the Slug and pals as they encounter spooky stuff on their camping trip. Get the book on Amazon in paperback or Kindle format. Learn about the hilarious gang on Monsters.net.

Smuckles Garden Camping Adventures

Smuckles Garden Camping Adventures

Quinault Rainforest

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6094 U.S. 101, Amanda Park, WA 98526

A cluster of ferns in Quinault Rainforest

Quinault Rainforest

Quinault Rainforest, part of Olympic National Park, is on my shortlist of places to visit again. In July 2013 on my way from San Francisco to Boston, I visited this mossy, verdant wonderland in the northwest corner of Washington State. I could have spent a month taking photos there. The park features overflowing ferns, moss growing off giant trees, and numerous other epiphytes that only grow where it rains all the time. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants in a non-parasitic way. Examples include ferns, mosses, spike mosses, and lichens. It rains almost fourteen feet a year in the park, so the place is very green.

Quinault Rainforest is verdant and amazing

The paths were particularly beautiful because the sunlight shone through the hanging moss and ferns and created a green backlit effect. Much of the lush greenery was brightly dappled. The mixture of shadow and light was spectacular. Many fallen trunks in stages of decay were thick with moss growth. Shades of green were very intense. This place is loaded with ferns and moss.

Quinault Rainforest could have been a lovely home for elves and gnomes

Plants grew from every square inch of the earth. Moss draped from every tree. Light filtered through everything. The park was scenic and postcard-perfect. There are hikes of shorter and longer durations, all radiating out from Lake Quinault in the center. It’s a very family-friendly park. There’s even a seafood restaurant on one edge of the park with a view of the sunset.

More ferns and moss in Quinault Rainforest

Quinault Rainforest

Even more ferns and greenery

Quinault Rainforest

Posted in response to It IS Easy Being Green!

Fruit of the noni tree

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A few years ago I visited Kauai, Hawaii, and discovered this large, bulbous, green, and knobby fruit, about the size of a pear.

the fruit of the noni tree

Is it edible? Is it poisonous? Is it full grown? What the heck is it? My website received a lot of Google hits from people searching for “bulbous fruit”, which is what I called it before I realized its true name.

I have since learned that this is the fruit of the noni tree. It is edible (though not too tasty) and not poisonous (if you don’t eat too many). Proponents claim that the noni fruit and its juice can treat a wide variety of health problems, ranging from cancer to senility to psoriasis. Science hasn’t backed up these claims, so if you get a case of psoriasis, see a doctor. The noni fruit has also been used in many commercial skin and hair care products. Go ahead and slather it on if you need to moisturize, just don’t expect a cure for cancer.

I would go back to Kauai in a heartbeat. The plants there seemed bigger, greener, weirder.

Posted in response to the weekly photo challenge It IS easy being green!

My White’s Tree Frog was fat and happy

His name was Jabba the Hutt due to his corpulence. He barked like a dog, blew up his chin with air, and ate live crickets. When he wasn’t eating, he sat very still so that he was very easy to photograph. I had him for ten years until his eyes started to fade and he had a harder time catching crickets. He is shown here in the prime of his life, sitting on a painting. He changed colors to match whatever his surroundings were, more or less. He could muster several shades of brown and blue-green.

When I first got him home and he started barking, I thought there was an actual dog either right outside my window or somehow, disturbingly, inside my apartment. It was a big enough place that this was almost plausible, until I realized it was the frog.

His method for catching crickets was to look about two inches into the space in front of him. If there was a cricket there he’d pounce with his mouth open, landing such that cricket was instantly in his mouth. Efficient!

He was tons of fun. I still miss him.

White's tree frog

Posted in response to weekly photo challenge Fun!