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 It IS easy being green!

Danger! Waterfall! Rainbow!

This is the bottom of Wailua waterfall in Kauai, Hawaii. It was huge and rushing and loud. There were at least four signs that said KEEP OUT and DANGER and suchlike. One sign said PEOPLE HAVE DIED HERE. A local guy told us there was a trail and that we’d be A-OKAY, so naturally we hopped the fence. The hike was not too long, but it was very muddy and involved ropes attached to trees. At the bottom we discovered a beautiful rainbow, with a second shadow rainbow, and the entire population of Kauai’s mosquitos. The weather was pretty good on the way down. The last 20 feet on the way up it started raining cats and dogs. Hooray!

Framing a photo using the rule of thirds

Rule of thirds is a way of framing photos so that they are more pleasing to the eye. The idea is that if you break up the photo into thirds, the main lines of action should follow the divider lines. For example, if you take a photo of a person, don’t center them exactly in the frame; shift them to a focal point along the left or right divider lines. It is easier to demonstrate with a photo that doesn’t quite meet the standard.

The photo above doesn’t quite follow the rule of thirds. The stamen is too low and is also cropped off the picture. I would have loved to line this up better.

This photo is a better example of following the rule of thirds:

Here’s another photograph demonstrating rule of thirds:

The horizon is at the lower third divider; the owl is at the leftmost divider.

Rule of thirds is not an absolute rule but it is a great way to frame one’s photos. Let me know of your favorite “rule of third” photos! Posted in response to weekly photo challenge Frame

Abandoned shed

I saw this funky abandoned shed during my road trip across the U.S. a few years back. It is located somewhere in the midwest. This whole farm was a tourist attraction; it was advertised as a bunch of dilapidated farm houses you could explore. I like how you can see the other structure off in the distance from within the forefront shed. I also like how the lines seem to point in a spiral outwards. Normally I like “rule of thirds” photos where the subject is not fully centered, but I think in this case having the entrance in the center of the photograph makes the most sense. The shed in the forefront is a frame in two meanings: a frame or structure made of wood, and a frame or viewport to the outside.

Posted in response to this week’s photo challenge, Frame.

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!