Queets Rainforest at Olympic National Park

In mid-May, I joined a photo workshop for five days in Olympic National Park. We camped at one of the less-visited rainforests in the park. The forest was often chaotic, with things growing in all directions. It was challenging finding and creating photo compositions, but I enjoyed the challenge and being in the forest. I was always seeking the light and letting it guide me.

One evening we went to an area beside the river. The river created an opening and allowed the late-day sunlight to filter into the forest. The first three photos are from that evening.

Fern Flourishing – A cluster of ferns and oxalis catch the last rays of sun at the feet of a giant cedar tree.
Trio (of trees)
Forest Den – Light shines into the forest from a nearby river.

One of the amazing features of the rainforest are nursery logs. A fallen tree becomes a nursery when seedlings sprout on of the decaying log. As the new tree grows, its roots reach through and around the log. Eventually the fallen tree totally decomposes leaving a network of exposed roots.

Nursery Log – Moss and young trees grow on the fallen cedar.
Clutching the Earth – This giant cedar wrapped its roots around a nursery log long ago.
Grasping the Earth
Giant Cedar Stump – Cedars are the giants of this forest. This old stump is a nursery for new growth.
New Bloom of Thimbleberry – on the forest floor
Maple in the Sun – Sunlight shines through the leaves of a vine maple.

To see more photos from this trip, click here.

Flora of the Redwood Forest

As amazing as the redwood trees, are the plants of the understory. When I was not looking up, I found myself crouching low or using my 400mm zoom to get close to the plants and flowers.

Maidenhair Fern – A wall of maidenhair fern was growing alongside the start of one of the trails.
Swordfern beside a Log
Swordfern Mustache

Oxalis or Redwood Sorrel was a clover-like plant that I found in abundance throughout the forest. This plant is edible and has a tangy, lemony taste.

Redwood Sorrel …or Oxalis

Another common plant that I found flowering up and down the Pacific Northwest coastal region was thimbleberry.

Thimbleberry & Bud
Lemon Thimbleberry

Here are a few other of the flowering plants.

Western Starflower with Poison Oak
Hover Fly on a Western Starflower
Columbian Windflower or western white anemone
Cow Parsnip
Forest Lantern – Some common names of this plant are Andrew’s Clintonia, Red Clintonia, or Western Bluebead Lily.
Western Lily of the Valley

To see more of this collection go to “Flora of the Redwood Forest.”

To view the redwood forest collection, go to “Into the Redwood Forest.”