Even though I live right next to the woods, I don’t venture very far into them most of the time. However, when I get to retreat, there’s a great opportunity to hike to the falls and enjoy the woodlands along the way. Here in Pacific County, we are part of the Temperate Rain Forest that runs along the northwest shores of the United States and Canada. It really is a special place. Because we get so much rain, we have lots and lots of moss and ferns and mushrooms and even wildflowers. I thought I’d share some with you. Won’t you follow me down this path?
Moss is evident as soon as we start our walk. It covers everything, even the trees.
It seems to especially like dead branches.
I think some of these trees may have auditioned for the Wizard of Oz!
In the right setting, they could be pretty scary!
Since we get about 80″ of rain a year, there’s plenty of moisture.
In the photo below, note the light strand of stuff hanging between the branches. That’s lichen. It only grows where the air is pure.
It almost looks like you could take a nice cushy nap on this branch.
Here’s a close-up of some of the moss.
It makes everything look like it has whiskers.
Ah, padded hand rails!
Another close-up. It’s really quite delicate.
This is the top of an old, abandoned fence post. Speaking of the Wizard of Oz, it looks like the hats the soldiers wore! If you look carefully, you can see more posts marching up the hillside.
The moss has even found a home on this log chair–a built in cushion!
I had a hard time categorizing my photos between moss and ferns, so many had both.
I just love these ferns that grow on the sides of the trees.
They seem magical to me.
This one was really covered.
There were plenty of ferns of the ground, too.
The hills were covered with them.
It was the end of March, but these small mushrooms were already popping out.
Sally volunteered her hand to show you how small they really are.
The edges get all raggedy as they mature, but they’re almost more beautiful.
These are oyster mushrooms growing on the side of this stump.
I was so excited on my first walk to the falls to spot these trillium about to bloom.
The very next day, one of them had opened up!
This trillium grows in our yard–we dug it up two years ago from the ditch across the road. Thank you, Melinda!
I don’t know what these delicate pink flowers are.
Here’s a type of daisy.
From the time I was a kid, they’ve been one of my favorite.
I don’t know if these oxalis haven’t opened up yet, or if they close like this when it’s raining.
Here are some open ones.
I’ve not seen a flower like this before.
Or this, although it looks a bit like cow parsnip, but I think it’s too early.
What adorable Johnny Jump-Ups!
I wish they were growing in “my” woods.
I’ve saved my favorite for last–the cowslips!
These are blooming everywhere around us right now, and the area around the retreat center was no exception.
You might know them as skunk cabbage, but I prefer the English name–cowslips. It just conjures up the most hilarious images of cows wearing yellow slips!