Friday, August 7, 2015
Hoh Rain Forest, Pics of more Critters
We took the nearly hour long drive up to the Hoh Rain Forest, just to find out that dogs cannot go on the trails, and the temps up there were hitting the ‘80s. I went into their small visitor’s center, got a little info and confirmation about no dos on the trails, and walked a small trail while Marcia waited with the dogs in the car with the A/C going. Now normally you would think that a place that gets 140 to 170 inches of rain each year would be safe to take and leave dogs in a car…but not today. It may rain up to 14 feet each year, but that does not mean every day.
You don’t have to walk far to see the effects of so much rain on the forest.
The growth is everywhere, and fallen trees become ripe places for new plants to spring up from, like the roots of this fallen tree.
And they have Sitka Spruce Trees up there, and they too grow very large.
Near the entrance to the park is, or should I say “was” what they called, “The Big Spruce”, one of the largest Spruce trees in the world…until December of last year when it snapped during a wind storm.
I found a path that took me to where the top of the tree fell, and you can see the mangled mess leading back to the now stump of this once awesome tree.
I think Marcia would have been more disappointed except just two days ago we left what seemed to be our own little rain forest, or as she called it, “An Enchanted Forest” before moving to where we are now. With one big difference, very few people compared to the rain forest we went to today.
Much of the drive after leaving highway 101 is along the Hoh River, which is a glacier feed river from Mt. Olympus. Due to other mountains being in the way, we did not get a look of the peak of Mt. Olympus at all…a bit disappointing.
As we were leaving the park there is a pond on the right hand side. Something caught both of our eyes….
…what the heck is that? At first Marcia thought of a Beaver…but as I got out an looked around the answer became very clear.
DUCKS! Here there are five with their butts up in the air, an done is the normal sitting position. It was amazing how much they kept digging their heads down under the water…it was a bit amusing.
After we had been home for awhile, ran the generator for a couple of hours, I went back out in search of the Beaver….and I saw two this time in that same pond!
Fairly certain this is a beaver too in the Quillayute River where we saw Otter yesterday.
I am pretty sure this was a small family of Beaver which had crossed the river just a little before I got the shot above. They all seemed to duck into the cover to the left of where these four were taken.
This time I saw about five different Heron, but all my flying pictures were blurry since the sun was covered with that ocean cloud bank.
This one here was the best, showing the Heron in the far left, and all those dots in the water are ducks. (click on the picture to see a larger version)
I also saw one or two young Sea Lions in the River. I think this is two separate ones, but the pictures were taken a good half hour apart. This is “not” what we saw yesterday when we saw Otters playing…the swimming behavior of these Sea Lions was totally different than yesterday’s Otters. I did a bit of research and found that both Otters and Sea Lions are to be found in the area, although the Sea Lions don’t go up the river much past this area. That pretty much wrapped up another good day…tomorrow it might rain.