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It’s been a little while since I’ve shared any photos or done a Top 10. I’m still in love with the dark forest, but I’ve been rediscovering color and light, even in the darkness. I felt inspired this year to share some new work.

Carolita and I have been pretty busy helping document our legacy forests on the Olympic Peninsula that are on public land and threatened with clear-cut logging. We joined up with a great coalition of locals and non-profits and created Elwha Legacy Forests – to raise awareness of our threatened Elwha River watershed, the climate crisis and our crashing biodiversity. We recently celebrated our first victory with the “Power Plant” timber sale being canceled!

Here’s my Top 10 favorite photos I took this year, in chronological order:

I love the wooden boardwalks in Olympic National Park, slowly being retaken by the forest.

There’s two time periods during the year where I can get up for my normal day, but drive out to catch the sunrise and still get home and be ready for work on time. These are special times alone in the forest, usually before most are awake.

Hiking off trail through the “On the Line” forest took us on a journey through time, from the hulking cathedrals of the old growth stumps that were cut over a hundred years ago and burnt out, to the still old, mature trees that would have been our future old growth. Unfortunately, they’re going to start clear-cut logging this amazing forest any day.

What a joy to discover the beautiful moss and fern covered canyon, cut by a creek in Olympic National Park being gently lit by filtered light! So much magic and beauty everywhere in this fragile, temperate rainforest.

Sunrise over the beautiful Lake Sutherland, in a lush forested valley and watched over by Mount Baldy and Mount Storm King.

Sol Duc is amazing any time of year, but fall in the rain takes it to a whole other level. The devil’s club along the side of the falls turned a bright, golden color, combined with the return of the rains flowing down the river.

I love the backcountry bridges in Olympic National Park and we found this fall scene up one of the valley trails, while introducing my sister to Olympic National Park.

Howe Creek is so easy to miss when driving towards the Enchanted Valley trailhead. Carolita glimpsed it from the passenger seat as we drove over a small curved bridge and shouted for me to stop the car! We backed up and I was able to get this shot from the bridge, as the sun rose through the foggy morning.

We had the trail to the Enchanted Valley all to ourselves and stopped to admire the impressive Pony Bridge over the East Fork Quinault River. The beautiful glacier blue water flowed swiftly through the lush, temperate rainforest.

Carolita, Erin and Kate (Wandering Joy Campground) embrace the old growth in the DNR’s “Shore Thing” timber sale. We’re still holding out hope that this magnificent, mature forest near Lake Sutherland can be saved before the planned 2028 timber sale. These legacy, temperate rainforests do so much for our planet and biosphere and are critical solutions to the climate and biodiversity crisis!


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