Olympic National Park

At the north westerly tip of the country, where the icy Pacific meets the cool land, life is not easy.
On the top of the mountains animals and plants have to struggle hard for survival. Temperatures are cool and rain is rare, the only moisture coming from the mists that arise from the sea shore. In the bitter winters that last six month here everything living is covered below meters of icy snow. Here a tree needs forty years to grow up to one's knee, and 250 years to reach a couple of meters. Dead trees are remaining as white bleaches skeletons as decomposition also takes centuries. The animals survive the harsh condition only hibernating seven month out of twelve in their subterranean caves. It's a life in slow motion.

Down in the valleys water is plenty, creating a northern rain forest. Trees are growing up to a hundred meters easily. But life here is not easy either. Competition is fierce, mosses are growing everywhere, seeking glimpses of sunlight on tree branches. If a tree ends its natural life its place is immediately taken by other plants, re-using the biological materials that have been decomposed by bacteria and micro organisms.
Life may not be easy but it always finds its way.


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