About a half hour from my home, a winding two lane road traces a deep cut into a hillside as it follows a lively stream. The little ravine seems to hold on tightly to whatever moisture is in the air, forming a micro-climate of cool and damp, green growth that hovers over the creek.
The Big Leaf Maples that grow in profusion here host thick swaddlings of chartreuse moss, set with delicate emerald fringes of Licorice fern. Every limb and twig appears to be clothed in globs of glowing green, as if imagined by Dr. Suess himself.
It’s the kind of roadside landscape that appears and disappears in a flash as you speed to your destination. That quick burst of green captivated me the first time I saw it, and I noted two pull-outs on the road as it glides down the S curves.
The other day I pulled over onto the gravel, got out, and worked my way along the edge of the steep drop, shuffling carefully over the deep blanket of last year’s leaves lest I trip on a hidden rock.
It was raining pretty steadily. Winter in the Pacific Northwest. I did what I could in the rain and dim light to photograph the mossy limbs.
Eventually I got back in the car and shot from there – the view now obscured by thoroughly fogged windows. I rolled the window down and shot a few more pictures, decided it was too wet, and rolled it back up. Then I simply focused on the water-splashed glass itself – glowing green from the mossy branches behind it.
I don’t think I really did it justice at all but I was desperate enough to get out that I didn’t care about the rain and dim light. On a drier day, maybe in the spring, I will come back and try for sharper pictures. This verdant, glowing speck of land is worthy of more attention.