Blue Cascade, Olympic National Park, 2004

A cascading creek of icy snowmelt rushes over moss-covered rocks in Olympic National Park in Washington. A World Heritage site renown for three diverse ecosystems, the 900,000-acre park has extensive old growth forest connected to mountainous glacial peaks interspersed with alpine meadows and miles of wilderness coastline.

It was spring when I began to work in the temperate rainforest, lush from receiving twelve feet of rain. I was excited and nervous on this mission. It was my first landscape assignment for the magazine, and the pace was far different than other people and cultural stories I had photographed. I slowed down. Senses heightened, I learned to read clouds attempting to predict weather and measure distance by time on a trail. When I was silent, the trees spoke. I felt inspired by light, color and texture of the primeval forest floor. Knowing the peninsula was isolated for eons by ice or water, I searched for some of the eight plants and 15 animals that are found nowhere else on earth.

Hiking a wilderness trail in heavy mist, I carried my camera under my jacket. My destination was the Sol Duc River, but ferns, mosses and small woodland flowers caught my attention. I stopped at a little stream and admired the emerald green color of mosses and was so glad I had carried the tripod to steady me with long exposures. I wanted capture beauty that would inspire and help people want to take better care of the earth.

Location: Olympic National Park
Photograph Date: 2004
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200


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