The weather is one of those things that everyone talks about, whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent. In the sunnier parts of the world (such as Redlands, California), people would mention the weather only if we had any, as in “we’re having some weather, aren’t we?” It was as if the normal ‘weather’, which was sunny and hot, wasn’t weather at all. Given that the 18 months we lived there we had 5 inches of rain, you can see why they might think that way. At the same time, having grown up in Western Washington and lived in Britain, weather in those places is more a matter of discussing it only when it is not raining.
My husband and I have been wandering around the Olympic National Forest this week. Just up the road is Forks, Washington (of Twilight fame).
Up close and personal:
A temperate rain forest is one that receives 100 inches of rain a year. From a map in the national forest, parts of Ireland and Scotland qualify. I’ve posted about both the weather (http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=96) and the uncertain geography of writing about the Dark Ages–the absence of forest in modern-day Wales is one of the most troubling issues. (http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/?p=89) Areas in Wales receive that much rain a year, specifically in the Conwy River basin, and it feels like the country should have more forest than it does, particularly because of its similarities to the Pacific Northwest.
In keeping with that, the third picture, above, is not from Washington State, but along the Llugby River in Wales. Walking among 400 year-old trees in the rain forest presents the tantalizing possibility of a thickly forested landscape in Wales 1500 years ago.