The rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula are home to a variety of lifeforms that live on the giant trees, including mosses, lichens, and ferns. My favorite lichen, known by its scientific name “Usnea,” or as “Old Man’s Beard,” is the longest lichen in the world. Draping gracefully from Bigleaf Maple limbs, it reminds me of the Spanish Moss of the Deep South–though it is completely unrelated. In this photograph, the warmly colored background is from autumn maple leaves, in rich shades of yellow and orange. LOCATION: Staircase, Olympic National Park, Washington State, USA
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