Holland America Lines offers several excursions for each port where we stop. We chose a hike in the Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary.
Many trees were covered with Old Man’s Beard Lichen. It will eventually kill the tree, but this is part of the natural process in the rain forest.
The top soil is very shallow, so roots cannot go very deep. Instead, they spread out horizontally and tangle with nearby roots. Thus, surrounding trees help support other trees. New plants get their start in the decaying trees and stumps left after a tree dies because the ground is so inhospitable to new plants. Eventually, the young trees are strong enough to make their way in the ground.
Decaying Stump Cover with New Growth
The burl on this dead cedar tree is probably worth $10,000 to a woodworker, but the tree is protected and the fine for cutting any tree is $30,000.
There were a wide variety of mushrooms in the forest.
Some of the trees have a tangle of roots that are open. These make a great place for bears to hibernate in the winter.
Or maybe even people.
This is another lichen, the matchstick lichen, or the devil’s matchstick. Lichens were composed of two separate organisms, algae and fungus, working togethger in a symbiotic relationship.
Yes, there are bears in the area. Looks like this one had some berries for lunch.
As we left the rain forest, we entered an estuary where the salmon were trying to spawn.
And, where there are salmon, there are bears.
This was a small black bear ready for some lunch.
It came up with a fish, but didn’t like that one and let it go.
This is a nice one.
I think I’ll take this one back into the woods and have lunch.
Where there are salmon, there are also eagles. This pair was in a tree across the estuary watching.
I know I promised you totem poles in this post, but it is getting a bit long. The next one will be the totem poles, I promise