Cycle of life writ large

Hoh nurse log 1

Nurse logs are an environmental feature of a temperate rainforest and the Hoh Rainforest provides abundant examples. Fallen trees break down over time and facilitate germination of seedlings. Small trees grow along the length of the decaying trunk. The roots you see above are growing through and over the side of a nurse log.

Hoh nurse log 3

As the new trees mature the original nurse log decays into humus and eventually disappears. The roots form strong, intricate webs.

Hoh nurse log 2

Tangles of tree roots are left once the nurse log is gone.

Hoh nurse log 4

The roots sometimes have air gaps and voids where there once was a decaying tree.


Here’s a Native American prayer, a peace offering for a world in pain.

“Creator, open our hearts
to peace and healing between all people.

Creator, open our hearts
to provide and protect for all children of the earth.

Creator, open our hearts
to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth.

Creator, open our hearts
to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all.

Thank you for the gifts of this day and every day.”

Alycia Longriver, Micmac Native American

3 thoughts on “Cycle of life writ large”

  1. I’m learning something new every day on your blog. Fascinating. “Nurse logs” is certainly an apt description!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I agree with Lowell, and love the term “nurse logs,”. . .the descriptions, info, and photos on your last couple posts have been wonderful.

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