hoh national forest

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An earth day story of trying to find silence…and to protect a tiny bit of it in Olympic National Park

Gordon Hempton is on a personal quest to preserve silence in nature. The “sound-tracker” circles the globe recording vanishing sounds, including the most elusive one of all: silence. In 2005, Hempton resolved to find the quietest place in Washington’s Hoh rainforest, itself a haven of silence. According to Hempton, the area he found is precisely one square inch. But that little area of quiet—which holds incredible value for the Earth—is endangered. Now, Hempton is determined to protect it from noise pollution like overpassing jets, lest we lose one of our country’s last remaining silent places.

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park. WA. October 2015. 

Missing warm summer walks amongst the old growth. 

Photography - haleywillner.tumblr.com

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It’s a hot summer day here at home and this is all I can think of as I wilt like a dead plant in these stifling conditions. A few weeks ago in Olympic National Park’s Hoh Rain Forest, I was gazing down into the crystal clear waters of a spring-fed stream as water drips from curtains of moss. What a refreshing sight! The vivid green of the weeds in the water contrasts nicely with the blue-gray clay and silt on the stream bottom. The last photo shows the moss-draped temperate rain forest that the stream passes through.