Chito Beach, Olympic Peninsular, WA, USA by Susannah Sofaer Kramer

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One of my favorite places to visit is the San Juan Islands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca in western Washington just below the Canadian border. My brother has lived there on Orcas Island for about 35 years and every summer my husband and I go up to visit him.

In 2015 I took a solo trip earlier in the year to travel the Olympic Peninsular with him. I wanted to show him the rain forest there as I had visited it with my husband ten years before, an amazing place full of wildlife and lush with plants, trees and fungi and all the little critters that live on them, but I hadn’t reckoned on the fact that Washington, like California, had been undergoing several years of drought and this wonderful Rain Forest was now, even in June a dry and dusty seeming dead zone. So we drove back up to the north coast of the peninsular and headed out to it’s westernmost point. We stopped at beaches all along the way taking pictures on this photogenic coast and at this one near Chito Beach I came across this bracket fungus and lichen on a fallen tree . I was so happy that even though I hadn’t seen any fungi in the rain forest I had finally found one in the most unlikely of places, the beach!

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