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Showcasing Another State of the Pacific Northwest

I already did sort of a sneaky quiz, seeing if people could name which of several states the various pictures were taken. Truth is that all the pictures in that quiz were from Idaho. This time, I’ll say upfront that all of these pictures are from the state of Washington. Even though Washington doesn’t stretch as far south as Idaho, it is still quite scenic, as you will see.

All of these pictures came from Pixabay and all are public domain.


Yes, Washington has rain forests. The forests get ample amounts of rainfall and most of them also get plenty of snow, as the moist air butts up against the Washington Cascade Mountains. The soil is also very fertile, with the result that many species of trees, bushes, and other plants grow in all but the oldest rain forests. This picture looks like it might have been taken in Olympic National Park, but it wasn't labeled by location.

Another kind of rain forest

There is another kind of rainforest in Washington, too. It is dominated by massive Douglas Fir trees. Believe it or not, these are some of the smaller Doug Firs. I like the picture because it has a woman in it to show the size of the trees and to gain perspective.

Found in the southwest corner of Washington, many of the firs there are truly massive. Several have been estimated to be taller than 320 feet (about 100 meters). In comparison, most of the giant redwoods of California are shorter than 320 feet and only a few are taller. Redwoods are taller than Douglas Firs, because of those few very tall Redwoods. The Douglas Firs in this area are a close 'second-tallest'.

To give another perspective, the tree that the woman is facing is probably only about 140-160 feet tall, judging from the girth of the tree. The really tall firs are about four or five times that big around at the base.

Near Olympic National Park

This picture was either taken in or near Olympic National Park, on the part that borders the Pacific Ocean. This is the source of most of the abundant moisture. During the driest months, this area is socked in with dense fog almost daily. The fog does lift and burn away, but forms again the next day.

Mountain lake

Washington is home to quite a few small mountain lakes. Although this one is fairly shallow, it is much deeper than it looks, thanks to the clarity of the water. I don't know for sure, but there is a good chance that there are trout in this lake. Many of the lakes have been planted a few times and the trout now breed in those lakes. Not all of them can be reached by car, either. The only way to get to them is on foot or horseback.

Beautiful view

I'm uncertain if this is a lake or part of a river, but either way, it is beautiful. A body of water this large in Washington is almost guaranteed to have trout in it. If it is a lake, it probably also has Kokanee Salmon, also called Land-Locked Salmon.

Look at that beautiful green water.

A pond

In addition to all of the lakes, rivers, and streams, Washington also has so many ponds and sloughs that they are virtually uncountable. This one is in one of the drier areas of the state and it forms sort of an oasis. There are cottonwoods growing on the far shore and yet, on the hill in the background, sagebrush and rabbitbrush dominate. There are also a few ducks on the lake in this picture, but they are very hard to see.

Mount Saint Helens

Many people only know of Washington because of the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980. This is a picture from inside the crater, as it looks today, almost 40 years later. Oh, yes, it is still quite active. 

Although this view is bleak and barren, that volcanic dirt is extremely fertile. Just outside the caldera, there is an abundance of plants growing and animals to enjoy it.

Flowers in bloom

This view, facing west, is from central Washington, where it is substantially drier. This part of Washington is a continuation of the Oregon High Desert. The altitude for much of it is over 4,000 feet, but it gets less than 10 inches of precipitation per year, which makes it a desert. Despite this, the red of wildflowers is plain. In the middle of the picture, there is also a natural cistern or catch basin with water in it. This is used by a large population of deer, elk, pronghorns, and other creatures.

Rolling hills

This is also part of the drier area of Washington. A lot of the state is dry. These rolling hills are actually terminal moraines that were left behind when the glaciers receded about 9,000 to 10,000 years ago. The land was further shaped when the prehistoric Lake Missoula flooded the area.

I hope you enjoyed a look at the most northwest of all the lower 48 states; Washington. Washington is a lot more than just Seattle, the space needle, and the Seattle Seahawks football team, although the latter is my personal favorite.

What do you think?

9 points

Written by Rex Trulove

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    • For quite some time, I had an uncle who was the mayor of Cheyney and was also a full professor at the college there. He is surely retired by now, but I’ve not been in contact with him for years.
      In my youth, I also did my best to get a job at Rainier National Park.

      Quite a few of the things that are sold here are actually shipped here from Spokane. Interestingly, if something is ordered here from Boise, Idaho, it most often still goes through Spokane, though that isn’t the most direct route.

      When we moved here from Oregon, what struck me was the miles upon miles of wind towers in Washington, generating electricity. Seeing them in pictures don’t do them justice because each of the blades is far larger than they look from a distance.

  1. Such lovely scenery. I have heard about the rainforests of Washington state and I would love to see them. I have only been to Seattle and Tacoma once. Seattle impressed me so much that I wanted to move there if I could find a job.

    • As cities go, Seattle is one of my favorites. The part that I don’t like is that it is all packed into a relatively small area and at times, it is almost as if some of the roads were an afterthought, but the city has charm and the people are great, for the most part.

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