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schmitz preserve park, west seattle

Schmitz Preserve Park in West Seattle was today's Flickr meetup location. It's a bit of old growth forest that was donated to Seattle 100 years ago. It didn't come into being totally untouched; there are still some stumps from a century ago when logging was permitted. It will take more centuries to completely erase those stumps, assuming that the effects of global warming don't kill what's left first.

I met with the group around 1pm local time. The only person I recognized, naturally, was Paula, who has her photo on the web due to her work with her website, her Flickr stream, and her work on Small Camera Big Picture. Once everyone gathered and the preliminaries were taken care of, we all took off into the park. As is my wont I drifted off on my own, just happy to be able to walk and not be cooped up in a room with no windows.

The park is indeed green. The further I wondered the trails into the park, the greener it became. The sunlight would slice through the canopy at certain points, imbuing the foliage with an almost mystical light that seemed to come from within as much as from without.

I noticed that the micro-climate of this bit of old growth forest is humid. I tried to climb a steep trail, only to be blocked by a fallen tree towards the top. The further I walked the trail, the denser the undergrowth and the higher I walked into the larger tree's canopy area. And the more humid the air became. I was soaked with sweat by the time I stopped and came back down towards the entrance to the park.

This shows what happens when you destroy a forest and replace it with civilization. Outside the park the air is unnaturally dry and warmer than inside the park. You can't walk through something like Schmitz and not realize what you've truly lost. I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience Schmitz, however brief.

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