Nurse Logs

July 04, 2019

Trees that have grown out of a nurse log

July 2019 Viewer's ChoicePhotographer: John Kupersmith
Summary Author: John Kupersmith 

This infrared image, taken on the Hall of Mosses trail in the Hoh Rain Forest area of Olympic National Park, shows several trees growing out of a so-called nurse log. This is a tree that has fallen but still provides nourishment for the seedling trees, as well as a rich habitat for other species such as insects and small mammals. Here, the root systems of two large trees seem to be reaching for one another, overlapped (at right) by the roots of a third, younger tree. The underlying nurse log has partially rotted away.

The infrared camera makes the sunlit foliage appear bright white but nonetheless renders details of trunks and roots much as the naked eye sees them. Photo taken on June 18, 2019.

Photo Details: Taken with a Sony A6000 camera; 720 mm lens; infrared conversion by Lifepixel; ISO 100; 1/80 second exposure; f/6.3.