Ancient Forests

Ancient forests, also known as old-growth forests, were once thought of as wastelands of decay.  Today we understand them as rich and dynamic ecosystems that are vitally important to some plant and animal species.  Ancient forests are a mess:  dead trees and limbs are on the ground, limbs grow haphazardly in all directions, moss and lichens drape from the limbs, trees and shrubs grow in a variety of heights..... and yet it is one of the most beautiful "messes" one will ever see.  When a person's eye can see the beauty of an old-growth forest, that person will have demonstrated a deeper understanding of the working of the natural world.

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old-growth forest, Carbon River, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington