The rainforest…Where are they?…We hiked in a triple canopy rainforest…One year ago, a favorite photo from Le Louvre…

As we made our way through a portion of the triple canopy rainforest we encountered two lakes, a creek, and a river. This is the saltwater lake. Tomorrow, we’ll be posting photos of the freshwater lake, the river, and the creek which included a wildlife surprise.

Many of us have the perception is that there is only one major rainforest in the world, the largest in the Amazon River Basin in South America. And yet, there are rainforests throughout the world.

The sign at the entrance to the rainforest boardwalk.

“The largest rainforests are in the Amazon River Basin (South America), the Congo River Basin (western Africa), and throughout much of southeast Asia. Smaller rainforests are located in Central America, Madagascar, Australia and nearby islands, India, and other locations in the tropics.

For more information on rainforests throughout the world, please click here.

As shown in the above map, we’ve already visited rainforests in Central America while we lived in Belize, formerly British Honduras and also as we’ve visited many islands on various cruises and now in our backyard.  If we could climb the steep hill behind the house, we’d be in the rainforest.

Leaves changing color in the rainforest.

As with most forests, walking through a rainforest isn’t easy unless one carries a  machete if the trails aren’t available. Australia, in its infinite wisdom and devoted to its natural resources, makes hiking through many of their rainforests relatively easy.

Spindly tree.

At least on four prior occasions since our arrival over two months ago we’ve had an opportunity to enter rainforests located in Queensland. Yesterday, was no exception when we headed back to the area of the Cairns Botanic Gardens where across the road is the entrance to an extensive trail through an area of rainforest we’d yet to explore.

Sunlight filtering into the dense triple canopy rainforest, which connotes dense vegetation on the ground, the center and the treetops blocking out sunlight.  An occasional opening allowed for sunlight to filter through.
As for the Australian rainforests:

“Millions of years ago, Australia, New Zealand and the island of New Guinea formed part of a great forested southern continent, isolated from the rest of the world. Today these countries contain many different species of animal that occur nowhere else.  Undergrowth in Australia’s tropical forests is dense and lush. The forests lie in the path of wet winds blowing in from the Pacific.

We made the trek around noontime, when we had an opportunity to see the most with the sun directly overhead. The wooden boardwalk was a little wobbly and unstable at the point but overall safe.

While living on tropical islands in our immediate future, there will be many more rainforests to explore. As we visited several thus far in Australia and other parts of the world we find each to have its own personality, many with considerable wildlife lurking within the canopy and others, such as here in Australia with less visible wildlife as we walked the trail.

Sun filtering through to standing water in an otherwise dry creek bed.

And we stress, “visible,” when much of the rainforests consist of “small things” not necessarily easy to spot with the naked eye. Lately, we’ve been watching episode after episode of David Attenborough’s amazing stories of life on our planet.

A visitor at a distance which illustrates the narrowness of the boardwalk. At times, we had to use our arms to get through heavy vegetation overtaking the boardwalk.

Watching these fabulous documentaries has aided us in the further realization of how small many creatures are in the rainforests, often difficult to spot as we traverse our way through dense vegetation, the narrow manmade path leading the way.

Tom stopping to admire a huge tree.

For our exploration, we revel in spotting unique vegetation and occasional signs of life, other than the occasional hiker walking by us. Oh, I need to mention a fact about Australia that intrigues us. Australians walk on the same side of a path as cars drive on the road. 

Occasionally, a sign was posted naming a particular tree.

As we encountered others on the narrow path, my inclination had been to move to the right to make room for them to pass when in fact, I’ve needed to move to the left. Tom reminded me to avoid making a fool of myself. Duly noted.

This tree was huge, much wider than it appears in this photo. See the above photo for Tom standing next to it.

The wood boardwalk running through a large portion of the rainforest we toured was too narrow for us to walk side by side. As a result, when exploring rainforests Tom walks in front of me stopping when he spots a point of interest.

Vines accumulating on the ground from the tree above.

His eyes are quicker than mine and we often stop when he sees a photo-worthy opportunity. He rarely disappoints. I’m more inclined to spot a more “romantic” sighting than an object of interest. As a result, we’re a perfect match (in more than one way).

We spotted several trees with vines wrapped around the trunk.

The value of maintaining the integrity of rainforests has definitely become known to most of the world although certain factions prefer to ignore the importance of these magical forests for the future of humanity in many ways.  

We wandered through the Lowland Paperbark Forest.
The destruction of rainforests is both political and money-driven and I prefer not to get into that discussion here. However, any of our long term readers easily surmise our stance on the preservation of our natural resources both in wildlife and vegetation, the most important aspects of our travels, that which brings us the most joy.
It was easy to see why the bark of certain trees is referred to as paperbark.

It’s sad that any of us on a smaller scale can only take a stance and have little impact on that preservation. On a larger scale? It’s another matter. Yes, in our selfish existence, we admire, we enjoy, we take photos and we write. 

Fine, flaky bark on this tree.

Perhaps, somewhere along the way, our constant mumblings may have even a tiny effect in some way if only one person who is involved in the depletion of our natural resources is inspired to consider an alternative.

This tree has an usual base of the trunk.

For the rest of us, we can only consider and implement means of reducing our “ecological footprint” by using methods easily incorporated into our lives

This sign introduced us to the Pandanus Swamp Forest.
Today and over the next few days, we’ll be sharing more of our rainforest photos. It was a warm, sunny day with a slight breeze, keeping the mozzies at bay. Neither of us was bitten once as we made our way through the “triple canopy” which proved to be an interesting and rewarding experience.

                                             Photo from one year ago today, August 12, 2014:

We took this photo from inside Le Louvre from an open window. What a scene! What an experience! For many more Louvre photos, please click here.