If you ask me what it is about cloudforests that captivates me, I would have to say it’s their drama. Rainforests are flat. There’s very little sense of their scale, their enormity, unless you’re flying over them in a plane, or up a jungle lodge’s canopy tower. Cloudforests, on the other hand, cloak the most precipitous gradients imaginable, tumbling hundreds upon hundreds of meters in the space of a few kilometers. The views on clear days never fail to take your breath away.
Turning a corner, cascades and waterfalls will unexpectedly thread through a mass of leaf, bark and branch, leading not to the lumbering Brown serpents of the rainforest below, but to torrents of White water which carry everything before them in a roaring, electrifying tumult. The mountain slopes of the Northwest cool the warm breezes blown in from the Pacific seaboard, chilling the air and condensing its invisible water molecules. Mists and clouds envelop their flanks, constantly re-arranging, transforming, calling one to look again.
Observing the clouds form and dissipate— where do they come from and where do they go?— is like watching Creation at work before one’s very eyes. To one’s delight the invisible becomes magically visible, the wind itself takes form, shape.
It really does feel like a magician’s trick. An atomic abracadabra. From nothing to something, from the perceived to the observed. All orchestrated by this giant cloud machine, endless, continuous, cyclical and eternal – so long as the forest stands.