Wet Tropics Rain Forest, Cairns, Australia

Cairns, Australia is a town about half the size of Lexington, Kentucky, situated on the northeastern coast of Australia in a very unique site. It is the only place in the world where two UNESCO World Heritage Sites meet. In the adjacent mountains is the Wet Tropics Rain Forest and in the sea is the Great Barrier Reef.

Yesterday, we drove into the rain forest to a small village, called Kuranda. There we boarded gondolas which took us over the top of five miles of rain forest. The second photo of the tops of the trees shows the thickness of the trees and the diversity of plants. The third photo shows what you would expect, rain. The large tree in the middle of the third photo is a Scotch pine that sheds its bark so as to keep vines and other parasites from clinging to it. It is a remarkable feature in the rain forest where most of the trees are covered by other plants, all trying to reach the canopy for sunlight.

The first photo shows me at the station surrounded by thick trees. I gave our leader, Valerie, an ear worm as we were traveling over the tree tops when I mentioned that Carpenter’s song, Top of the World. I felt like I was “looking down on creation.” Those trees were ancient and unspoiled. It was an amazing experience that took my breath away. Though the origin is not certain, most likely the author of these words is Vicki Corona, “Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but rather life is measured by the moments that take your breath away.”

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