Listening to the Land: Looking for the Rainforest Among the Trees

Rain plus trees equals rainforest, right? Not really wrong, says naturalist Neal Maine of PacificLight Images, but that equation doesn’t begin to capture the complex interactions among air and water and leaf and soil and microorganisms and all the other elements required to create a functioning temperate rainforest.


Join Maine for a conversation in words and images about the forest native to this coast in a presentation titled “How to See a Rainforest” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, at Seaside Public Library. It is the third program in the 2016 Listening to the Land speaker series, which this year is following the theme of water. Admission is free; refreshments are served.


To begin to understand our rainforest—past, present, and future—you need to do more than follow the rain as it splashes on a tree’s needles, runs down the bark, and reaches the roots in the soil. For instance, the biologist notes, “They look like a bunch of individual trees, but in fact they are literally all communicating with one another.” As always, Maine will take us below the surface of things, from how things seem to work to how—according to the latest science—things really work and what scientists still don’t understand about the rainforest biome.


After a 30-year career as an award-winning biology teacher at Seaside High School, Neal Maine became the first executive director of North Coast Land Conservancy. Since his retirement in 2010, he has pursued his passion to make deeper connections to the coastal system, using photography to record some of his experiences and to develop greater public appreciation of living in what he considers paradise.


Listening to the Land is an annual winter speaker series presented monthly by North Coast Land Conservancy and the Necanicum Watershed Council in partnership with the Seaside Public Library. Visit or more details.

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