Comparing Lancashire Rainforest With Mississippi Backwater

Trees covered by moss in a Lancashire wood
Temperate rainforest near Cadshaw Brook in Lancashire

When my sweetheart described the woods near the Entwistle reservoir as temperate rainforest, I was taken aback. Rainforest sounds like something you’d have to travel thousands of miles to see rather than walk less than four miles up the road.

Our moist, cool, steamy climate encourages mosses and liverworts, lichens, fungi and ferns to creep over trees and boulders. The Irish sea keeps conditions mild enough for these ancient plants to thrive through summer and winter.

Having grown up scrambling through the wooded valleys of the moors, the Tolkienesque character of this type of landscape is as familiar as the open moorland over the hill. Wild orchids grow further along the path that heads from this spot towards an outcrop of rock called Fairy Battery; follow Cadshaw Brook and you may surprise a fallow deer grazing near Entwistle reservoir.

Trees in and around backwater, their leaves radiant in the sun
Backwater behind the Natural Science Museum in Mississippi

My second picture was taken at the Natural Science Museum, a similar distance from my sweetheart’s home in Jackson, Mississippi. The museum gardens are landscaped with native plants. By going through the museum, you have access to ancient bluffs with seashells embedded in them, bottomland swamp, riverside and backwater.

Two different places – one or another of them perhaps seems more familiar to you.

Familiarity persuades us our way is better, because it’s what we’re used to, but tempts us to overlook miracles on our doorstep, because interesting places must always be farther afield. As I grow older, I try hard to keep both ideas at bay, though I don’t always succeed.

I’m sharing these pictures for the final day of October Lines&Squares with thanks to Becky for her inspiration and community building. It’s been fun!

Oh, and for those who celebrate it, Happy Halloween!

Spider's web and pussy willow stained glass

29 Replies to “Comparing Lancashire Rainforest With Mississippi Backwater”

  1. Either place is much wetter than the desert southwest. Lovely photos, nice comparison.

  2. The rainforest near Cadshaw Brook is surprising to me, especially the moss-covered branches and gloomy atmosphere. Looks so much more prehistoric than the woodland of my memories of the U.K. in the 1970s.

    Nice comparison with the Mississippi backwater.

    1. Thanks, Vicki. I don’t see it as gloomy, although I can see why you might!

      It isn’t the norm for UK woodland. Temperate rainforests are as rare and endangered as tropical ones.

    1. It would never have occurred to me that the Lancashire one was a rainforest. I’m so often asked how my home county, Lancashire, compares with Mississippi that the question came to mind when I was editing the pictures. Conscious of their similarities more than their differences, I decided they ought to be paired together.

    1. The best preserved temperate rainforests are said to be some of the UK’s most biodiverse habitats. Ours has had some conifers mixed in.

  3. So beautiful both of them, and you are so right we often forget the beauty and wonder on our own doorsteps . . . maybe as everyone realises we cannot keep travelling if we are to look after the planet we will also begin to enjoy more what is on our doorsteps

    Wonderful finish to squares 🙂

    1. Great points. The Lancashire rainforest is a remnant of a vast forest left behind by the last ice age and you have to wonder if it will survive to the next century relatively unchanged.

  4. Of course I too am familiar with woods like those at your back door, through walking the Upper Bradshaw Valley with my daughter. The Mississippi view looks surprisingly familiar too, though I have never been there. And for once, Happy Hallowe’en seemed a suitable way to greet my friends, even though a certain politician chose not to die in a ditch.

    1. I’m glad you like it too. I was surprised to find how green Mississippi is when I first visited the state. Hyperbole has never hindered Boris.

  5. I’ve never seen anything like either place, so I’m completely captivated by both. What wonders. There’s a lot to be said for seeing wonders at our doorsteps. And yet a lot to be said for seeing the wonders at someone else’s doorstep — I suppose that’s part of why blogging can be so much fun: I not only get to see what’s on someone else’s doorstep, but I get to read his/her thoughts about it. Beautiful photos!

    1. I agree with you about blogging, need I say. When I first started blogging, I found it alarming to see bloggers from Australia sharing their first pictures of spring flowers while we still seemed to be mid-summer, and I was in no way ready for winter. I’ve got used to it until I find that see-saw effect quite comforting – the idea that the planet aims for a balance. The first one of the year still comes as a reminder to enjoy summer flowers while we still can in our part of the world.

    1. Perhaps – they might well be more directly tapped in to your imagination. The Mississippi landscape was absolutely fascinating to see though.

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