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Valley of Eternal Rain

Valley of Eternal Rain.

The Valley of Eternal Rain (Fernolian: An Ghleoin na Régne Sírioch) is a valley located in the Lóda na Núille on the island of Rockall in the Seafaring Confederation. It is known for the fact that it has rained in the forest uninterruptedly since its discovery in 1650. It is a National Wildlife Reserve as well as a National Flora Reserve. It is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Etymology

The Valley of Eternal Rain gets its name from the fact that it has rained there ever since the time of its discovery. Although it is possible that one day it may stop raining there, so far it always has.

Location

Municipalities in which the Valley of Eternal Rain is located

The municipalities in which the Valley is located.

The Valley of Eternal Rain lies on the border of the viscountcies of An Thir na tÁirdteachd and Cóste Ígheainne. It is spread across four baronies, namely Tùibhghleoinna and An Tir na tSneochte in Cóste Ígheainne and Gleoin na Bhéithe and An Phéaica iÁrdh in An Thir na tÁirdteachd. It is also located in 4 different baronetcies: An Óibh in Tùibhghleoinna, An Phéaica nÍdhúnne in Gleoin na Bhéithe, An tFhiaol na iFhuile in An Phéaica iÁrdh and An Údhair na iÓibhe in An Tir na tSneochte.

Ecosystem

Weather

The constant rain is caused by a unique combination of circumstances. First of all, the bottom of the valley is always warm enough to cause the water found down there to evaporate, which then forms clouds. The high mountains at all sides of the valley keep the clouds in (and most of the visitors out), so as the clouds rise they cool down, eventually coolling down enough to be changed into downpour. This water then ends up in the lower region of the valley again, where it collects and is evaporated again, which allows the cycle to continue.

Landscape

Waterfall in the Valley of Eternal Rain

The Tuaira nan tBhéinne waterfall.

A majority of the valley is covered in deciduous forests, most of these trees being hundreds of years old. There are also several areas of grasslands, as well as several rocky parts. Central in the valley lies a lake known as Loch na Feoirr Rícicht (Lake of Forever), which is fed by, other than the uninterrupted rain, two rivers, Óibh Nua (New River) and Óibh Fháda (Long River), and countless small and generally unnamed streams and rivulets.

Due to the constant rain there are countless puddles and pools scattered throughout the valley, most of them having at least one outflow that streams towards one of the rivers or towards the lake, often joining several other streams to form larger streams. These are known as An Aidha na Mhóira Cré (The Veins of Mother Earth).

Due to the different elevations and the rocky nature of the area there are countless smaller and larger the waterfalls, of which only one is named: the Tuaira nan tBhéinne (Tears of the Mountain) waterfall, which, with a height of 7.7 metres, is the highest waterfall in the valley and the 6th highest waterfall of Rockall. Almost ironically it is located in one of the few dry places of the valley, due to the fact that the canopy is arranged in such a way that the downpour at times barely reaches the ground and is instead diverted into plants in the trees or other regions of the valley.

Flora

Flower in Valley of Eternal Rain 1

Gríaghechéainn flower.

Flower in Valley of Eternal Rain 2

An Deoith Dhéairgh flower.

Due to the isolated nature of the valley, many of the smaller plants and even several of the bushes and trees are unique to the area and are not found elsewhere (except the Hortus Botanicus Rockallae).

The most prevalent trees in the area are oaks, lindens, birches and the endemic Éoireigh tree, with several other trees to be found as well, like elms, rowans and chestnuts. Found in the canopies and at the bases of these trees are many endemic bushes, but also several other, more well-known bushes, or endemic versions of well-known bushes. For instance, there are endemic versions of blackberry, blueberry, raspberry and strawberry, as well as several common as well as endemic forms of rose. The valley is famous for the fact that it is the only place in the world where black roses grow; these roses are known as Rósdheaga Róitin (Rotten Roses).

There are also countless endemic flowers, a few of which have gained national fame with their specific features. For instance, there is the Gríaghechéainn (Sunhead), which is a flowering plant with a long, thick stem and a head featuring several dozens of flowers when it blooms. It is most well-known for the fact that it is weakly fluorescent, which means that in darkness they emit a weak light that can be discerned from about a 100 yards away. When together in a group they can form small lit areas which are discernable from miles away and are normally used as orientation points for expeditions in the area.

Another famous flower from the valley is An Deoith Dhéairgh, a small red flower that grows mainly along the countless streams that flow through the valley. The flowers are known for the fact that they are extremely poisonous, to the point that merely putting on the tongue one flower is enough to kill a person.

Fauna

There are many endemic species of animal in the valley, most of them descendants from the common versions but with adaptations to the environment of the valley. Despite the uninterrupted rain there are large amounts of bees known as Uiscebéach, (Water Bees), who live off the many flowers that grow in the valley. They usually have their hives under overhanging rocks, the largest of which documented so far had a width of approximately 4 metres and a height of approximately 2 metres and is estimated to have housed around 200 million of these bees.

There are also many endemic butterflies, most well-known of which is the Scéigh Bhléainn (Blue Sky), a bright blue species of butterfly that lives in the canopies and has been recorded to have a width of 20 centimetres. Another well-known butterfly is the Imscéathaig (Butterwing), a small yellowish butterfly that lives along the riversides in the flowerlands.

There is also an endemic species of fox known as Sionneach Ghreoinn (Green Fox). Despite what its name may imply, this fox is not actually green but rather a green-leaning tint of brown that allows it to camouflage itself in the undergrowth. There is an estimated population of 3,000 specimens.

There are also many different species of bird to be found in the area, countless of which have not yet been observed in any other part of the world and are therefore considered to be endemic species as well. Next to the usual blackbird and starling there have also been found species that resemble a thrush but with a completely different song as well as a special kind of kingfisher with a unique pattern on its feathers that has not yet been observed anywhere else in the world.

Map

Valley of Eternal Rain map

Dark green: forest.
Light green: grassland.
Purple: flowerland.
Brown: rock.

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