BARBARA’S BOOK

Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith" book cover with photo of author Barbara Falconer Newhall

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

The San Juan Islands Ecosystems: The Woods Are Alive — And So Are the Meadows and Beaches

On the San Juan Islands, a variety of ecosystems exist side by side. Here a woods, a meadow alongside a bay shore. Photo by Barbara Newhall

On the San Juan Islands, a variety of ecosystems exist side by side. Here a wood, a meadow, and a salt water cove. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Beach, forest, wetland, meadow — in some places the various San Juan Islands ecosystems coexist just steps from one another. An afternoon’s walk can take you past woodsy kinickinick, sun-loving oxeye daisies, and salty pickle grass wafting in the tide.

These photos were all taken last summer during the second week of July in the space of a few acres, so they represent but one small slice of what goes on flora-wise on the San Juans — and just a hint of what planet Earth will do, left to her own devices.

I don’t know if there’s a God out there, but it seems to me that we live in a miraculous world — on a few small acres in the Pacific Northwest, so much desire, so much effort, so much complexity unfolding.

More San Juan Islands thoughts and photos at “A Patch of Fireweed in the Northwest” and “San Juan Islands Flora: Or, I Cling, Therefore I Am.”  

Two blossoms of the oxeye daisy eurasian flower, with white petals and yellow centers. Photo by Barbara Newhall

In the meadow: Eurasian oxeye daisy.

The white berries and green leaves of an osier dogwood plant in the San Juan Islands, Photo by Barbara Newhall

Berries in the woods: Osier dogwood . . .

Four-etaled, white blossom fo the bunchberry plant of the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . and bunchberry. Photos by Barbara Newhall

Dark blue berries and oppositely arranged, pinnately veined green leaves of the oregaon grape plant of the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Also: Oregon grape . . .

A blue and a light magenta colored berriy of the service berry plant of the San Juan Islands. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . service berry . . .

A snowberry plant with two pink buds visited by a wasp. The flowers will produce small, pithy white berries. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Snowberry and wasp.

Moss covers the ground and fallen trees in a wood in the San Juan Islands. Photo by Barbara Newhall

In a moist and shady woods, moss flourishes on tree stumps and fallen logs. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Sword ferns growing in a woods in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Barbara Newhall

More woods loving plants: Sword ferns . . .

Bracken fern growing in a wood in the San Juan Islands. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . bracken fern . . .

A rotting nurse log serves as fodder for small plants and lichen in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . a rotting nurse log feeding plants and lichen . . .

Small, lush green leaves on a reddish stalk distinguish the pretty low-growing kinnickinnick shrub. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . a kinnickinnick shrub . . .

The shapely leaves of the salal shrub found in shady San Juan Islands woods are used for floral arrangements. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . salal . . .

The brown, heart-shaped cap of a mushroom growing on a San Juan Islands wood. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . and a mushroom. Photos by Barbara Newhall

A meadow of green, golden and orange grasses in the San Juan Islands. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Meadow grass. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Silver-white lichen grows on dead tree twigs in San Juan Islands. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Where wood meets beach: Lichen on tree twigs.

Tiny white blossoms of the pearly everlasting plant grow in clusters in the Pacific Norhwest. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Meadow: Pearly everlasting . . .

seeds on a dried flower ready to fly away. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . and a dandelion? Photos by Barbara Newhall

Yellow clover growing in a meadow in the San Juan Islands. Photo by Barbara Newhall

More meadow: Clover . . .

Yellow blossoms of the gumweed plant grow in Pacific Northwest. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . gumweed . . .

A magenta thistle blossom blooms in the Pacific Northwest. Photo by Barbara Newhall

. . . and thistle.

 

Pickle grass and algae grow in the shallows of a San Juan Islands bay. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Pickle grass and algae grow along the shore. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Beach plant with rust colored blossoms grows in the sand near the shore of a San Juan Island. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Beach grass. Photos by Barbara Newhall

Holes in a tree in the San Juan Islands are the work of the pileated woodpecker. Photo by Barbara Newhall

The handiwork of the pileated woodpecker. Can anyone tell me why the photos I take in the woods always look so blue? Is there a setting I can use on my Canon G12 to prevent the color shift?

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