A Patch of Fireweed in the Northwest — What Color Are Those Blossoms? Do I Need to Know?

Fireweed blossom glowing pink in the San Juan Islands summer sun. Photo by Barbar Newhall

Fireweed blossom glowing magenta to pink in the full summer sun. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I couldn’t make up my mind about that tall stand of fireweed I saw growing on the edge of a woodlet in the Pacific Northwest last summer. Were those blossoms purple? Blue? Pink? Or what?

I was having a good time last Friday morning pondering those questions and poring over the photos I’d taken of the fireweed, and I was just about to google myself over to Wikipedia to see [Read more...]


San Juan Islands Flora: Or, I Cling, Therefore I Am

The view from the bow of a ferry boat making its way through the San Juan Islands in summer. Photo by Barbara Newhall

To get to Washington’s San Juan Islands, you have to take a ferry boat. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The Buddhists have a name for it—clinging. Westerners call it greed, getting attached to the earthly at the expensive of things eternal and divine. Greedy clinging is not good for you, the wise folks say. It’ll make you suffer.

Some of us do it anyway. We cling. We cling to stuff. We cling to moments in time. Last summer while vacationing on one of the woodsy, marshy, rocky San Juan Islands, [Read more...]


KidSpirit OnLine: Where Young Souls Take On the Big–Old–Questions

The cover of The Best of KidSpirit OnLine, Vol. II, shows a intense sport bicyclist. Photo by Jack True.

Cover of the latest print version of The Best of KidSpirit OnLine Vol. III with a photo c 2014 by Jack True.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Does truth have inherent value? What is beauty?

Those are questions many writers won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, except maybe ironically. Or else so circuitously that no one will notice that we’re actually taking on one of the biggies . . . the better to save face if we mess up.

But the brave – very young – souls of something called KidSpirit OnLine [Read more...]


Olympic Sculpture Park Photos — Cool Art, Really Cool Park

"Seattle Cloud Cover," by Teresita Fernandez, 2006, a pedestrian bridge with photographic material between layers of glass. To the left "Echo" "Echo" by James Plensa. 46 feet tall. Resin, steel, marble dust. 13,118 pounds. May, .Photo by Barbara Newhall

Jon and I started our stroll with this glimpse of the homely 2014 sculpture, “Echo,” made of resin, steel and marble dust by James Plensa. Up the stairs we were in for a treat — a pedestrian bridge with “Seattle Cloud Cover,” by Teresita Fernandez. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Can’t decide whether to take in a modern art museum or go for a walk in the city? In Seattle, you can have it both ways — at a seven-year-old sculpture park along the city’s waterfront. For those who can’t get to Seattle, maybe these Olympic Sculpture Park photos will suffice.

When the park was completed in 2007, some locals protested that [Read more...]


The Olympic Sculpture Park — An Artful Stroll on Seattle’s Waterfront

Sculpture "Seattle Cloud Cover," by Teresita Fernandez, 2006, a pedestrian bridge with photographic material between layers of glass. Photo by Barbara Newhall

“Seattle Cloud Cover,” by Teresita Fernandez, 2006, lines a pedestrian bridge. The artist used photographic material layered between glass. Big disappointment — she photographed the clouds over Miami for this art work, not Seattle’s famous rainmakers. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Photographing Seattle’s Olympic Sculpture Park was fun. Even more fun was downloading all my wannabe works of photo art and poring over over them for hours on end.  Especially the photos I took of Teresita Fernandez’s magical, elusive glass wall, “Seattle Cloud Cover.” And Mark di Suvero’s steely “Schubert Sonata.”

Which shot of the di Suvero steel sculpture hovering over the park path was better? The [Read more...]