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 [Read more...]

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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...]

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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...]

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To the Himalayas and Back — In a Day and Duty Free

An array of wood carvings of gods and goddesses including buddha and ganesh on display table at Himalayan Fair Berkeley, May 2014. Photo by BF Newhall

An array of wood carvings of gods and goddesses, including contemplative Buddhas, a laughing Buddha and a Ganesh, were for sale at the 2014 Himalayan Fair. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Bay Area residents — it’s not too late to catch this year’s Himalayan Fair at Live Oak Park in Berkeley. Today’s the second and last day of the annual celebration of the cultures of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and North India — and a terrific shopping opportunity. [Read more...]

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Photo Op: When the Sun Shines Sideways

Writer and photographer Barbara Falconer Newhall casts a long shadow on the trail during a walk in a California woods. Photo by BF Newhall

Six in the afternoon on the first day of May. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I took a late afternoon walk in the woods with my point-and-shoot camera the other day. The sun had dropped low in the sky, so the light was soft and it was coming at everything sideways. [Read more...]

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