Topic: Nature

Paddling With Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey

Written on December 9, 2017 at 5:59 am, by

Join Griffin Bay Bookstore at the San Juan Island Library on December 13th at 7:00 pm for an exciting evening with Lopezian Irene Skyriver when she presents her wonderful book, Paddling With Spirits, the story of her solo kayak trip from Alaska back to the islands. Inspired partly by her own spirit of adventure, and  Continue Reading

Master Gardeners Assist Town in Rain Garden Cleanup

Written on December 6, 2017 at 5:52 am, by

Town employees and volunteer WSU Master Gardeners recently completed Phase One of the rejuvenation of the Spring Street rain garden located at the northeast corner of Spring and First Streets. Phase One involved removing 25 five-gallon buckets of silt, removing and cleaning river rock, pulling weeds and unhealthy plants, and cleaning out the catch basin.  Continue Reading

Free Shoreline Contractor Training Workshop

Written on November 22, 2017 at 8:55 am, by

Free Training for Contractors Working on Shoreline Properties in the San Juans Thursday, December 7, 2017, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor (152 First Street) Friends of the San Juans is hosting a free technical training for contractors who work on waterfront properties. San Juan County’s 400 + miles of  Continue Reading

Park to Apply Herbicides in Habitat Restoration Efforts

Written on October 31, 2017 at 5:49 am, by

San Juan Island National Historical Park has announced that ten new test plots at American Camp will be treated with herbicide, weather permitting, in support of Island Marble Butterfly habitat restoration sometime between October 31 and November 3, 2017. This is the third year of a five year study that is attempting to increase the amount  Continue Reading


Written on October 27, 2017 at 5:50 am, by

Brendan Cowan shares this news from last week’s ShakeOut drill… The middle school students from the Shaw Island School won a statewide earthquake preparedness video contest. So inspiring the way their entire school community has embraced emergency preparedness! Here’s the link to their video: Indeed, more than 1,300 islanders participated in last week’s ShakeOut earthquake  Continue Reading

Know Your Island Walk

Written on October 21, 2017 at 12:14 pm, by

This is the last Know Your Island Walk for 2017 –  a little history with a walk on the Wild West Side. Doug McCutchen will take us on the main trails through the west side with a focus on ecological and human history including lime mining, agriculture, tribes and first nations, Hawaiians, fish traps and  Continue Reading

L54s and Members of J Pod in Haro Strait

Written on October 20, 2017 at 5:48 am, by

From the Whale Museum… For the first time this year, on October 15, the L54 blended family, consisting of Ino (L-54), Coho (L-108), Keta (L-117), and two adult males, Nyssa (L-84) and Wave Walker (L-88), came into the inland waters with J Pod. They spent several hours in Haro Strait, foraging on Chum salmon. The  Continue Reading

Elwha: A River Reborn

Written on October 18, 2017 at 5:50 am, by

Griffin Bay Bookstore & The San Juan Island Library Present: Elwha: A River Reborn Those of you who have followed the removal of the dam on the Elwha River or who have volunteered your time planting trees and helping to restore the surrounding ecosystem will surely want to attend a book talk by Seattle Times  Continue Reading

Burn Party on Cady Mountain Preserve

Written on October 7, 2017 at 10:58 am, by

Thom is out of town for the next few weeks so the previously scheduled work party on Sunday, October 15, is not happening. However – the onset of cooler and wet weather is the perfect time to burn those piles! The ever fabulous Doug McCutchen has scheduled Wednesday, October 11, and Thursday, October 12, for  Continue Reading

Grow a Gardener

Written on September 28, 2017 at 5:50 am, by

Kids of all ages LOVE to get in the dirt, for gardens are magical, fun, and full of surprises. It’s often where children first experience the wonders of science and the natural world. And beyond science and math, gardens teach patience, cooperation, the joy of learning, responsibility, respect for where we live, and that vegetables taste  Continue Reading

Farmer/Rancher Workshops

Written on September 28, 2017 at 5:46 am, by

Farmers and ranchers! It’s time to sharpen your pencil and write that business plan to market your harvest! Washington State University San Juan County Extension and Northwest Agriculture Business Center (NABC) will host two free day long workshops covering key components of market and business feasibility analyses, as well as how to develop an award  Continue Reading

Know Your Island, Mitchell Hill Deep Forest Walk Saturday

Written on September 23, 2017 at 5:30 am, by

San Juan Trails will host a Know Your Island Walk Saturday, September 23. Meet at the Horse Trail Road entrance (on West Valley Road about 3/4 mile north of Mitchell Bay Road) at 1:00 pm. Come on this beautiful deep forest walk led by David Harsh and see what volunteers can do working together. The walk is moderate  Continue Reading

Autumn Equinox Today

Written on September 22, 2017 at 5:30 am, by

Autumn equinox arrives at 1:02 pm today. In the Northern Hemisphere the equinox is considered the first day of fall. The equinox occurs when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are of equal length. Around the world people celebrate the harvest and prepare for darker, colder weather. 

Partners Restore Fisherman Bay Coastal Wetland

Written on September 20, 2017 at 5:53 am, by

Outdated and unnecessary dikes, berms, and ditches that once clogged a marine wetland along Lopez’s Fisherman Bay were removed last week through a collaborative effort led by Friends of the San Juans, in partnership with the San Juan County Land Bank and two private waterfront property owners. “The flow of tidal water, habitat for juvenile  Continue Reading


Written on September 19, 2017 at 5:50 am, by

Lynn Danaher of the Friday Harbor Film Festival shares some news and updates… John Hopkins, director of Bluefin is attending the FHFF and doing a Q & A. He says, “It looks to be just a great festival. I heard many good things about it from my screening in Saltspring Island Fest. And I think  Continue Reading

Know Your Island Walk: Mitchell Hill

Written on September 19, 2017 at 5:49 am, by

Join David Harsh, retired from the National Park Service, and SJI Trails members on a beautiful deep-forest walk at Mitchell Hill. The route will take us over some of the community trail projects including puncheons built by volunteers with the NPS to protect the streams. Saturday September 23rd, 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Distance: 3.5 miles  Continue Reading

Work Party on Westside Preserve

Written on September 14, 2017 at 5:46 am, by

Hello Oakies! Can you feel it? That slight chill in the air? Fall may finally be upon us as the weather forecast is calling for rain on Sunday, so be sure to have your rain gear ready! 🙂 When? Sunday, September 17 10:00am to 2:00pm RSVP required (e-mail Where? Meet at the northernmost pullout  Continue Reading

Is Your Dirt Healthy and Happy?

Written on September 13, 2017 at 5:44 am, by

Did you know there are over 30 different soil types in San Juan County? Soils can differ over even a small landscape in physical, chemical, and biological properties, impacting what, when, and how we grow, and whether our efforts are successful. Fortunately, we can alter many soil properties to our benefit. Knowing what’s in your  Continue Reading

Meet Orcas Island Author Robert Dash

Written on September 12, 2017 at 5:49 am, by

“On An Acre Shy of Etermity, Micro Landscapes at the Edge” Be sure to set aside some time to stop in Griffin Bay Bookstore on Saturday, September 16, 2:00—4:00 pm to see what Orcas Island author and photographer, Robert Dash, has created in his gorgeous book, On An Acre Shy of Eternity, Micro Landscapes at  Continue Reading

Southern Resident Killer Whales are Back

Written on September 8, 2017 at 6:00 am, by

Good news from Ken Balcomb at the Center for Whale Research… They’re back! For the first time in more than two months, a large assemblage of Southern Resident killer whale pods has returned to the interior waters of the Salish Sea. This population has dramatically decreased in number in recent years, and this summer was  Continue Reading

Resilient Gardening and Weird Weather

Written on September 7, 2017 at 5:45 am, by

Thanks to Mo Sloane for this first in a series of articles introducing featured speakers who will be presenting at the Master Gardeners Annual Gardening Workshop on October 7th. This first article introduces the workshop’s keynote speaker, Dr. Linda Gilkeson… Is ‘weird weather’ challenging you and your gardening skills? You’re not alone! Between the increasingly variable weather  Continue Reading

Tufted Puffins, Smith Island

Written on September 6, 2017 at 5:35 am, by

Thanks to photographer and naturalist Katie Jones, Spyhopper Travels Photography, for this photograph of Tufted Puffins out at Smith Island.