22 April 2015


48.5923°N - 123.0320°W
Celebrated in more than 192 countries each year, Earth Day is the largest secular holiday in the world. Honoring the 45th anniversary, these wildflower photos were taken today, on one of the world's smallest inhabited islands––Yellow Island, 11 acres just north of Shaw Island, in the San Juan Archipelago, Washington State. 
There are at least 50 species growing on Yellow Island.
Today we could view Indian Paintbrush, two species of
Camas, Chocolate Lilies, Buttercup, Fawn Lily, 

while others shine off the designated foot path.
Most of these flowers are also native to Shaw Island, 
our home base. Does "Indian Paintbrush" grow on Shaw??
There are packets of wild Camas seeds for sale
at the Gatehouse on Squaw Bay Road.

(They were not collected on Yellow Island.)

Shaw Island's Earth Day paintbox of color.
Back at home and shining out
on the bank of Blind Bay,
Native "Flowering Red Currant"
(Ribes sanguineum.)

Judge Stanley C. Soderland (1917-2001),
 former resident of the island,
 propagated cuttings and planted this species at 
 the garden of the Shaw Island
Community Building in the late 1980s.
Thanks Stan.

15 April 2015

The Early Lilac

"Biendl's Early White"
Single Lilac
Mideke porcelain pot.
Shaw flowers harvested 15 April 2015.
A fragrant bouquet to cross the miles 

to Napa Valley visitors to the island.
Thank you for leaving the nice note at the Gatehouse.

The 15th of each month is given over to photographing and sharing what's blooming in our garden.
      The garden featured on this site is the one laid out on the island of Shaw. This time of year, she has quite a display. 
      Here are two of her finest white flowers, the first a heritage shrub blooming for several decades in several island gardens. It is thought of as a heritage plant grown here by this family below. You might not recognize the family members, but the silo is still with us.
Ruth Shaw Biendl, John Biendl
& their four girls and infant John 

on father's lap.
If one looks carefully, the shoot for
shipping out firewood for the limekilns
at Roche Hbr can be viewed on the shore
of the family dairy farm on Shaw Island.
 Date c. 1923.

Photos from the Gwen Yansen collection.
      Ruth Shaw, who grew up on Shaw Island, and her husband, John Biendl, settled on their farm in the early 1900s. They cultivated the land later farmed by Gwendolyn and Don Yansen. Island and family historian, Gwen, honored their memory by naming the earliest Lilac to bloom in her garden, "Biendl's Early White." A delicate, lacy, single white with an official name not recorded in any memories residing on Shaw Island. 
      The native flowering spring bulb greeting us today in special mossy nooks, often shady, is the single stalked "White Fawn Lily" (Erythronium oregonum.) There are many nicknames for this flower; the one chosen here is used by Scott Atkinson and Fred Sharpe in their Wild Plants of the San Juan Islands; Mountaineers, 1985, and by professor, Lewis J. Clark late of Victoria, BC in his Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest; Evergreen Press Limited, 1976.
"White Fawn Lily"
Erythronium oregonum
Shaw Island, WA.
April 2015.

Three photographs by Carol ©

      This delicate "White Fawn Lily" is native from northern OR through western WA, Vancouver Island, and the extreme southern coastal mainland of BC. Lewis Clark warns that plucking the beautiful leaves dooms the bulb. 
      According to Clark, the better the exposure to light, the more intense the color of the reverse side of the tepals. The colors vary from yellow-green to rose-maroon, as we can clearly see in these incredible photographs by Carol.
Little stars at our feet, 
 "White Fawn Lily"
U of Washington Biological Preserve
Shaw Island, WA.
15 April '15.
Photo courtesy of Angel©
      The dainty flowers grow in the protected habitat of the U of WA Biological Preserve, where they are not pushed aside by bulldozers but sadly have their habitat invaded by a threatening mass of non-native Scotch Broom (on the State of Washington Noxious Weed list which can be seen here.)
      The stunning native gem, Calypso orchid, is saying goodbye for another year, while the vivid blue Camas is unfolding; more photos another day. Thanks for stopping by.