20 Jun Green Grass and High Tides
San Juan National Historic Park(SJNHP) is undoubtably the hidden gem of Washington state’s Park system. The park is comprised of 2,100 acres of woodland, intact prairie and shoreline making it an extremely diverse park in terms of possible activities. Glaciers proximity to the ocean has shaped the unique geography into what it is today.
18,000 years ago, the Mt. Finlayson glacier covered the San Juans under a mile of ice, and upon receding, shaped the dunes, terraced hillsides and excellent tide pooling areas we enjoy today. Of particular interest to me is the dune and lagoon ecosystems, as they are the sites the host plants of Island Marble Butterfly thrive in. A lagoon is defined as a stretch of salt water separated from the sea by a low sandbank or coral reef. My site contains three. Three of the only lagoons you will find in Washington state!
Before coming up to Friday Harbor I heard countless people gush about the natural beauty the island provides. They were not kidding. It is almost impossible to escape a captivating view no matter where on the island one is. Sure a small factor is the relatively small size of the island, but I believe it is the truly the islands living up to their status as a national monument. I have only been on the island for a week, but the new ecosystems I have seen have changed the way I view the intrinsic value that nature and its beauty have. My next post will detail my duties as a Biology Assistant and remind readers that I still have a job to do out here in paradise.