About Me

Hello, and thanks for being curious.

My eclectic life in Kodiak, Alaska is a like a salad bar of experiences: Working aboard research ships, a photography instructor through the University of Alaska, weekly garden columnist, a chef on dinner cruises. I’ve dealt with sexual abuse and a rather dysfunctional childhood (does anyone have a perfect childhood?).

marion owen, Kodiak, Alaska

How do I love plants? Let me count the ways…

I’d get comments like:

  • “Marion, how about publishing a coffee table book of your photos?”
  • “If you ever publish a cookbook, I’d love a copy.”
  • “I want to take better pictures. Are you teaching photography classes?”
  • “I’ve been reading your garden column for years. Ever think of writing a book?”

It was all lovely to hear, but…

I knew there wasn’t enough of me to go around. So, I created this blog AND in 2014, I created my first custom wall calendar.

It’s an annual ritual, a blessing of sorts.

Each year represents a snapshot of goodness I’ve come across at one point or ‘nother: A new recipe, a better way to garden, a quote that stopped me in my tracks, a new way to photograph the world around me…

Living on Kodiak Island

Yes, I work, relax, and love life on Kodiak Island, the second largest island in the U.S. My husband, Marty, and I host wildlife viewing tours aboard our 42-foot yacht, the Sea Breeze. And we also operate an oceanfront B&B we appropriately named the Cliff House B&B.

I’ve worked on research ships, created photographs that hang in The Smithsonian and given up cheese and meat. I enjoy watching bumblebees and snowflakes. And somewhere along the line, I co-authored Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul which spent three happy months on the New York Times bestseller list.

Learning how to rest

These days, I’m learning how to rest and to not do too much; and what it means to be authentic, to embrace joy, and to not burn the oatmeal.

I write and photograph about challenges I’m facing and overcoming, what works for me; and knowledge I take for granted. You know, the little stuff that can make a big difference.

Meanwhile, the coffee and tea pot at our house is always at the ready.

Thanks for being on the planet. Cheers, blessings and love,

Marion Owen, Kodiak, Alaska, photographer


  • Susan R.
    February 12, 2024 at 10:05 AM

    This morning, we are reading and enjoying the Alaska magazine with your photo of the Russian Orthodox Church in Unalaska on the cover from July 19, 1991.

  • Kathleen
    October 28, 2020 at 10:10 AM

    Hi Marion,
    I thought I was signed up for both your blog and Laigniap (probly spelled it wrong!) but I haven’t been seeing them both. I know there’s a way to find out. I’ll have to see if I can find a saved past issue and see what my settings are.
    Following you has made me feel still connected to Kodiak so thanks for doing what you do! 🙂
    Kathleen Pearson

  • Barbara
    September 24, 2018 at 11:58 AM

    Full of enjoyment, your eclectic! blog Marion.
    And yes, no one has a perfect childhood.
    So my one thought is that I am curious about how you do, or have “dealt with” some of those issues
    to arrive at your present contentment of loving life on Kodiak Island?

    • marionowen
      September 25, 2018 at 3:53 AM

      Hi Barbara, thank you for the comment and question… I think living on an island, in a small community like Kodiak has helped me quite a bit on my journey to learn who Marion is. Some people call it “the island way.” Sort of a we’re-all-on-this-little-ship-together. There’s comfort in familiar faces and places; at the post office, in the grocery store, on the rivers watching a brown bear catch fish. You’re not allowed to be lonely or sad for very long here. Friends will find and rescue you, like a stranded starfish. Most importantly, I’ve learned it’s okay to stop what I’m doing and go for a walk in the spruce forest. And to ask for help. As for contentment, I’m learning that it’s not what happens to us but how we react to it; not how much of the right stuff we have, but how attached we are to it. I read recently read a passage in the Bhagavad Gita that pretty much sums it up: “That man of action is free from karma who receives with contentment whatever befalls him, who is poised above the dualities, who is devoid of jealousy or envy or enmity, and who looks equally on gain and loss.”


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