Barnacles and Blackberries

Foraging in the forest for flowers, and photographing more from my strange collection

Reylia Slaby
3 min readJul 15, 2021


Barnacles and blackberries. The thought of those two things colliding in this world is a playful thought to me. They will probably never have found themselves in the same context, or the same subject. No two things could have less in common.

I’ve been trying to take a photo every day, to combat the neglect and procrastination I have had in photography. Little I wanted to admit it, but these little tests and forceful practices have been stirring the mental pot of creativity. Things are starting to change, and more and more ideas have been revealing themselves to me.

I wanted to take a completely different photo, but the sun was coming down too quickly. I was slowly placing glue on shells and flowers, and I realized that it wouldn’t work out in time. The sun would have said it’s farewell long before I had finished, so I decided to play once again. I was strolling down a new path, a new idea. One that somehow found itself.

Today I was ankle high in glorious river water. It raged after the thunderstorms that accompanied us all before the waking hours of the morning. And in the evening, I had spent all my time walking around my neighborhood and the forest, gathering beautiful items to claim as my own.

An older gentleman in the neighborhood saw me eye some hydrangeas on my way. He told me to take them. Then I found a neighbor whose fence was adorned with blackberries. Glorious blackberries, little pieces of black juicy gold.

I couldn’t help myself, I was far too delighted by my discovery. I went up and rang their doorbell. I asked if I could have some. My boldness was rewarded with a handful of blackberries, as well as my very own plant to grow. “Come back and take more” the woman of the house told me. I should have asked for her name.

Today has been so full, and it sits so completely far apart from what happened last night. Last night, unfortunately is bleeding into tonight as I’m writing and I feel fear. I had my first bout of sleep paralysis last night, and I can’t find a comfortable place to sleep tonight. Part of me is scared it will happen again.

At the moment I am carrying two separate feelings within me, the fullness of the day, and how pure it was, as well as the anxiety I have over the thought of shutting my eyes tonight.

I must fill my brain with as many beautiful things as I can, and pray that the darkness doesn’t stay too dark, and the painful stories don’t escape from me to haunt me, but I’ll be protected by the cloak of good memories, and by the playfulness that never seems to escape me.



Reylia Slaby

Reylia Slaby is a Fine Art photographer, writing about her love for creating, and how others can use art in their lives | Insta @reylia.slaby