365 Nature – Day 110

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Here in Seattle, we’re setting record temperatures with yesterday hitting 89 degrees – that’s 30 degrees above our normal temperature. It was also our warmest April day on record, and the earliest it’s ever reached that temperature. Today will mark the 5th day in April with 75+ degree days, the first time that has happened on record also. Needless to say, it’s been warm and we’ve spent most of our time outside.

This morning we walked to the wetlands behind our house and the beach is nearly completely gone. During the spring the Army Corps starts raising the level of Lake Washington to accomodate the increased boat traffic at the locks during the summer months. The great irony is that Seattle’s beaches are plentiful and sandy in the winter when nobody uses them, and then disappear in many places during the summer when the parks are full of people. This is also why my walk through Marsh and Foster Islands at the arboretum yesterday was so wet. The water level is rising nearly two feet. For boats.

Despite the disappearing beach, we saw a Common Loon and I watched long enough to see it catch and eat a fish. I also found small animal tracks in the sand I’m guessing may be from raccoons. I found one mushroom in the wetlands and then more when I was watering our backyard. The mushrooms growing in our backyard are not ones I’ve seen here before, they were completely white and growing on a stump I use as a bird bath stand.

The Bewick’s Wrens continue to sneak in and out of the nest box, occasionally bringing a feather in and the Downy Woodpecker continues periodically drumming on the power pole behind our house. Yesterday afternoon an orange butterfly flew into our yard and landed for a couple of seconds. But it flew away before I could even grab my camera and I’m not sure what it was.

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and writer based in Seattle. She founded and writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat and has contributed articles to a variety of other websites and publications.

Kelly has a certificate from the University of Washington in non-fiction writing. She continually takes classes and attends talks on various natural history topics. In 2009 she earned a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

She's also an avid photographer focusing on the natural world.
Kelly Brenner
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