365 Nature – Day 117

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.


Today I’ve spent most the day so far working on our yard. Our neighbor is a contractor and yesterday brought home a truckload of river rocks and offered them up if we had a use for them. I’ve been wanting to make a path alongside our house where I’ve planted a small woodland garden and today I finally made it. It looks so nice and the plants which are growing again, like the Wild Ginger, Western Meadowrue and Maidenhair Fern are arching over it. It’s beautiful and motivates me to get going on the rest my big plans for the yard.

I was surprised today by a plant coming into bloom. There is a Red Columbine, a native plant, growing in our backyard and this spring I found that it had spread, producing a new plant next to it. However, when I noticed it blooming today, it’s certainly not the same plant. It’s a columbine, the leaves look the same, but the flowers are like white fireworks, very different from the Red Columbine.

While doing some cleaning up outside, I picked up a small pile of burlap sacks and out dropped an enormous spider. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we don’t have anything very scary or large in the insect department, so it’s quite an exciting find when a Giant House Spider (I think) is discovered. They’re not scary at all, but they are large. I’ve found one only once before, but this one had a very rounded abdomen which I’m wondering meant it was a female with eggs. I felt bad disturbing its home. I know they like to be inside dwellings where it’s dark so I put it in our garage.

For anyone curious about the larvae I found yesterday on Day 116, I put them on BugGuide and they were moved to the Willow Sawfly family.

 

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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  1. K. Forster April 27, 2016 at 7:43 am · · Reply

    Hi Kelly!

    Love this 365 day project you are doing. And your woodland garden so lovely! I did something similar at my last property where we had a side yard that needed alot of love. The riverstone looks great. Sweet that you found a good place for the spider. I encounter many as I was landscaping last summer (for work) and always made the effort to move them somewhere safer.

    Katherine

  2. Katherine,

    Thanks for visiting and taking the time to leave a comment! I’m so glad to hear from other people who save spiders. Anyone who takes the time to save spiders and other small creatures is a hero in my book.

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