365 Nature – Day 123

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.


Another record setting hot day convinced me to pack my macro lens to take to the arboretum today. It ended up being an excellent idea as there were many insects out, even early this morning. As I headed to the Pacific Connections garden where I typically find great numbers of insects in the morning sun, I happened to look up and catch sight of a dragonfly. I followed it until it rounded a tree and then I saw it no more, despite some frantic looking. It was the first dragonfly I’ve seen this year and I was loathe to lose it, but despite losing sight of it, I decided to visit the ponds after I finished looking for insects in the Pacific Connections garden.

I only found only one bee fly today, there were people working on planting new native plants where I usually see them and so I didn’t linger too long. But I found another Spring Azure butterfly, a moth and countless solitary bees and hover flies around the garden.

When I finally arrived at the pond I found no dragonflies at all. I stayed for a long while and found many damselflies, many were teneral (newly emerged) and fluttered away from the pond edges as I walked by. One landed on my arm where it sat until I decided to keep walking. One particular damselfly caught my eye and I knelt down on the grass and found it was eating something. I spent a long time taking photos of it eating, such a fascinating thing to watch!

Along one side of the pond a muddy bank attracted many different flies including several types of hover flies and a Cabbage White butterfly. Later in the day I saw a swallowtail butterfly go by me without stopping.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.
Kelly Brenner
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  1. Carol Kohler May 2, 2016 at 4:19 pm · · Reply

    Amazing photos.

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