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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.


When we first moved in there was a flower bed at the back of the house that contained nothing more than a few goldenrod plants. It was one of the first areas I added new native plants to and they have grown and expanded over the last three plus years. Today I’m digging them all up. We’ve been talking about how wonderful it would be if we could add a large, glass door to our dining room to overlook the backyard garden and our contractor neighbor got a deal on a set of french doors for us. Today they’re starting to cut a giant hole in our wall and install the new door. But we have a basement so the door doesn’t open at ground level and so we need a small deck and stairs to get down to ground level and to make room for that I’m having to dig up my beautiful plants. It’s not the best time to move them, many are either blooming or just about to bloom and it’s also been warm, unseasonably warm. The lupine I moved this morning is very sad looking, it’s all droopy and the flower stalk is curving down to the ground. I’ve tried scooping a fair amount of soil around the roots, but there’s not much else I can do. The bonus is that many of the plants have been expanding themselves, so I’m able to divide them and place them around the yard. The Inside-out Flower grew a lot and I’ve divided it into a dozen new plants. The Redwood Sorrel has also spread across the flower bed and I’m dividing that up to add to new places around the yard. Hopefully they all, or mostly survive the ordeal of transplanting.

In the afternoon I noticed a pair of Anna’s Hummingbirds in the yard and as I watched them, I realized they were a mother and juvenile. The fledgling had no streaks of red on its throat at all and as I listened I could hear a begging sound. It was capable of feeding on its own and it fed both from the Orange-trumpet Honeysuckle and the Twinberry. It buzzed close to me a couple times and let me take plenty of photos of it. I also watched the Bewick’s Wrens bringing food to the nest, both individuals appeared to bring food. One of them has a tail feather bent up so it’s easy to see for now the two individual birds. I still don’t hear any sounds of chicks from the nest box though, how I wish I had a nest camera inside.

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Kelly Brenner

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 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, Popular Science, 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.

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