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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.

Not all my nature interactions are overly fun. Today I spent the morning weeding our vegetable gardens in the front yard. I’m pretty sure gardening just means weeding because it seems that I spend 99% of my time pulling plants out of the ground, and 1% of the time putting them in. But it’s well worth the effort because we’ve already harvested three pints worth of strawberries and our lettuce is abundant. Today we picked our first snap peas and we also already have radishes, spinach and kale ready for eating. So out with the weeds, of which there was many, but hiding among the weeds were a half dozen volunteer tomato plants. I pulled them up too and replanted them in places less crowded. It’s a bonus because I’ve been intending to head to the nursery to buy some tomato plants, now perhaps I won’t have to if these volunteers do well with being moved.

The other silver lining is that as I weed, I scare up a lot of interesting bugs and other invertebrates. I found another underwing moth and countless spiders, ants and woodlice this morning. In the plants growing in the front, which I think are rudbeckia, I found a lot of tired insects this morning. It looked like a hotel with slumbering flies, moths and even a harvestman.

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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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