365 Nature – Day 16

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.


There was a brief break in the rain today and I headed somewhere I realized I’ve never visited in the winter, Magnuson Park. The weather was sunny when I arrived, but over the time I was walking the path the weather changed dramatically with big dark clouds rolling over, dropping rain and then moving on. The landscape changed from one moment to the next and the ponds were stunning when the sun shone down illuminating the red-twig dogwood and the various ducks while black clouds served as a backdrop.

It was strange visiting in the winter because many of the birds I associate the wetlands with were absent. I’m used to seeing swallows swooping over the ponds and the regular sound of Red-winged Blackbirds. During the summer months the landscape is full of flowers like aster, salmonberry, goldenrod and other native plants. They are of course full of bees and other pollinators. The only pollinator I saw today was the Anna’s Hummingbird, several males sat in shrubs singing and performing their mating display.

I was surprised to hear croaking frogs, not one, but I heard several along the path.

The ponds, which during this miserable summer of drought had dried out so dramatically the ground cracked open dry, were finally full of water again. Even ponds which most the year I see with no standing water were full to overflowing with water.

Magnuson is a very different part in the winter, but it’s just as beautiful. The leaves. which usually block the view of the ponds. have dropped and opened the landscape up. Instead of feeling like I’m walking through a tunnel of leaves from room to room, now the park seems much more open and connected. It reminds me of what the park was like when I first started visiting, before the trees and shrubs grew up so densely around the ponds.

View more photos of Magnuson Park

View photos of past years of Magnuson Park

Kelly Brenner
Follow me

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
Follow me

Latest posts by Kelly Brenner (see all)

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>