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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.

June is also 30 Days Wild and I’m participating again this year.

No rain was falling when we woke up this morning for a change. The first break of rain since we arrived at Denny Creek was most welcome and we were able to make and eat breakfast without having to huddle under the tarp. It still wasn’t warm, but I wasn’t going to complain. We even spotted blue skies through the trees and decided to move quickly so we’d have time to hike the Denny Creek trail before we had to leave our campsite. We visited this same place last June, only at the end of the month, and I had a great time spotting many butterflies, beetles, dragonflies and of course moths. This time the weather was too cool for a repeat of the entomological wonders of the previous year. There were still moths around the bathroom lights in the campground, but they barely shifted between the first and second nights. On the trail I didn’t find any butterflies at all and only a single beetle. Still, it was a nice hike and we had fun. At the very beginning we were treated to a serenade from the Hermit Thrush, a brown and very unassuming bird. It’s quite possibly one of the most beautiful of Pacific Northwest songs and the notes echoing through the misty morning forest is truly an experience to behold. No recording from a bird app can represent the wonder of that song.

We were the first to reach the water slides at Denny Creek and enjoyed a peaceful few minutes before the crowds started to arrive. I climbed a rock to look further up the falls and after awhile finally found a Dipper diving under the water. As I watched, it flew back up to the largest falls and slipped in between some of the flat, pancaked stacked rocks over which the falls tumbled. A second Dipper appeared and also after diving, flew into the same crack in the rocks. I figured they had a nest in there and I watched for awhile as they came and went from the rocks.

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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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