365 Nature – Day 165

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.


A return to routine today and a shift in perspective from the mountains to the city where I went on my usual rounds through the arboretum. The Barred Owl chicks I saw first on Day 158 were nowhere to be seen, but the crows led me to one of the adults. They were harassing the owl and I only saw it a few seconds before it flew off with a trail of crows behind. At the nesting snag all I found of the chicks was a feather that I believe came from them.

I was more fortunate at the Cooper’s Hawk nest and when I first arrived I found a small white head poking up above the edge of the nest. Like the last time I saw the chick on Day 158, it was only visible a short time before retreating to the depths of the nest and although I waited another 10 minutes or more, it never peaked out again. During the entire time I was there I didn’t see or hear either of the adults.

On my way back I saw some movement in the shrubs and a raccoon clambered up a tree trunk, disturbed by me and a pair of walkers coming from the other direction. I stopped to watch the raccoon, but the other walkers were oblivious and kept walking. As I watched, the raccoon watched me and climbed higher up the tree before stopping and watching me again. It never once stopped looking at me except to climb higher, even as I walked away I could see it still looking at me and watching.

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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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