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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.

You’d never know a week ago it was nearly 90 degrees because today is cool, not even 60 degrees and very windy. Despite the recent cool and at times wet weather, I still need to water some of my transplanted plants because we haven’t had much rain. While outside today, I checked on our plants and found the Fireweed is still blooming profusely, but there’s not much else in the backyard now flowering. I still have some plants to move and this cool weather will be perfect when I get around to finally transplanting them.

Out in the front yard there are many more flowers in bloom. The flower meadow that we installed last year is full of blooms including foxglove and some rather useless pansies. One of my favorites is just starting to bloom, Rudbeckia. I threw out a lot of Rudbeckia seeds last year of different types and only a handful bloomed, I believe they often don’t flower the first year. This year they are growing well and many are already flowering. Next year I hope to add some seeds from a native plant mix that I meant to plant this year, but missed the window for seeding. Despite having some non-native flowers, there are still a lot of pollinators around the garden and I see a lot of bumble bees, flies and solitary bees. I’m looking forward to seeing what we find as the summer arrives.

One thing I do not enjoy finding are stink bugs. Last year we had them in our vegetable garden in monumental numbers and they destroyed our edamame, beans and many tomatoes. I ended up picking hundreds of the nymphs off plants and dropping them into soap water last year. Literally, hundreds and hundreds of them. At the end of the year I cleaned up the beds and left no debris behind, hoping to round up any overwintering stink bugs. This year, so far, I have only seen a few, but today I found a newly hatched cluster on one of our lavender plants. I’m hoping we don’t have a repeat of last year.

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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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