365 Nature – Day 17

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.


All morning it rained. When suddenly the rain stopped I looked at the radar map it showed mostly clear skies so we decided to head to Mercer Slough Nature Park, always a favorite place to visit. I never know what I’ll find there season to season and day to day. Today the colors were beautiful despite the gray skies, the blueberry field in the middle of our walking loop was colorful, bright red stems visible now the leaves have dropped. The fields around the edges were a wonderful golden yellow.

The east side of the path had branches that were positively dripping with lichens. The trees appeared to be weighed down by the sheer mass of lichens, it was really a beautiful sight. I also appreciated the view from the boardwalk on the south end where the reddish bronze spiraea seed heads grow in the foreground with the white trunks of the alder trees behind.

In the top of one of the alder trees closer to the boardwalk we found the remains of a wasp nests. There were a number of birds we found including Steller’s JaysCooper’s HawkBushtitsRing-necked Ducks, and Buffleheads.

View more photos from various visits to Mercer Slough.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of a book about urban nature, 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.

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