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.

Kelly Brenner
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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
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