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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.

Logic tells us that during those rare times when the crack-of-dawn waking child is away, the adult could actually sleep in the morning past the first sun rays. Reality however is much more cruel. After four years of waking up early, this morning was my chance to finally sleep in, but I awoke just after six. My internal alarm clock is so well practiced now it didn’t really surprise me. But no matter, all the more time for exploring a new place.

I immediately set off for Whatcom Falls Park to get in a morning walk and exploration before my conference sessions started this morning. When I arrived and started down the path, I uttered a thanks for my internal alarm because the park was an amazing discovery – and nearly empty. Once in awhile a truly wonderful place is found and this is one of those locations. The path crosses over a Works Progress Administration bridge offering the first views of waterfalls descending over rock walls into a perfectly tranquil pond.

I followed the trail first east, along Whatcom Creek and had several photogenic stops where more waterfalls fell over rocks large and small. Eventually the creek met a small dam creating a derby pond and I hiked back up to the path and turned to walk west. The birds were singing and I heard many Hermit Thrush singing along with Pacific-slope Flycatchers. I heard other birds I didn’t know and one pair of birds sang a frenzy back and forth across the creek like the Hatfields and McCoys, one starting before the other song had even finished. I encountered many slugs and snails.

Near the far west end I discovered a large bowl worn into the rocks where the creek spilled into over another waterfall. The large pool in the center held together by a natural rock dam before finally flowing away. In the morning I passed very few people and the bird song and sound of waterfalls certainly created a sense of peace and tranquility.

I have more photos that I’ll upload – and a video and some audio – when I get home and back to my desktop.

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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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