365 Nature – Day 18

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.


The common belief that Seattle is gray and rainy is misplaced. Over the last few days I have ventured out between bouts of rain and watched the skies. We have some beautiful and dramatic skies during the autumn and winter months. A few patches of blue peaking through dark gray clouds is a sight to behold. Most people I talk to here only like summer, they like the blue skies and sunny weather. For me, and perhaps others born in the Pacific Northwest, that is the most dull and boring weather. It reminds me of a Monty Python sketch where Michael Palin wants to be a lion tamer, because his job as a chartered accountant is ” Exciting? No it’s not. It’s dull. Dull. Dull. My God it’s dull, it’s so desperately dull and tedious and stuffy and boring and des-per-ate-ly DULL.”

A photo of a blue sky? Dull. Dull. Dull. The sky between rain storms? Absolutely not dull.

This morning the sunrise was beautiful thanks to the clouds in the east. The sun reflected upon the clouds, turning the entire eastern sky bright orange, yellow and red. Later we walked to the beach looking for birds and shells, first wandering north. When I turned and looked back south I saw a stunning landscape. The sun was filtered behind a thin layer of clouds turning them orange. Around the sun darker, denser clouds loomed black while along the horizon line, a clear strip was turned orange. Above us a few patches of blue were visible behind fluffy, white clouds. Beautiful and fleeting. A couple of minutes later it vanished and without my photos I may have believe I imagined it.

Day 16 had some beautiful stormy skies as well.

We found some more interesting things in the wetlands; an old Bushtit nest, some new fungi and we listened to the birds singing.

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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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