365 Nature – Day 196

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.


Last week my daughter made a sailboat at her outdoor preschool and on Monday they got to sail them in the arboretum pond. Ever since then she’s wanted to take her boat down to the beach behind our house and sail her boat in Lake Washington. This morning we took her down and she walked up and down the beach in the water sailing her boat behind her on a string.

As she sailed her boat, I checked the sand for footprints and found several. Like I saw on Day 182, there were many tiny prints that I believe were from rats. I also saw larger prints that looked like they were made by Canada Geese and it was interesting to see them next to the rat prints in the sand. The size difference was substantial.

As my daughter walked in the water she would scoop up loose aquatic vegetation with her stick and I’d look at it. I realized how little I know about what plants grow underwater in the lake, especially after seeing the Muskrats yesterday on Day 195 gathering vegetation. I couldn’t name any of those plants and I need to change that. I may try gathering washed up pieces to bring home and identify and then press them. As I looked at the plants today, I noticed small circular bumps on one of them that I’m guessing may have been some sort of eggs.

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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