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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.

Today I met Larry Hubbell, author and photographer at the beautiful Union Bay Watch blog and he showed me many locations of nests and roosts of the birds in the Washington Park Arboretum. He is a phenomenal photographer and his posts document the birds of the area in great detail.

After our walk I ventured out and looked at the bark of trees, first the Western Red Cedar, then our other common native, the Douglas Fir. I also looked at a moss-covered Locust tree. Lastly I investigated a Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum). The bark is so soft you can punch it with little damage to yourself. It’s like this to be fire resistant. Another benefit of the soft bark and large crevasses – which to small bugs, birds and other wildlife must seem more like valleys – is the abundant amount of places to hide. I found one hole in the bark which went in quite far and had spider webs inside, but a hole in the middle. Around the edge of the hole on the bark I found several small feathers. I’m guessing that a bird roosts in the hole at night, and recently as the feathers are likely to blow away in the wind. My best guess would be a Tree Creeper. Walking around the tree I found several holes like that and a couple of black and gray shield bugs on the trunk of the tree. I’d love to go back at night and see what may be occupying the holes in the tree.

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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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