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In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.

My ordeal in Amsterdam wasn’t quite done and after the experience of Day 218 I was ready to get home. We had no problems with security in Seattle or Inverness, but traveling as a naturalist in Amsterdam was terrible. All of my bags got pulled aside, myself and our daughter were both patted down. In my field bag, they removed everything, searched my binoculars and even made me open my watercolors. By the end of it I was cranky and snappy and hated Amsterdam more than any other city I’d ever been to. I couldn’t wait to get home, a huge change from two days ago when I didn’t even want to think about going home.

Arrive home we did and fortunately it was not hot like it had been. The weather was cool and cloudy, the perfect thing for returning to Seattle after constant clouds and cool weather in Scotland. As I sat around in a daze that is the result of feeling more like I’d been time traveling, I decided to get outside and water and check on our garden to keep myself busy until bedtime.

The plants had taken a beating from the recent heat. While our neighbors watered when they could, most of the neighborhood was out of town for quite a few days and the garden was left to its own devices. Fortunately, most things seemed to survive, but the yellow glory of the Rudbeckia has faded dramatically. I found one katydid on our kale leaves and noticed our surprise pumpkins were already orange. I have no idea if they’ll last until Halloween.

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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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