365 Nature – Day 233

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

Despite another day of record heat I ventured out to water this morning and see what I could find. I was pleasantly surprised by a face looking back at me from the top of a Rudbeckia flower, a grasshopper. It sat patiently while I went back inside to get my camera and I was able to get some good shots of it. I looked around the other flowers and finally spotted another visitor, a yellow crab spider, perfectly blended into the petals. I went back inside once more to retrieve my tripod and new plamp, a flower clamp. It attaches to my tripod on one end and holds the flower on the other, so as to keep it steady. I necessity in macro photography. Unfortunately, I made the beginners error of attaching it to the flower stem before getting the tripod situated and disturbed the spider. It retreated to under the flower, but I adjusted the tripod to below the flower and still got some shots. Not great ones, but at least good enough to document it. I’m always learning.

It dawned on me today why I’ve been feeling detached from our garden this summer. I thought it was because we were on a few trips, but we traveled last summer as well. This summer the yard felt neglected and we’ve hardly eaten outside. I realized that it’s because our daughter is in summer school, which she wasn’t last year. As a result, we’ve been gone three days a week for half a day. It’s really made a difference that I only just pinpointed. I’d like to spend more time in our garden and continue transforming it into a wildlife haven. We’ve accomplished a lot, but there’s so much more to do yet.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of a book about urban nature, 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.

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