365 Nature – Day 252

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


This morning we took a walk in the drizzle to the beach and wetlands behind our house. The water of Lake Washington was calm and a liquid blue slowly waved like a lava lamp across the surface. In the wetlands, the leaves were dropping like we’ve seen at Seward Park recently with many brown Big Leaf Maple leaves covering areas under the canopy. Along the boardwalk, more leaves from the Alders and other trees colorfully dotted the path. Although we’re expecting a short heatwave early next week, the feel of autumn is well and truly here now. The mornings are darker and the evening is arriving sooner.

We had a period of sun late this morning and we went out in the backyard and I pulled up some weeds and filled in a rat hole. Our neighbor’s apple tree hangs over our fence a little and some of the fruit falls into our yard, in the back corner where the plants are dense. I believe the rats have tunneled up into our yard to capitalize on this fruit bonanza instead of hauling the apples away. Unfortunately, they have tunneled up right under the plants I transplanted earlier this year making it even harder to get established and growing. It’s a frustrating task.

While examining the garden on the side of the house, I noticed a bright yellow patch on one of the pieces of wood I have scattered around the yard. It was slime mold, smaller than the one I found on Day 235 at the arboretum, but very similar otherwise. When I picked the branch up to look at it, I noticed another underneath, this one a reddish color. This is one reason I leave dead and decaying wood around, not only for the insects, but also for the fungi and slime molds.

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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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