365 Nature – Day 266

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

This morning I found yet another aspect of the changing seasons, the lower sun in the autumn mornings. Although my daughter went to school at the arboretum last autumn, I often drove home and didn’t stay in the early part of the year. So this autumn, watching the seasonal changes is a under-explored activity for me. As the sun rises later now, the west side of the arboretum gets sun filtering through the trees as I start my daily walk. Today I stopped to watch the effect the rising sun had on the leaves.

I found many leaves between me and the sun illuminated to a glowing green revealing the vein patterns. Today I wandered the arboretum following the sun to see the different leaves glowing in the sun. This will be an activity well worth repeating as these leaves start to change colors. With the sun shining through them I imagine they’ll look like the sun itself.

Later I stopped by the pond, an activity I can’t seem to avoid. The bright sun shone down through the water and I tried some pond dipping again. I found more scud, water fleas, water mite and even a small clam along with a damselfly larva. As I sat and watched, I noticed the return of the swarm of water fleas I first noticed on Day 258 but hadn’t seen since. I don’t know if I’d call today a swarm, but they were certainly visible, moving in the same way and location as on Day 258. I wonder if it was because the sun was so warm today with no morning clouds. I hadn’t seen them since then, even though I’ve looked each visit since then.

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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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