365 Nature – Day 298

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


I planned properly this morning and remembered to bring my tripod with me to the arboretum. Last time I went with my camera to take photos, it was a very dark day, a common problem this time of the year. That was Day 293 and I had discovered a bonanza of mushrooms in the arboretum, but because it was so dark my photos were pretty grainy. I’ve been planning since then to return with my tripod to try again.

Today was another dark day and most of the mushrooms I had found were under trees, where an extra level of darkness lies. I was disappointed that the perfect butter yellow mushrooms of Day 293 were already on the downhill slide turning brown. But I walked around the hill full of native plants and discovered more mushrooms than were there last week. In some areas they were growing so densely a person couldn’t have walked through without stepping on them. Some patches had one species dominating while others had several types in small groups.

I didn’t walk very far at all and yet managed to find dozens of mushrooms.

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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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