365 Nature – Day 301

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


Looking back over the last few days of the 365 Nature project, it seems few days have gone by without mushrooms featured either in photos or the post writing. Indeed, it’s nearly impossible to walk through the arboretum without encountering them or nearly stepping on them. They are absolutely everywhere, and as soon as one turns black and melts back to the ground, a dozen more pop up out of the grass, soil or mulch.

This morning we found a red mushroom with a flat top and white underside growing out of the grass near my daughter’s forest preschool. Nearby, a tight group of light brown mushrooms pushed up together. Behind them, a large patch of flat, low-growing dark brown mushrooms spread through the mulch. Everywhere I go they are there, some so tiny a house fly could flatten them if it landed on them, and others so big, the same fly could do a waltz on the top.

Every day feels like a race to photograph them because if I wait a single day, they may disappear by my next visit.

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She founded The Metropolitan Field Guide in 2009 and has contributed articles to aincluding Crosscut, ParentMap and National Wildlife Magazine. She holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

She is currently writing a book about urban nature to be published by Mountaineers Books in 2019.
Kelly Brenner
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