365 Nature – Day 326

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


There is no school this week and since this morning was dry, if cool, we took at walk to the wetlands behind our house. Because we spend so much time in the arboretum, where my daughter’s forest preschool is, we don’t spend much time at our more local parks anymore. Before we started school, we’d walk through the wetlands several times a week. Then we spent many hours walking through and around Seward Park, which is also very near our house. These days though, it’s mostly the arboretum.

Our wetland was sparse today, there were no people and the landscape was getting thin. During the summer months, the park feels very snug with so many leaves covering the plants. High up, the alder trees create a dome that makes the park feel secluded from the outside world. Today though, the leaves had fallen and the rest were thinned out making the park and wetlands feel wide open and exposed. I imagine what a bird must feel like going from summer to autumn with the easy shelter of leaves, to the bare exposure of naked branches. Over the years we’ve lived here, I’ve always enjoyed the alder trees silhouetted in the autumn skies, which seem to be clearer and always full of different types of clouds. Today I looked up and saw the familiar scene with some leaves still clinging on.

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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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