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

This morning we met a friend from my daughter’s forest preschool at Carkeek Park in northwest Seattle. This time of year, Pipers Creek, which runs through Carkeek, has salmon running up the short stream. We arrived just before ten in the morning and immediately found salmon splashing up the very shallow creek. It didn’t take long before we discovered more and more, some resting in pools while others swam on. We stood on a bridge over a fork of the creek and watched a couple splash up and over logs. They rested in the pools for a few minutes after swimming up over the previous log, then would suddenly, and with great splashing, swim up and over the next.

We all walked down the creek stopping and looking to see what salmon we could find along the way. As we got closer to the beginning of the creek there were fewer and fewer salmon. They swim in at night from the sound, which is why there were none closer to the mouth of the creek. We crossed over railroad tracks and onto a beach along Puget Sound where we were able to find the mouth of the creek. A few salmon carcasses were washed up on the shore and in the sand. The beginning of the creek starts with two culverts which run under the railroad tracks.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, Popular Science, 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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