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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.

It rarely snows in Seattle, although when we first moved here in 2009 we thought perhaps it did. The first few years we had really good snow and I remember many days cars were stuck on top of Capitol Hill where we lived. One particularly bad snowstorm stranded a row of buses along our street. Then we moved to the south end of Seattle and didn’t get anymore snow storms with one exception, when all the neighbors went to the local park and sledded down the hill. Other than a couple snowflakes in recent years, we have not seen any other snow. Last year was particularly disappointing as it never snowed once all winter thanks to an unusually warm winter.

To make up for the lack of snow, a few years ago we started a snowflake making tradition. Anyone who visits our house during the holiday season is invited to create a snowflake, write their name and year on it and leave it with us. After they’re made I laminate them, punch a hole in the corner and hang them in our windows. We’ve been doing this for a few years and now have snowflakes in nearly all our windows. It’s a fun tradition that leaves us with good memories of friends and family visiting and it creates a festive, winter atmosphere in our house. That’s particularly important in years of no snow at all.

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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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