365 Nature – Day 338

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


Over the duration of this 365 Nature Project I’ve repeatedly written about and taken photos of clouds. I even joined the Cloud Appreciation Society early this year. I’ve long appreciated clouds, particularly from a photography perspective where a featureless blue sky makes for very dull photos. Living in the Pacific Northwest offers plenty of excellent cloud opportunities and I’m frequently at our upstairs windows taking photos of the changing clouds. Granted, we have had quite a few flat gray days lately with plenty of nimbostratus clouds. But as a family with an early riser, I know that these clouds don’t persist all day and we often have beautiful mornings just perfect for sunrise. We’re often lucky to have the same at night, with breaks forming just in time for sunset.

This morning was just like that. It was cloudy, but with fluffy cirrocumulus clouds high in the sky. I’ve learned that these clouds often prelude storm clouds and that’s exactly what I watched this morning. The skies to the east were clear with cirrocumulus clouds spreading northwards, but below them, the beginning of a dark, overcast layer rolled in. The dark clouds slid quickly under the higher, slower clouds making the sky feel like it was moving. A short time later we had stereotypical Seattle skies.

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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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