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In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.

I’m a naturalist. Even when I’m not outside, especially when I’m not outside, I like to still be surrounded by nature. Especially on days like this when it’s cold and wet outside and I’m on a deadline with a writing piece due tomorrow. One way I manage to stay connected to nature is through music. Andrew Bird is my favorite musician, and not only for his last name. He writes beautiful songs, many connected to nature. One of my favorite songs is ‘Frogs Singing’ from his album Things Are Really Great Here, Sort Of… 

Have you ever seen a fish don’t be enough from a quiet stream
Shine a moment in the light then fall away again?
Have you seen it, brother? Won’t you come outside and see?
Have you ever seen the rain turn the earth to mud
And watched the mud turn gold in the rising sun?

One of his newest albums is Echolocations: Canyon, described as an ‘ambient composition’. From Andrew Bird’s website: “Recorded in the Coyote Gulch canyons of Utah, Echolocations: Canyon is first in a series of short films and recordings by Andrew that document site specific compositions in exceptional national and urban environments.”

“Ever since I was a child I would test different spaces with my voice or whistle or violin. Whatever sound you make it’s like a giant limb that can reach beyond your fingers and grope the corners of the room.  Now when I’m on tour playing a different theater every night we “tune” the room hunting down the bass traps and the standing waves to give the listener the most even and wide spectrum sound. There are certain frequencies that resonate while others are lifeless. Sometimes the room refuses to yield and I have to consider playing different songs that will work in that room. It’s a challenge but I enjoy the moments when I must yield to the environment. So I thought it would be interesting to take all this outside where the reflections off the landscape are triggering countless inferences and steering the conversation.”

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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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