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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.

The Washington Park Arboretum is fairly large and full of trails to explore. When we lived on Capitol Hill I always entered the park from the south because I usually took the bus or walked there, but now I always enter from the north after dropping my daughter off at her forest school. It’s strange how my perspective of the park has changed, it’s like it’s been flip-flopped. Even though previously I always had to walk back south after exploring, now entering from the north and walking south makes the trails feel like a slightly different place. As if it’s an alternative universe – nothing is quite out of place, it just feels a bit different.

Part of the fun of simply wandering the paths is discovering, or re-discovering spaces. Because the seasons and even days change the landscapes so much, walking in different directions often feels like discovering new places. Today I walked along a path I hadn’t been on in quite awhile which runs alongside a small creek. The creek was full of rushing, splashing water today after the big downpour of rain we’d had this morning and I stood at different parts of the path to listen to how the water sounded as it went over different rocks. Nobody passed me on that path the entire time I stood there, but I did hear a bird issuing a warning call. It was a very tranquil and calming experience.

I recorded a number of sounds today, the first was a Spotted Towhee calling right outside my daughter’s forest classroom. There are towhees regularly there and I wonder if they’re the same ones. The other sounds are from along the creek I re-discovered today.

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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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