365 Nature – Day 53

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 arboretum is showing many signs of spring now; the birds continue singing and color is bursting out all over. Tiny flowers easily overlooked hide on the forest floor while flowers which can’t be ignored bloom brightly in trees. In the winter garden the witch hazel is nearly finished blooming but the hellebore are in full force not only there, but all around the park. More subdued, the ferns are rising tall, fiddleheads curled up in small spirals while Skunk Cabbage leaves also begin their ascent along streams and creeks.

I was carried down to a trail I rarely walk along, by a large flock of crows. At first I thought perhaps they had called up the ranks to harass a raptor, but I soon discovered what appeared to be a lunch gathering. A couple dozen or more crows had gathered to rip moss off the tree branches and forage in the lawn and under fallen leaves. I watched moss floating down like rain from above and then I turned my attention up to watch individuals methodically tear piece after piece away from bark looking underneath for an edible morsel. It was intriguing behavior to observe and partly because it was done in such a large group.

Later on my walk, as I followed along the arboretum border I heard first a Golden-crowned Kinglet issue a warning call and later a Spotted Towhee warning about the golfers on the other side of the fence. As I watched and listened to the birds, I heard the loud crack of iron hitting ball just before hearing the ball whiz by.

Kelly Brenner
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist and writer based in Seattle. She founded and writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat and has contributed articles to a variety of other websites and publications.

Kelly has a certificate from the University of Washington in non-fiction writing. She continually takes classes and attends talks on various natural history topics. In 2009 she earned a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

She's also an avid photographer focusing on the natural world.
Kelly Brenner
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