365 Nature – Day 71

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 day dawned bright and surprisingly stayed bright and sunny a good portion of the morning. I walked north through the arboretum until I reached the far southern end where the morning sun was illuminating the Oregon Grape flowers. The flowers were still small balls of yellow, not yet fully opened and covered in dew drops, from the very cold morning. They were beautiful, one of those instances photographers look for and naturally I had opted not to bring my Nikon today. At least I had my phone to get some shots.

The best part of surverying the flowers were the bugs. Finally, bugs! I quickly found a hover fly who tolerated me not at all and flew off before I even got my phone out of my pocket. Fortunately as I slowly walked by the row of Oregon Grape plants, I found plenty more flies resting and warming up on the flowers. Other than an odd buzzing insect here and there, this was the first notable insects I’d encountered this year. The sun stayed out long enough for me to see many flies landing in sunny places around the arboretum.

The whole park was full of bird song and while I’m progressively improving on my birds by ear, there were may that baffled me. The calls of the Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Flicker and Cooper’s Hawk continue to confuse me although I was sure I heard a Pileated today because I saw it with my eyes as well. The Barred Owl wasn’t at his roost today and I didn’t see him anywhere.

By lunch time the clouds had returned followed shortly after by rain and the insects disappeared once more.

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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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