365 Nature – Day 87

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 weather promised to be rainy this afternoon, and when I checked the radar map it looked like we would be rain-free for awhile this morning. Indeed, the skies were cloudy, but bright in south Seattle. I decided to head to Magnuson Park for a morning walk but by the time I was halfway there the skies had turned black and the rain had begun. By the time I had arrived at the park it was pouring and I consulted the radar map again, this time finding myself on the edge of a storm cloud. At first I thought I had arrived on the tail end of the rain and I sat in the car for awhile to wait the worst of it out. The longer I sat, the more I realized the storm must be moving from the north, instead of the far more common south. I had arrived just at the beginning of the storm, not near the end. So despite the driving rain I put my rain cover over my bag and did something I rarely do, got out the umbrella. I wasn’t going all that way without a few photos and I needed the umbrella to keep my camera relatively dry.

The birds were still fully active singing and foraging and I encountered a number of Buffleheads in the ponds and a pair of Green-winged Teal. The reeds were filled with the songs of Red-wing Blackbirds everywhere I looked. Around the other side of the pond I found a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Robins, Spotted Towhees and Black-capped Chickadees. A small mammal, moving too fast to identify, ran across the path in front of me. A Northern Flicker sat on the side of the trail and as I moved closer, instead of flying away from me or up to a tree as I expected, the large bird surprised me by flying at – then past me, no more than an arm’s length away. As an extra bonus the park was empty, I saw only one other person in the wetlands from a distance. It was a peaceful morning walk, although a wet one.

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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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