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.

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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