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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 warm sunny weather (and boring blue skies) continued today and we headed outside this morning to continue the spring cleanup in the yard which we had started yesterday afternoon. While pulling some weeds from the area which used to be a deck and will soon be a pond, I discovered some amazing looking fungi. I was delighted to spot a small Red-flowering Currant growing where the deck used to be and I have no idea how it came to be there. Nearby were strawberry plants, also a mystery as to where they came from. Last summer as we worked on taking the deck out, a small patch of Rudbeckia started growing, but I knew that must have come from the container which was on the deck. Ferns are growing around the edges of the fence, free for us to enjoy now without the deck in the way. I’m really excited to plan and install our pond.

Later in the evening, as I was making dinner I stopped and listened for a minute and realized there was a frog croaking somewhere in our backyard. When I went to the backdoor and opened it, I could hear it was somewhere close and indeed, as I took a step outside it stopped croaking. It must have been a good omen because that night after I went to bed I finally heard the frogs singing in the wetland pond behind our house. I’d been waiting for them for a long time to start singing, it’s one of my favorite things about spring since we moved into our house. There weren’t many yet and they stopped frequently, but I was glad to hear they were back.

We’ve spent nearly the entire day outside so far working on a fence for our veggie garden, filling in an insect hotel and other general spring cleanup. I’ve found beetles all around and bees are regularly visiting the blooming rosemary plant, both honey bees and solitary bees. I watched a queen bumble bee fly all around the leaf covered area of where the deck used to be, presumably looking for a good nest location. For much of the morning a woodpecker hammering nearby accompanied us and at one point a Black-capped Chickadee flew in nearby to sing.

Out front our tulips, daffodils and lilac are blooming, the latter just starting. We have bluebells coming up all over and they’re also just starting to bloom. In our flower meadow we planted last year, there are already pansies blooming and poppies are starting to fill in. The lupines are also growing well and our maple tree is in full flower.

I will continue working out in the yard until the rain comes back this weekend, but it looks like more sunny weather next week, good for getting the yard into shape.

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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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