Nature Obscura Published!

Nature Obscura is officially published today! This is my first book and I’m beyond excited it’s now out in the wild and already landing in the hands of people who have pre-ordered it.

Order a copy from your local bookshops to help support them during this challenging time.

With wonder and a sense of humor, Nature Obscura author Kelly Brenner aims to help us rediscover our connection to the natural world that is just outside our front door — we just need to know where to look.

Through explorations of a rich and varied urban landscape, Brenner reveals the complex micro-habitats and surprising nature found in the middle of a city. In her hometown of Seattle, which has plowed down hills, cut through the land to connect fresh- and saltwater, and paved over much of…

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Feng Shui Planning

Below is a sneak peek of this content!

This is a paper I wrote at university for a planning class in my landscape architecture program that discusses the use of Feng Shui as a planning method. What is Feng Shui Around 7000...
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Japanese Buddhist Gardens

This is a paper I wrote while at university for a Buddhist Art class. I thought I’d share it here because I wrote about Japanese moss gardens in my book Nature Obscura.


According to Bring & Wayembergh (1981) the history of Japanese gardens can be broken down into three phases. The first phase being a “modified form of the paradise style garden which had developed earlier.” The next phase was then “miniature landscapes that were built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries around Zen temples.” The last phase “included the garden settings meant to recreate the wilderness around a hermit’s retreat.”

Summarized, these three phases were the paradise gardens, the Zen stone landscapes and the tea gardens. The paradise gardens originally were created for the aristocracy as pleasure gardens. As Amidism grew the gardens were created to…

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How to Find Face Mites

I know what you’re thinking, ‘why would I want to find face mites?’ but the real question is, ‘why wouldn’t you’? These microscopic arachnids in the Demodex genus live in your pores eating facial oils called sebum, completely undetected by their human hosts. Unless we look for them, that is.

We’re not born with face mites, but it’s believed they are passed down to children during those intimate moments when parents embrace their children. During the day face mites rest snug inside your hair follicles down inside your pores and only come out at night. While you are sleeping the mites crawl out of their homes to crawl across your face and…mate. Then they return to their home where the females lay eggs.

Face Mite by Marianne Denton (used with permission)…

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Diary of an Urban Wild Garden: Backyard Bees

On the door of my study hangs a poster of the backyard bees of North America and often when I’m thinking, my eyes fall on this poster and I lose my train of thought as I examine the multitude of bees. My thoughts turn to the many bees I’ve watched in my wildlife garden and how each year, more and more show up as the plants mature and I add new native flowers.

Butterflies, moths, beetles – they come and go and I can’t be guaranteed seeing them on any given day, but bees, they are always there and I can go out anytime from spring to autumn and know I will find them. My yard isn’t large, but I’ve followed the advice of the Continue reading →

Field Journal: Valkmusa National Park

The promise of extensive bogs and rare moths and butterflies drew me to my final destination on my tour of Finland’s National Parks. It had begun with a visit north to Syöte National Park where I spent a few days exploring with a small group. After returning to Helsinki, I set out on a four day solo trip first visiting Puurijarvi-Isosuo National Park and Kurjenrahka National Park to the east and then driving back towards Helsinki to Nuuksio National Park and the Haltia Nature Center. My final day found me east of Helsinki, near the Russian border, along the Gulf of Finland in Kotka to visit Valkmusa National Park.

Only a small section of Valkmusa National Park is accessible by trail and there are only two trail…

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