Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner writes The Metropolitan Field Guide, a blog for ideas, thoughts and resources for the design of urban wildlife habitat. She earned a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

Jan 122015
 
Urban Species Profile:: Hover Flies

One of my favorite insects to find in the city, and they’re incredibly easy to see if you know what to look for, are the hover flies. The family Syrphidae contains about 6,000 species (890 in North America). They’re known as Syrphid flies but more commonly they’re called hover flies or flower flies, and can be found around the world in a variety of habitats. You’ve possibly seen them but mistaken them for a bee, as many of them resemble them so convincingly, their images are often wrongly used on articles about bees. Look a little closer and you’ll see these are not bees; they …continue reading

Dec 312014
 
5 Favorite London Photos of 2014

Earlier this year we took a trip to London. It was the second time we’ve visited the city only this time we had a toddler with us which made it a whole different experience. We visited a lot of parks and urban nature which I have unfortunately yet to write about. Here is a highlight of some of the things we saw in London with more thorough posts to come early next year. The London Wetland Centre Last time we visited London we didn’t have time to visit the Wetland Centre, so this time it was on the top of …continue reading

Dec 302014
 
5 Favorite Backyard Habitat Photos of 2014

When I sat down to write the previous post, 5 Favorite Washington Nature Photos of 2014, I nearly had an anxiety attack trying to pick only a few photos. Instead of putting myself through that, I decided to do a series of three posts and today I’m sharing my 5 favorite photographs I took in my very own yard. When we moved in, the yard consisted of a maple tree, lilac, forsythia and a few odd rhododendrons. The backyard was nearly all lawn. Over the last two years we’ve dug and planted and while it’s still relatively small, the habitat …continue reading

Dec 292014
 
5 Favorite Washington Nature Photos of 2014

This past year I’ve been lucky to have a lot of great nature experiences and fortunately, had my camera along for a lot of them. Exploring the Pacific Northwest is a never-ending adventure because there is such a diverse amount of habitats and wildlife to see and experience. I’ve ventured into the mountains, into wetlands, across the Sound and onto islands, not to mention all the places in the city, just this year alone. Here are some of my favorite shots I’ve captured from a variety of places in Washington, and why I consider each to be a memorable photo. …continue reading

Dec 042014
 
Nature Picture Books:: Lizi Boyd

Over the last two and a half years I’ve read a staggering number of picture books to my daughter, a large percentage of them nature themed. In this new column feature I’m going to highlight some of our favorite authors, series and individual books. One of my favorite books to look at has no words at all, it’s called Inside Outside (affiliate link) by artist and author Lizi Boyd. The book alternates from scenes indoors to scenes outdoors, following a boy, his dog, cat and turtle. Each page has cutouts integrated into the scene which reveal the next page very cleverly bringing the …continue reading

Sep 172014
 
Book Review:: Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden

As one who spends a fair amount of time crawling around my yard in search of interesting insects, I was, needless to say, excited to see a new book from Timber Press with the title Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control. It’s written by horticulturist and self-proclaimed ‘bug lover’ Jessica Walliser. With a quick glance through the book, it’s easy to see it’s up to the typical high standard of Timber Press books and full of wonderful and inspiring images of beautiful bug-friendly gardens. As this is not a typical sort of book that …continue reading