365 Nature – Day 360

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


After our Christmas morning I wanted to get outside and go for a walk and so my daughter picked Mercer Slough as our destination. I hadn’t been there in almost a year, not since Day 17. Although we had a very foggy morning by the time we were ready for our walk it had burned off and the sun was shining. The elevated boardwalk was over standing water this time of the year and I stopped a one area of open water to look at the duckweed. Against the dark water I noticed a number of aquatic springtails dotting the water, showing up easily thanks to the rays of sun illuminating them. I had noticed some of these in the pond at the arboretum, especially when I rubbed…

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365 Nature – Day 359

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


With only eight days left of 365 Nature Project I felt like I wanted to make them really count so set out on a spontaneous solo adventure today. Because it’s a holiday I couldn’t do a full day like I did on Day 357 to Fort Flagler. Instead I opted for something a little closer and drove to West Seattle to catch the ferry to Vashon Island, a prime location for winter ducks and other water birds. The ferry rides in winter around Puget Sound are often spectacular. No boring, blue, sunny skies now, instead we are treated to dramatic clouds with sun splitting through in bursts of orange. As soon as I got on board and walked to the top, I spotted Surf and White-winged Scoters from…

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365 Nature – Day 358

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Today is wet and earlier we even saw a few snowflakes mixed in with the raindrops. The goldfinches, juncos and chickadees are visiting the feeders and it’s not officially winter. Cold, wet days like this are ideal for reading and I’m relieved and happy my daughter gets as much joy from books as I do. A week ago we went through her shelves and pulled out all the books that have to do with winter and we’ve been reading them, along with Christmas books the last few days. There are some which I really like to read for different reasons and I thought I’d share some of them today.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal

This beautifully illustrated book follows a child through the snowy forest…

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365 Nature – Day 357

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


I’ve been feeling the pull of an adventure lately and today I finally had a chance to escape and took it. I left behind family, city and people and headed for the Olympic Peninsula alone driving through a cloudy sunrise. My destination was Fort Flagler State Park, located on the north end of Marrowstone Island in Puget Sound, just across the water from Port Townsend. When I arrived it was cloudy, but I hopped out to explore a sand spit where many shorebirds were lined up along logs. After a short time I saw my hands had turned a peculiar shade of red and went back to the car for more layers. The temperature wasn’t that low, but between the clouds blocking the sun and the high…

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365 Nature – Day 356

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


I watched the summer solstice sunrise this morning through a clear blue sky. It’s the first official day of winter although here in Seattle it’s felt like winter for a couple of weeks. We’ve had snow and many freezing days, while the mushrooms have slowly faded away. Many people see the solstice as a time to start counting the days to spring, but there are many benefits to these longer nights. As the sun rises later and sets earlier, the beautiful sunrises and sunsets are more accessible at reasonable hours, particularly for kids. It’s also easier, if you’re not a morning person, to watch the birds early in the day because they’re active later.

Of course, one of my favorite aspects of the longer nights is the late afternoon crow…

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365 Nature – Day 355

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Although the forecast called for rain, it’s a bright and sunny day here in Seattle. All morning the wind raged through the trees rattling their bones together but by afternoon it calmed. In the morning we walked to the beach behind our house to see what was in the lake. There were few birds, most had probably found calm shelter in a cove somewhere else along the lake, but a few stuck around our little bay. There was one cormorant perched on the posts in the water and nearby a handful of small birds swam, likely Pied-billed Grebes, but difficult to say with the backlighting of the sun. The water of the lake was surprisingly calm, not reflective calm, but far from the chopping peaks I had expected…

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