365 Nature – Day 354

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


It was serendipitous that one of the last books I read this year was The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, one of my favorite authors. Finishing the book last night marked the 39th book I’ve read in 2016, not counting the dozens upon dozens of picture books I’ve read to my daughter. If you’re interested in what other books I read this year, you can see them on my Goodreads page. They’re mostly natural history with some fiction mixed in. I’m hoping to finish one more book before the end of the year to make it an even 40 books.

I’ve now read all of Robert Macfarlane’s books, with the exception of his first, Mountains of the Mind. Although The Wild Places is his second book, I only just…

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365 Nature – Day 353

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


Although I haven’t written much about my wetland in a bottle recently, I’ve still been watching the life inside regularly. There are two and the larger one has grown a great amount of vegetation and it’s hard to see the life inside. Today I saw a half dozen damselfly larvae of various sizes. Recently I’d seen scud and snails, but today I could find none of either and I wonder why. The other container, which is taller but smaller in diameter had many snails and the glass is much cleaner. Each container still contains at least one small water beetle and considering I haven’t caught anything for some time, both of the ecosystems appear to be stable. The taller container also has damselfly larvae and both have…

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365 Nature – Day 352

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


Last night the temperatures dipped into the 20’s, quite cold for Seattle, and I forgot to bring the hummingbird feeders inside. When I know we have freezing weather in the forecast I try and remember to take the hummingbird feeders down and bring them inside the house. Of course, I often forget and last night I forgot so this morning the feeder on the window was a solid block of ice. I brought it inside, put it in the sink and used the hair dryer to melt it before returning it to the window hook. Our backyard Anna’s Hummingbird was there quickly to feed. She has regularly been sitting in our forsythia, which is one of the only mature plants in the backyard. She’s so consistent I can…

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365 Nature – Day 351

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


Finally we have a sunny day. I hoped and suspected it might be sunny today when I could see the stars through the skylight early this morning. Although a few clouds passed overhead on our way to school this morning, it ended up being clear and sunny. The sun however, did very little for warmth and I walked around the arboretum with many layers on, moving to keep warm. The sun filtered through the trees, low in the sky and I chased patches of sun around the park. Not for warmth, but because I hoped to get some photos of birds today and in the dark canopy it’s impossible to capture anything with the camera.

My first stop was the north end roost where I’ve been seeing the Barred…

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365 Nature – Day 350

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


As we make the transition to winter, officially December 21st, I’m noticing quite a change. Not only is it much colder with several icy days in recent weeks, the fungi which was so abundant all autumn has now disappeared. Through mid-October to the end of November there were mushrooms absolutely everywhere I looked and although I posted many days about fungi, I knew I had to take advantage before they all disappeared. Now that the cold weather is here, the fungi has gone, except for one patch near my daughter’s forest classroom. This patch of light and dark brown mushrooms has persisted over the last week, but I’ve mostly overlooked it while focusing on other winter things. Today I stopped to take a look at these long-lasting…

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365 Nature – Day 349

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


We’re currently experiencing quite a cold spell here in Seattle. Yesterday I felt cold all day because my long underwear was in the laundry and I never warmed up, even after we returned home. The arboretum is also frozen, but only away from the trees. Under the canopy of trees, there is no frost on the ground at all. But step away from the trees and out into the fields and the grass is frosty, ice forms along the veins of fallen leaves and cones turn white. In patches of bare ground, or around mole hills peculiar forms appear in the soil that look like miniature basalt columns pushing up out of the ground. The ice freezes the water in the soil, pushing columns of soil up. In…

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