365 Nature – Day 342

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


I only had time for a shorter walk today at the arboretum so I opted to visit Foster Island in hopes of seeing the winter ducks I’d spotted on Day 337. Because it was clear and sunny again, although still very cold, I brought my big lens with me hoping to get some shots of the teals and shovelers. When I arrived, I was very surprised to find the pond had frozen over. It’s a large pond and I underestimated the cold weather’s freezing abilities. It wasn’t thickly or completely frozen, there were still a few patches where water still was visible and I could easily crack it with my foot. But it was enough to prevent the ducks from swimming in the pond.

Next I walked by…

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365 Nature – Day 341

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


We had a disappointing start the day when we woke up to no snow at all this morning. It was cold and there was a layer of frost over everything which my four year old found very exciting. There’s another chance for snow later in the week so we’ll be hoping for the childhood wonder to fall then. There were a few dark clouds to the southeast at daybreak, but otherwise the day was clear and soon to be sunny. I decided to pack my bigger lens today which rarely gets taken during these darker months.

Most of my walk was uneventful, even the frost had started to melt leaving everything simply soggy. Since I didn’t encounter anything of note I decided to revisit the ash meadow I had walked…

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365 Nature – Day 340

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


Today is cold, the coldest it’s been in a long time. Shortly before we left for school this morning it started to snow. First, just a few flakes mixed into the rain, then it shifted entirely to snow. But, in one of the biggest disappointments of childhood, it stopped snowing and turned back to rain right after we left. Hopes of an outdoor forest school day in the snow were dashed. But it remained cold during the morning and we have interesting weather in store this week with more potential snow and even colder days.

I stayed warm on my walk today with many layers on, but the mist covered everything, making photos hard to take. I realized as I walked around in my winter apparel that for me, the holiday…

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365 Nature – Day 339

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


With the possibility of snow coming tonight, Seattle has turned it’s collective eye to the sky. This morning I saw reports of snow to the southeast of us and surveyed the sky. I was surprised to see clear, blue skies to the north and to the east and south dark clouds. But most interesting to me were the clouds directly east. I had to get my cloud selector wheel to figure out what they were because they had a bubble texture to the bottom of the clouds. I believe these were mamma clouds, which the selector describes as “cloud lobes clearly hanging downwards.” They were minimal, but quite interesting because I can’t recall seeing them here over the last year, despite my new-found cloud watching interest.

The blue skies…

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365 Nature – Day 338

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


Over the duration of this 365 Nature Project I’ve repeatedly written about and taken photos of clouds. I even joined the Cloud Appreciation Society early this year. I’ve long appreciated clouds, particularly from a photography perspective where a featureless blue sky makes for very dull photos. Living in the Pacific Northwest offers plenty of excellent cloud opportunities and I’m frequently at our upstairs windows taking photos of the changing clouds. Granted, we have had quite a few flat gray days lately with plenty of nimbostratus clouds. But as a family with an early riser, I know that these clouds don’t persist all day and we often have beautiful mornings just perfect for sunrise. We’re often lucky to have the same at night, with breaks forming just in…

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365 Nature – Day 337

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


There is one thing I really like to do at the arboretum after a rainy night – visit the creeks. There are three, but one is currently under construction being renovated and brought to the surface. The other two I visit regularly as they are bookends on my walks. The first is on the north end of the park and connects two ponds. In the spring it’s full of Skunk Cabbage and in the summer it’s shaded with a towering perennial. This time of the year the fallen leaves line the banks which are now free of the vegetation. It always has water trickling through because it flows from a pond.

The other creek is on the opposite end of the arboretum and is one of my favorite places in…

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