Field Journal: Snow in Seattle

It’s not very often we get snow in the city of Seattle, and even less often we get multiple inches. But last night it started snowing and it was still coming down this morning. I measured four and a half inches on our deck rail early this morning. It continued coming down off and on throughout the morning and the trees were covered in snow. All the bare branches had a thick layer of white and a slight tap would bring it crashing down. The neighborhood kids were out immediately and everyone migrated to our park where there’s a…

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Field Journal: Magnuson Park Beavers & Hooded Mergansers

Friday was another sunny day and slightly warmer than it has been and I wanted to take advantage of the weather while my daughter was at school. I decided to visit Magnuson Park and as I walked along the trails I noticed buds on different plants were already large and swollen, some already with green poking out. The low angle of the sun always makes an interesting perspective because while I could stand in the sun and pretend it’s spring, the low rays betray the season. Backlighting is quite beautiful this time of the year as the sun shines…

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Field Journal: Yesler Swamp


Yesterday I took a walk around Yesler Swamp, a newly opened and restored landscape on the north side of Union Bay. It was dramatically different from when I visited in September on Day 265 of my 365 Nature Project. Whereas in September the boardwalk was like walking through a dense, green jungle, today it was barren and brown and I could see through most of the landscape. The sky looked wide open with all the trees and shrubs bare and the brown and muddy ground was exposed. I could hear many birds; robins were…

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Field Journal: Northern Shoveler

Over the last couple of weeks I hadn’t spent as much time at Washington Park Arboretum as I did during my 365 Nature Project, but yesterday promised a sunny day so I decided to walk around while my daughter was at her outdoor preschool. Although it was cold again, the freezing streak had broken and I walked to the pond near Foster Island to see if the ice was gone and the water was open to ducks again. Indeed it was clear again and I spotted a few birds foraging in the water, but mostly on the far west…

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Field Journal: Magnuson Park

Over the past few days I heard some rumblings on the internet that there were Bohemian Waxwings being seen in Seattle and particularly at Magnuson Park. Like our more common Cedar Waxwings, these birds spend their summer in the far north, but the Bohemian Waxwings don’t often winter in our area. They are unpredictable in their winter range and this year they have spread to the Puget Sound region. I’d wanted to visit Magnuson and Friday was perhaps the last sunny day for a while so I drove there after dropping my daughter off at school.

I arrived, parking in a location near…

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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…

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