December 08, 2022

Last Journal

Location: Yesler Swamp - 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98195
Time: Saturday, December 3rd at 1:12-2:47
Temperature: 42-43F
Weather: Sunny

Some Willows appear to just be barely hanging onto their yellow, oblong leaves. The reed canary grass is tall and overgrown appearing lush. Whereas, the appearance now is less of a vibrant lush green; part of the grass area has died. The grass area has lost some volume and height. In past journals I noted the prevalence of Osloberry, red huckleberry, bittersweet nightshade, himalayan blackberries, and snowberry. Snowberry is the one I currently am still able to see and Himalayan blackberries. Whereas, Osloberry, red huckleberry, and most of the bittersweet nightshade have died off. I’ve seen more fungi on the site or at least there are some more visible. The most prevalent fungi appears to be the Willow fungi. There was more organic litter overall in the site, mainly of decaying leaves falling. Towards the back of the site and even near the water the foliage has visibly thinned out. The tree canopy in the back has opened up. I could hear more American Crows by their cah cah sound but I kept looking around for them but only saw them briefly fly overhead. Down by the water I was lucky enough to see a Great Blue Heron perched on a snag in the middle of the water. It was not at all disturbed by the presence of humans. In the water for the past couple of weeks I have been able to see Hooded mergansers with there being more males with their black and white mohawk and just one brown toned Hooded merganser. I was able to see one Wood duck identifiable by its 3D half circle top head and beaty red eyes. There were mainly Gadwalls in the water identifiable by their pale brown/gray body with its back tail being black with a band of white. Compared to previous visits at the site the amount of birds in the water was low. The Song Sparrow bird species has remained consistent whether I visually see them or I hear their bird calls the twi twi twii sound. Towards the entrance of the boardwalk into the site I noticed there is an accumulation of water. The pond water has now pushed further into the stand than what I thought would occur. I’m able to see more evidence of Beaver presence with around now, 3 visible trees that, near the bottom, have their bark unevenly carved into by teeth. I was able to see a Red-breasted nuthatch flying around the trees. I usually hear or notice squirrels however, during this trip to the site I did not see any. Because of the less foliage, there is more sunlight in the site even in the back of the site, where the foliage is thicker in previous visits the shade can be greater. There are still some Vine Maples on the site. I believe they were one of the firsts to change leaf color. I definitely noticed there are less bugs such as mosquitos and flies around the swamp as compared to visits earlier in the year. It was unique to be able to observe just how much Yesler Swamp has changed over a couple of months.

(Image above is my first observation of spatial scale at 1sq. Meter closescale)

(The image above is my most recent observation of spatial scale 1 sq. Meter closescale).

(The image above is my first observed spatial scale of 50 sq. Meters broadscale)

(The image above is my most recent observed spatial scale of 50 sq. Meters broadscale)
Part 2

(The image above is of Horsetail growing in October).
I chose Horsetails because throughout my multiple visits I was able to see how the species progressed. They would grow and be the color shown above and then recently they gradually buckled under the weight; the bottlebrush portion became a gray, brown color.

(The image above is two Northwestern pond turtles perched on a pipe).
I chose the Northwestern pond turtles because I rarely get the chance to see turtles in their natural habitat. It’s probably the one species I looked for the most when I visited.

(The image above is a Song Sparrow on the lookout near the ground).
I chose the Song Sparrow because I could consistently find it at my site. Even if I couldn’t see it I was able to tell its call.

(The image above is Reed canary grass just off the boardwalk).
I chose reed canary grass because it was always abundant in Yesler Swamp. Although the majority in the stand have wilted there are still some prevalent in the swamp.

Part 3

1) How has your perception of your weekly observation site changed through the quarter? Think about how it has changed phenologically, and how your relationship with it has changed accordingly.

I think it was interesting to even establish a relationship with Yesler Swamp. I’ve always wanted to have a “spot” that I could continuously and consistently visit. This class forced me to have time to, create a relationship with Yesler Swamp. My weekly observations have allowed me to have a baseline knowledge. To later go out into the field, I was able to recognize and see what I was being taught. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it was a hassle going to the site. The first time observing Yesler Swamp was exciting because I knew very little about it. Then, the newness wore off and it was just having to go to the site. After going multiple times throughout the quarter it established that routine. Each observation I’m able to identify something new even if it wasn’t a new plant species, it was seeing the changes in color, or the presence of which bird.

2) How has your sense of the Puget Sound Region changed through the quarter? Think about the body of knowledge we have explored and the wealth of experiences we have had both locally and on travels around the region. (if you were working outside of the region, due to COVID-19, feel free to interpret this more freely to the region you are in, if that makes sense).

Throughout the quarter I have been able to learn more about Indigneous culture. I’ve learned and been given the knowledge to spot where Indigenous people have managed and landscaped the Puget Sound. Even going to different sites being able to learn the history behind it. I grew up somewhat near Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge and have been there before but I didn’t have the knowledge such as identifying birds, seeing frogs, learning what an estuary is, or even the history behind the site. To piggyback on a little bit of my answer to question 1, I’ve been able to learn more in depth about the Puget sound and it has opened my eyes a little bit to the ecology of Puget Sound. Prior to this class I knew very little about mycology and since watching Simard’s Ted talk in combination with Professor Billo’s teachings, I’m able to grasp that mycorrhizal fungi communicate and send messages to surrounding trees that allow for collective survival.

3) What does it mean to intimately know a natural place? Think about this question in terms of the process of "doing natural history" and the outcome of repeated experience in nature. Also, think about it in terms of scale—you have done close observation of one site, as well as developed broader appreciation of the range of interconnected ecosystems as one travels across this region. Is there as much to be gained (or more?) from close observation of nature in a city park, as compared to field trips to far-flung places or inspiring viewpoints in the mountains, and how does repeated observation at a small scale inform your understanding of areas further afield? (if, due to COVID-19, you have never observed nature outside of your journal site, then just think about your journal site. If your other experience with nature was outside of the region, then think about comparisons to broader scales).

To be able to continuously visit and build a relationship with my site. The more I visited the more I got to know Yesler Swamp. To intimately know a natural place is to recognize aspects in the site. To have experience in observing the natural site and recognize patterns. You’ll never fully understand or know everything that happens in the site. So, you’ll forever be learning and discovering about the site.I personally believe there is as much to be gained from closely observing nature in the city than compared to further out in the field. I think every piece of nature has something to teach you. Both offer you different kinds of observations. For me personally because I live in the city it's more accessible to learn and observe from the city parks. So therefore, the observations and information from mountains and further out in the field are harder to come by. Because there is a connection between nature even between small-scale and broad scale, I’ll have common ground or knowledge that I can take further afield.

4) What do you feel are your most important personal outcomes from this class? What is the value to you of nature observation, and any other skills you have garnered, and how have you changed from week 1 to week 10?
Personally my most important outcome is being able to identify plant species, mycology, and birds within the area. I lived in the Puget Sound region for a while and now I’m able to identify and connect more with what is going on in the Puget Sound. It is nice to mix it up for classes. I rarely get the opportunity to make observations in nature. Other class teachings are heavily lecture based in the classroom. Week 1 I could identify a little bit of plants but now in week 10 I am able to identify plants I commonly come across. A little random but I have a better grasp on how to get the best use out of binoculars. Before I would bend the binoculars to zoom in and it would be sort of a struggle. Learning the history of Puget Sound has been beneficial just to have that insite of course some of it still relates to today. Thinking about how much the landscape of Seattle has transformed because of human intervention. Nature observations have taught me more insight into the ecology of the land. Had I not taken the class I doubt I would be able to take the knowledge I was taught and apply it to the observations I was making over the course of the past 10 weeks.

5) Has your overall perception of nature and natural history, and the place of humans in nature, changed this quarter? Please incorporate insight from personal observation, guest lectures, and/or readings.
I think it is commonly perceived that there is wilderness. However, I believe it was Captain Vancouver’s passage about the PNW that made me realize that to define nature as wilderness is sort of choosing to ignore the management and techniques indigenous people have done to the land. In Braiding Sweetgrass Kimmerer asks their students essentially do they believe humans can make a positive impact with nature or do they belong in nature. It made me pause because my answer would’ve been no. Kimmerer pointed out how in academia it focuses so heavily on the negative impacts humans have on the environment. This is true even for what I’ve been taught the only positive impact humans have had on the environment that I can think of is prescribed burnings. In a way Kimmerer and this class have expanded my perception of humans place in nature. While some people will wholeheartedly believe people are the most harmful to the environment there is no denying that there is a connection between nature and humans.

Posted on December 08, 2022 07:59 AM by danii_s danii_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 24, 2022

Fungi and Lichen

Upon entering my chosen site there was light, crisp wind. The air smelled like cucumber in some parts and others smelled like gasoline. Towards the front the only plant still surviving seemed to be the Snowberry. The Chicory that has consistently stayed alive is now dying, the blue/purple flowers have died off. The Willow trees close to the boardwalk have mostly changed leaf color to yellow with dark spots. There were a couple squirrels throughout running along the tree canopy. Reed canary grass seems to be dying. Horsetails in the area seem to be losing their green color and fading. At least one Red Alder tree seems to have fallen over. On a Willow tree closer to the water there is evidence of a beaver, with teeth marks ingrained into the tree bark. On the waterfront I was able to identify Bufflehead from their black and white face. Along with female hooded mergansers as I took notice of their brown mohawks. Within the Snowberry I saw two Black-capped chickadees. Its body was round, its underbelly was white and the back and head was brown. Just above the eye was a white stripe. Its tail was around the same size as the body and has a crimped pattern. Both were outside the shrub and then when they saw me, they flew into the shrub and moved around within the shrub. Their call was a chickadee chickadee deee deee sound. Within my site there seemed to be more organic litter on the ground than my last visit. I only saw one of the possible four Western pond turtles sunbathing on the pipe in the water. I could hear a Mallard duck in the water making a wack wack sound. Towards the back of the stand a Douglas fir appears to have grown bigger since I’ve last taken notice of it. Where I take my 1 sq. meter photo it appears there is more fungi growing in the area. I did notice a different shrub species in the area. It had compound green leafing and had berries that were blue that were covered in a layer of dust. Further off in an area with taller trees, I believe red alders I could hear the Spotted Towhee with a dreee dreee sound and the Song sparrow a twi twi twii call sound. Near a beaked Hazelnut shrub I saw another shrub that was almost like Oceanspray. However, the flower part was still alive with a white color; it almost resembled a Dandelion when it’s ready to spread its seeds.

In image 3 I believe the fungi is a Mycena galopus or a milking bonnet. I had a hard time identifying this fungus as it is small. I later asked Ed Dominguez for help identifying this species. I found this species growing underneath a tree. There was a fair amount of organic litter with mulch and dead leaves. There were around eight of these fungi underneath a Amelanchier x grandiflora (serviceberry) tree. Upon further inspection underneath the cap were light colored gills that were not tightly bound. The area did not appear to be wet. However, the shade the tree provides and the mulch in the surrounding area can hold onto moisture. In image 4 Phellinus igniarius or willow bracket was growing on a willow tree. I know this species feeds on the host tree so it would make sense why I would see multiple growing along this tree.There were around seven fungi growing on this tree. One growing at the bottom of the tree was horse hoof-like. Others grew towards the middle of the tree with the cap or top portion being dark, almost a burnt appearance and the underside was a white shade with small spores. I tried pulling it off the tree but I couldn’t as the fungus was really tough. In image 5 Parmelia sulcata or wax paper lichen is growing on a tree with moss. This lichen was found growing on a Red alder tree in an area with plenty of organic litter, mainly dead, decaying leaves. I would describe this lichen as foliose. The color in the center was white and its edges were a pale green. Its overall appearance reminded me of paint chips. In image 6 is a sketch of Hypogymnia physodes or tube lichen that I found growing on the bark and branches of a Birch tree. It is a pale green almost white color with a black underside. The appearance is similar to bleached coral. The area was moist and wasn’t in direct sunlight. It was towards the back of my site. In image 7 Trametes versicolor or Turkey tail had the appearance of individual pine cone seeds. The edges were white and towards the center was a brown shade. I found this species growing on a log along with moss. The area was surrounded with dead leaves allowing for some moisture. In image 8 the sketch is of Fomitopsis pinicola or a red-belted polypore was shaped like a clam but was not as symmetrical. It had an ombre like effect with the top a black color lower was an orange rusty band followed by a white band. I found it on a Douglas fir towards the back of the stand where, less direct sunlight is so, I imagine there is more moisture in this area. Image 9 I am focusing on the Chrysothrix candelaris or the Gold dust lichen found growing on tree bark by the sidewalk. The location isn’t the moistest area and is in direct sunlight for some hours during the day.

(Image above of spatial scale of chosen spot 50 sq. meters broad scale)

(Image above is the spatial scale of chosen area 1 sq. Meter closescale)

(Image 3 Mycena galopus found near Yesler Swamp underneath a tree).

(Image 4 above is multiple Phellinus igniariusm growing from tree bark)

(Image 5 is of Parmelia sulcata was found growing with moss on tree bark)

(Image 6 above is Hypogymnia physodes found on a birch tree growing on the branches and the bark)

(Image 7 Trametes versicolor found growing on a log)

(Image 8 above is a sketch of Fomitopsis pinicola found growing on a Douglas fir)

(Image 9 above is Chrysothrix candelaris growing on a tree bark)

Posted on November 24, 2022 07:01 AM by danii_s danii_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 17, 2022

Nisqually Wildlife Refuge & Flaming Geyser National Park Journal 5

Location: Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge: 100 Brown Farm Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98516. Flaming Geyser State Park: 23700 SE Flaming Geyser Rd, Auburn, WA 98092
Time: Tuesday, November 1st at 2:43-4:15
Temperature: 48-56F
Weather: No precipitation, cloudy overcast

In the flat grass area of the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, we observed a sickly-looking Coyote with what could be Mange. Horsetail ferns, Willow trees, Snowberry, and Red alder were along this grassy area aligning the path. Conifer Roundhead mushroom was found growing near a Bigleaf maple tree. A giant flock of Cackling geese could be seen and heard, with their call being high-pitched. The Coyote could be seen stalking the flock of Cackling geese but was not successful with catching any. At a tree area with Bigleaf maples with lots of fallen leaves and Western redcedar, there was a section where Pacific tree frogs were visible underneath the trees among the fallen leaves; their size is around a half dollar. Their call is like a rah-rah call. Within this area, a noticeable presence of squirrels and a Hairy woodpecker made a peek-sounding bird call. Overlooking at the wetlands where the water meets the shore, the shore is lined with snags, which could be an indication of the Nisqually river delta meeting up with the Puget Sound water. Reed Canary grass and Himalayan blackberries could be seen. Mallards, Pintail ducks, Greater White Fronted Geese, and Widgeons could be seen by the water.
Along the trail, many Isabella Tiger Moths were most noticeable by their black and burnt orange appearance. An American Kestrel is perched on a branch of a Douglas fir tree. A Northern Flicker could be seen perched in a snag. The Riparian river edge at the front of the Refuge could be characterized by Black cottonwood, grasses, wheat, and cattails. The lake from the meandering river had dragonflies, Bracken fern, blackberries, grasses, cattails, Willow trees, and Red alder.
Further down the path near the boardwalk, species such as Queen Anne’s Laces and Western bleeding heart, a noticeable presence of dabbling birds, could be seen, like the Gadwall. Most interestingly, within the Flaming Geyser National Park, methane concentrate is leaking and can be lit aflame. The area is an essential habitat for salmon and many other fish species. The site had more moss visibly growing and Wood sorrel. The water had high sulfur contents, enough that you could smell it. Underneath the entrance bridge, mussels were found and are an indicator species of good water quality because they can filter the water. The side channel tributaries are essential for fish, especially spawning salmon. During the 1970s, tribal members were paid by the government to remove wooden debris from waterways, which was thought to be beneficial to the fish, resulting in a loss of fish habitat. Warren KingGeorge spoke of how the land had changed before the installation of the city of Tacoma, taking water from the lower plains covered in grasses that used to be a part of the river bank. I would say around 5 meters + was where once was the river bank and shows how much the river has receded.

Image above contains a Great Blue Heron standing in the river.

I wonder why there were two Peregrine falcons perched in this snag.

Image above shows a Pacific tree frog found underneath a Bigleaf Maple and Western redcedar.

I noticed that it was common to see the Isabella Tiger Moths along this path. Is this an ideal habitat?

Sketch above is of Nisqually Wildlife Refuge wetlands where the Coast and Puget Sound meet. The wetland was full of birds and snags for habitat.

Image above is of Riparian river area near the front of the Refuge.

Posted on November 17, 2022 07:55 AM by danii_s danii_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 03, 2022

Journal 4: Bird Follow

Journal 4
Location: Yesler Swamp - 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98195
Time: Tuesday, November 1st at 2:43-4:15
Temperature: 47-48F
Weather: Sunny small amount of clouds
Upon entering my field site a multitude of grass species have already died off. The main plant species staying alive in the front entrance of the field site and possibly growing seems to be the Chicory and the Himalayan Blackberries.Compared to my last visit I did not hear the calls of Crows I did see like one or two. A Willow plant near the entrance appears to have grown because it reached more into the walking trail. I was able to identify Wood Sorrel, the green clover-like plant growing underneath a thicker part of the tree canopy. Snowberry was identifiable because of its white berries and its Yogos-like shape and the small oval leaves. I did notice that in a Vine Maple plant, the lobed leaves were changing color some were a yellow/red shade. A couple of red huckleberry plants I noticed had lost a serious amount of leaves.I only saw one out of the usual four turtles laying on the pipe. It could be that some of them have migrated. I noticed around five squirrels that were running around in the treetops. One of them ran up a tree with an acorn so, I imagine they are preparing for winter and stashing acorns. There were the usual ducks across the water somewhere diving for food. One species I saw was a dabbling duck with a gray body; the tail was black and a little section with white. I did not see the upper-half of its body, so it could be a Gadwall or a similar species. I was able to identify an Ocean Spray plant because of the dead hanging flowers that are now brown and resemble the motion of a waterfall and the alternate leafing with grooves in them. I believe I stumbled upon a very young Oregon Ash tree mainly because of the shaping and the look of the compound leaves.This tree species did also appear to be changing leaf color as some were more yellow and others were green, some leaves on the bottom were brown spotted and appeared to be dying off. The dirt in my one meter area did appear to have some moisture in it was a little darker than the first site visit. A tree close to the area has a fungus that has a dark top that has been growing larger on the tree trunk. The Western Red Cedar doesn’t seem to have changed much. I heard the bird calls of one that sounded like a really high pitched yappy dog and one that sounded like the gear wheels of a plastic toy moving. I wasn’t able to visibly see these birds.

I ventured further out into the field site near the back where all the tall trees were. I spotted an American Robin. It was I’d say, a medium sized bird that most noticeably had an orange underbelly. Its eyes had a patch of white below and above the eye the body was a dark gray color. I spotted the American Robin up perched in a tree branch surveying the other birds flying around. Down by the water I thought a duck was walking closer and got excited. However, when I got closer the body was a little too skinny to look like the average duck and its beak was too skinny. The body pattern was similar to the brown body portion of the female mallard duck. The feet were skinny and it reminded me of chicken feet. I believe the bird was a Virginia Rail. The Virginia Rail was walking around on the land area underneath some shrubbery and was pecking at the ground. It swam up to the land, shrub overhead and started walking around. I didn’t see it fly around. I spotted a brown bird near the forest floor perched on the shrubs but wouldn’t really fly long distances and it was sending warning calls. It had a brown body striped with white on the chest. Streaks/stripes on the head and smaller bird. I believe the bird is a Song Sparrow. I identified a Red-naped sapsucker due to the red patch at the top of its head and the black body with white down the back. I could tell it was a woodpecker because it was jabbing at the tree bark but I only caught a small glimpse before it flew off.
I observed the American Robin I first spotted perched on a branch close to the ground but was apart of a bush. The bird then flew around eight feet to an area that was by a stairwell. Another smaller brown bird flew in the vicinity and the American Bird took off to the bottom of a rock wall. At the bottom of the rock wall the American Robin spotted clumps of debris near the road ledge. It began to peck at the leaves for a couple of minutes. It would pick up the leaf, I’m assuming it was in search of food. Each leaf would be tossed to the side. It saw me I was about ten feet away and it didn't seem phased by me. It decided to take off over a cleared area and into the area full of tall trees it flew a straight pattern. It perched up into the tree at about twenty feet maybe it wasn’t the highest up in the canopy but it was up further than when I first observed the bird. It was perched up on the branch and was looking around at the other small birds that were flying by. Its call was a high pitch. The pitch would sort of go up and down.

(Image above of spatial scale of chosen spot 50 sq. Meters broad scale)

(Image above is the spatial scale of the chosen area 1sq. Meter closescale)

(Image above of American Robin perched on road)

(Image above of sketch of American Robin, observed bird pecking at leaves)

(Image above of sketch of Song Sparrow perched on a Reed Canary grass consuming wheat germ)

Posted on November 03, 2022 05:12 AM by danii_s danii_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Journal 3

Journal 3
Time: Wednesday, October 26th at 4:53-6:10
Temperature: 49-51F
Weather: Cloudy with a gray overcast
Upon entering Yesler Swamp I already see a lot of visible leaf fall. The air seems crisper. Some
of the plant species are changing leaf color, more than last week. The leaf color ranged from
green, to yellow, to bright burnt orange. I noticed an uptick in the presence of crows both visibly
and I could hear their calls. Deeper in my area I couldn’t really hear any other birds besides
crows and once some geese passing by. On the water area there were some ducks but not as
many as previous visits. I didn’t see the usual family of turtles that perch on the water pipe but
there were some ducks over in that area. I believe one of the species to be the Mallard because
the head was a dark hunter green with a yellow beak and had a stripe of white in the middle of
its neck, the rest of its body was a mix between white and black. I noticed there were some
Himalayan Blackberries that did have some berries still on the branch. I could tell it was the
Himalayan blackberry because of the berries, the stems have thorns all over them, and the
leaves have ridges on them. The soil in my 1 meter area was moister than previous visits.The
Reed canary grass seemed like it was still tall but someone had rolled around all over them.
Growing with the Reed canary grass was thicker grass species the shape of the individual
blades remind me of aloe but not nearly as thick as aloe is. I think the plant species is American
Sweet-flag.There was a plant species that was green and resembled a bigger version of parsley
or cilantro. I believe it could be a type of Geranium because of how deeply serrated the leaf
pattern is. There are some plants that I have seen that have red berries but they sort of dangle
off of the stem, the leaves are varying in size. I think it could be a Bittersweet nightshade.
Species that I identified as changing leaf shades were Snowberry, Osoberry, and red
huckleberry. Some cattails down closer to the water are starting to become almost cotton
ball-like. At the entrance of Yesler Swamp is mainly dead plant species but there were some
that are hanging on such as the Chicory. However, some of the wild carrot plants are beginning
to die off. Overall, in my area I notice the lack of flowers but it is getting deeper into Autumn.
(Image above of spatial scale of chosen spot 50 so. Meters broad scale)
(Image of above is the spatial scale of the chosen area of 1 sq. Meter closescale)
While surveying my area for invertebrates I found mosquito (Culex), yellowjackets (Vespula
alascensis), ants (Formicidae), flies (Muscoidea), and dragonflies (Odonata). I followed the
Yellowjacket around it and mainly flew around the boardwalk area and paid close attention to
the wooden railing. Upon closer inspection there were a couple of yellowjackets around the
railing when I looked over the side. I could definitely hear the buzz of the yellowjacket, the
location was located close to the water. There was one that flew semi close to me before diving
over the wooden railing. When putting my book down I counted around three yellow jackets over
the railing and were crawling more so in the crevice of where the two wooden planks met. The
dragonfly I observed flew overhead and perched for a moment onto a leaf of a Willow tree. It
then got up and flew over to the other side of the wooden board to walk more towards the
canary reed grass. I could slightly hear the noise it makes. Another dragonfly met up with the
one I was observing. They both looked the same color so it’s possible it was the same species. I
tried to follow them for longer but dragonflies fly off really fast. Both dragonflies weren’t in the
location for long but were kind of close to one another and they both flew off. I tried to observe it
eating an insect but wasn’t able to.
(Sketch of yellow jacket and dragonfly)
(Photo of third invertebrate a mosquito located on wood in center)
Who am I?
How do I Flee?
Do I skim the water?
Do I hover over the tree? Or the leaf?
I shimmer like a fairy
I contrast with blue and black
I’m eye catching and vibrant
My body is spotted to a resemblance of glass
I whirr by out of sight
I was there for a moment then vanished
(I wrote the above poem about the dragonfly.)
The wind shakes the chimes of the trees
A Raven calls in the distance
My boots thump on the boardwalk
Thump,thump,thump to my next destination
The wood creaks like a door opening
Through the twists and turns
Into the darkness I arrive,
The pit of the swamp
Where the birds sing
The reeds wave

Posted on November 03, 2022 05:11 AM by danii_s danii_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 20, 2022

Journal 2

Journal 2
Time: Tuesday, October 18th, 2022 at 1:57pm to 3:45pm
Location: Yesler Swamp - 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle, WA 98195
Temperature: 64-66 F
Weather: Sunny with a presence of haze

Upon first glance at my chosen area it seemed like some of the grass had grown. However, it has only been a week, so I’m not sure to what extent the growth is. Within the area I noticed a plant species that I assume is Thimbleberry. When I felt the leaves were a soft texture, it had 5 lobes, and had alternating leaves. Some of the leaves appear to be in the middle of transitioning with color, some were yellow and some were green. A wide spread plant that grows near the water has an appearance of green with leaves looking crumpled towards the edges. Its appearance is similar to that of the Broad-leaved Marsh-Marigold only the leafy part. However, there were no flowers blooming and the PNW plant guide says this species is not commonly found south of Alaska. The species of widespread grass growing in my chosen area I believe is Reed canarygrass. It is hard to tell because most are not currently growing the top that has a wheat-like appearance. There appears to be a white band that can be followed by a darker band throughout the growth of the plant, the banding looks similar to that of a young bamboo. One shrub I noticed was the salmonberry. Its appearance has a compound leaf like they almost appear to grow in 3 with toothed edges, it looks like the leaves have deep veins. When I fold down the top leaf it has the butterfly appearance as well as alternating leaves. I followed a sound that was recurring that was similar to knocking on wood or flapping wings. I did catch a glimpse of the bird and I want to say it was a woodpecker because it was pecking at wood. The pattern of the bird was black and white spots but I couldn’t get enough of a look to fully ID the bird. I did notice there were more ducks than my prior visit and I found more turtles hidden. However, I did not have binoculars so I couldn’t really tell the majority of the identifying factors other than some ducks were different colors but, that could also be because of gender. While walking around there were some English ivy not just wrapped around the trees but on the ground. They were an evergreen shade and the leaves were sort of heart shaped. When I looked at the ground I did notice the smallest organism were red ants that weren’t there at my last visit. I heard a bird and their song sounded like a swing set on a playground but I wasn’t able to see what the bird looked like.

Posted on October 20, 2022 04:02 AM by danii_s danii_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 13, 2022

Journal 1

For my location I decided on the Yesler Swamp area located in Seattle, Washington. The temperature was 64 degrees, the weather was really nice, the sun was out but not beaming down, the temperature allowed me to wear a short sleeve and have it feel like perfect weather. The time was around 4:17 pm.

While in Elementary school, my house sat on a hill. At the bottom of the hill sat a creek. A small bridge would go over the water, and you could continue to go more into a field. I mainly stuck to the creek. I would bring my neighborhood friends along and go into the creek. We used to wade into the water, flip over the rocks, and observe what we could find. We would sometimes find salamanders. On occasion, we would find snakes and would scream and run off. Mainly we would search for clues of any animal life. My friend and I would walk on a sandbank and follow deer footprints well into the stream where the trees would meet. Every day after school, I would ask my Mom to play outside with my friends. I didn't spend enough time outdoors during middle school and some of high school. It wasn't until my junior or senior year that I actively planned trips to go hiking with friends and spend the day up in the mountains. Down by the creek was a species of honeysuckle I used to pick and try to make perfume from crushed flowers and water. My more adventurous friends would eat them. My sister used to pick red clover and convince me they were good to eat. Smelling it makes me nostalgic, same with magnolias. My grandma used to convince me to hang up a bird feeder. My favorite was to sit at a little patio set and watch what would come to the feeder. Hummingbirds, ants, and squirrels would all flock to the bird feeder.
My father would leave out apple mineral blocks to see if they would attract any deer. I used to get excited not by the presence of deer but to check and see if any chunks were missing from the mineral block or to see any bite marks. When I visited temples when I was younger and reflected on them, they would often be surrounded by greenery. It was mainly a quiet, peaceful environment. In my youthful consciousness, the temple surrounded by forests and greenery contributed to the peacefulness and calm feeling. When I was younger, I loved flowers. After watching the first Hunger Games movie, I took inspiration and created a booklet of dried flowers from the area around my neighborhood. When I was younger, I looked forward to escaping outdoors. When traveling or going on vacation, my family looked forward to being in nature. We would be on the beach, and I would walk up and down the shore looking for seashells. I made a promise when I was younger to get a seashell from every beach I went to. We would end up hiking up a cliff to see a view or explore a cave. Looking back on my childhood, it wasn't overwhelmingly in nature, but for me, it did foster my love of nature.

In the chosen habitat at 50 meters, taking a deep breath, the air feels crisp even though I am still in the city. Some sun is shining, and I can see the water. The full view of my spot is vibrant, with different shades of greens and yellows. I can see various animal species, plant species, and insects. One of the first things I draw my attention to is the birds singing. To my ears, it is not like a sweet melody but reminds me of the sound of a child's toy with plastic gears turning and working to come to life. I did spot another bird closer to me, and my guess is a Louisiana Waterthrush because of the patterns on its body. I could identify young and more mature ducks leisurely swimming across the way. I spotted a couple of turtles sunbathing on a log. The plant species I saw were cattails; some were Typha Latifolia. I spotted horsetail ferns, which could be seen as abundant in the area; some sections could have clumps of them growing together.
Further back into the area, I spotted a young Western red cedar. They were identifiable by their scaly needles. Some plants appeared to be overrun with cobwebs and pollen which is a little surprising. I did notice some sword ferns in the area, which were identified by their shape, and when I peeped on the underside, there were small circular patterns of orange. In the water area, there was a plant species that I could not identify but were clover-like in appearance. On the outskirts of the area, I used the Inaturalist app to find Tansy and Chicory species. The Tansy appeared to me like a fern so, it wasn’t until I used the app that I found out it is a flowering plant. The Tansy is a blue, almost purple flowering plant that almost looks out of place in the swamp-like scenery. I spotted snowberries which were identifiable because of the groups of white berries the plant was growing. While in the one sq meter area, I didn't notice too many organisms; the smallest organism near me at the time was mainly flies nearby. A yellowjacket was passing by and a dragonfly parched nearby on a Red Huckleberry. The soil in this section was dry but not completely bone dry. I was expecting the soil to be moister, considering how close the area is to the waterline. In the area, fungi were growing that were attached to a stump and had the appearance of a horseshoe. There was a dominant species of grass that I think could be Japanese stiltgrass.

Posted on October 13, 2022 04:24 AM by danii_s danii_s | 0 comments | Leave a comment