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 by danii_s danii_s, October 13, 2022 04:24 AM

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