I hear you, that near-constant clamoring outside the gates, wondering where I've disappeared to, just how far underground have I gone?
Well, my overactive, co-dependent personality hears it.
I'm here. Same Bat-place, same Bat-channel. Things have been busy. Fall migration is the high season for migration studies, you know. End of summer gardening and landscaping, teaching a five-year-old to ride a two-wheeler, camping trips, an end of the summer trip to the Eastern Shore. Processing the photos from the end of the summer trip to the Eastern Shore.
And I know all of those are lame excuses. "If you loved it, you'd make time for it" I hear you (or someone in your general direction) say, voice shrill, finger wagging.
You're right. Maybe I'm coming to a realization that I simply don't have that fire about blogging that some of you do. That I don't really like monitoring unique visitors and page views or checking in on the toplist once a day. That there are things I love more than blogging. I've felt bad about the ethereal nature of this blog, honest. That it doesn't have a theme that's deeply meaningful or universally important, that I sporadically update, if that. What's one step below "sporadic"? I feel bad that I don't follow all of those rules I keep seeing in the webosphere, those "10 Things Bloggers Have to Do!"
I read those and get depressed. First, I go through the "I'll never be a real blogger" blues, the sad realization I'm over here on Blogger with a "blogspot" thing in my domain name (hell, it's not even mine!) while the real bloggers have their own domains and use Wordpress. Real bloggers religiously self-promote (because they have something to promote) and go to conferences to learn how to become better bloggers. Then I move to something broader and deeper, something more universal. That not too long ago blogging was fun, spontaneous, free-spirited endeavor. That it's becoming organized and controlled, creating a sense that if you're not in, you're out.
But I've made my peace with all of that. Some people need the structure and methods, they're promoting themselves, their talents, their skills. Maybe re-inventing themselves, maybe hoping to make a living blogging. Blogs are a viable and valuable marketing tool, and to use them as such you need appropriate strategies and tactics on top of what we all bring to the blogosphere. But not all of us are trying to make a living through blogging, which is perfectly fine, too.
And what do we all bring? A myriad of experiences. Unique perspectives. A mesh of styles and opinions, a breadth of knowledge and humor. And a willingness, if not a passion, to put them out there and (maybe, just maybe) have them read.
I'm giving away something Wren might ask if I ever get interviewed on the Nature Blog Network, but I intended to maintain a blog primarily as a repository for trip reports and birding experiences, photos I took (or made, if you're from the south) from those expeditions. A journal I could digitally flip through in my golden years as I fawned over the way it all used to be.
I suspect that changed when I realized someone other than me read my terribly dry posts. When you know someone else is looking, everything changes. Now I wasn't writing for myself, but for you, Gentle Reader. As is wont to happen, communities formed, something I didn't expect: I made friends, many still unmet. Now is a good place to say thank you to all of you who read, and especially those who comment. I hope we'll meet for coffee or a beer someday.
Whether you noticed or not I strived to be more entertaining while providing something interesting to take home. I don't know exactly what I've morphed this blog into, other than I still enjoy writing about my birding local birding and distant trips. I like showcasing photographs (hopefully they're getting better), trying to wrap them with infotainment. I especially love picking fodder based on what excites my daughter. About nature, that is, I spare you the daily tea parties and faux jewelery dress-ups. But if it's in the natural world and gets a five-year-old jazzed it must be good.
So I've made my peace with you, World Wide Blogosphere. If you're blogging for yourself, enjoy your time here and have fun. Relax, let yourself come through your posts, let us get to know you. Visit when you can, stop in when you're in the neighborhood. For those who live here, driven by stats and page views, power to you, too.
Oh, and to make sure I include some eye candy here's an image from earlier this summer. I call it "Two Insects That Chose to Have Sex on Our Patio." That should get some additional Google-search traffic. When do I get to review books and score free trips to birding hot spots, anyway?
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