My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

Three years of prattling, and I still prattle on

I received a notice from WordPress that I have been blogging for three years now. Blogging itself is interesting, even if my posts aren’t. The stats say that I have published 489 posts in the three years, really? It doesn’t seem like I’ve posted more than 450, but who’s counting, besides WordPress?

According to the stats from WordPress, my blog has gotten 42,585 views in those three years. But, if I were going for stats, I would go back to blogging about places to kayak or hike, or add more quotes to my blog. Looking back through the stats, here’s the list of the most popular posts I’ve done.

Title……. Views

Some favorite fishing quotes  2,306

A grand day kayaking the Grand River  1,158

Kayaking the middle leg of the Little Muskegon  725

The Mason Tract, some details 633

About Me 612

A future trip, the Les Cheneaux Islands  604

Rockport State Park, Michigan’s newest!  491

Aman Park  432

Michigan Kayaking trips  374

Confessions of a Fly Fishing Snob  370

******

The stats also tell me that I have 449 people following my blog, like I’m supposed to believe that. Most of those follows are from people who are trying to increase traffic for their own blog. Some of those people go to great lengths to track their followers, if I stop following their blog, they will begin liking and commenting on my blog again, when they haven’t since I started following theirs. A good portion of those “followers” are trying to sell me something, or to use my blog in their efforts to reach other potential customers. I don’t play that game, that’s spam as far as I’m concerned. But, I’m sure that any one reading this has the same problems, so there’s no need to prattle on any longer on that subject.

I am happy with the handful of people who really do follow and read my posts, and I follow and read a handful of blogs that interest me in one way or another.

*****

I need to thank the people who do suffer through my ramblings and take the time to leave comments. There are several who contribute to my blog in several ways, by either identifying plants or animals that I see, or by “pushing” me to become a better photographer. I know, I should give a shout out to each one of you, but I think that you know who you are, and if I did do a list, I’m sure that I would leave a few people off the list only because my memory isn’t that great. But, to all of you who do read this, a big…

THANK YOU!

*****

That reminds me, I need to go through the list of links to blogs that I follow. Many people start out blogging like a house afire, then their post taper off, to the point where they go months or years between posts. That’s a shame, some of those blogs were really good in their day. But, there’s no reason to continue linking to an inactive blog, and I have a few new links to add.

******

I know, to be a good blogger I should include a quote about the outdoors and nature in every post that I do, but I don’t. Instead, I collect them and dump them all into one post every now and then, but, I’ll throw one in here to show that I’m a real blogger.

“Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”
― Mary Oliver, Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

*****

Back to the subject of blogging, I’m surprised at the number of people who use their blog to beg for money. I guess that I shouldn’t be, maybe I should set up a Pay-pal account and begin soliciting donations myself. I could use a few extra bucks to purchase more photo gear, or to defray the cost of my travels. Heck, I could go a lot further from home if I had another source of income. 😉 Not to worry, that isn’t going to happen.

*****

Since this is a celebration of the past, I’ll throw in some oldies but goodies from the past.

Alabama Leaning Squirrel

Alabama Leaning Squirrel

First good hawk photo

First good hawk photo

Tenacious

Tenacious

Busy

Busy

The drunken raccoon waving Hi

The drunken raccoon waving Hi

Wood duck

Wood duck

Whitetail doe in snow

Whitetail doe in snow

A typical day at my old apartment

A typical day at my old apartment

Rose breasted grosbeak in flight

Rose breasted grosbeak in flight

Eastern bluebird in flight

Eastern bluebird in flight

Maybe it’s time for another quote.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover …” -Mark Twain

Rainbows in the fountain

Rainbows in the fountain

I used to be fair at capturing birds in flight, here’s a few more blasts from the past.

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Merganser in flight

Merganser in flight

Belted kingfisher in flight

Belted kingfisher in flight

Belted kingfisher in flight

Belted kingfisher in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Red-tailed hawk in flight

Killdeer in flight

Killdeer in flight

DSC_7553

Barn swallow in flight

DSC_8053

Barn swallow in flight

Killdeer in flight

Killdeer in flight

Canada Goose in flight

Canada Goose in flight

Cooper's hawk in flight

Cooper’s hawk in flight

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Male mallard in flight

Back when I started the My Photo Life List project, there were several more people who followed my blog and commented regularly. These were people whom I thought would be very supportive of my efforts, but instead, they stopped following my blog soon after I began those posts. I don’t know if it’s because I posted so often early on, or why they stopped following my blog, but I kind of miss them. I still follow their blogs and leave comments, as I still find their blogs worth the time it takes to read them. Oh well, no hard feelings.

I know that the posts that I do for that project bore some of the readers of my blog, sorry. I’m going to continue doing them anyway. I’m building something, and if you knew me in person, you’d know that I love to build things, anything. I’ve already posted 1/3 of the species on the list, and I have photos that will get me very close to half way through the project. I take great pride in that, and in the fact that I’m willing to take on that large of a challenge.

Looking back, it’s been quite a journey so far. This blog started as my journal of my fishing, hiking, kayaking, and camping trips. I started adding more photos as I went along, and since I bought my new camera and lenses this spring, the focus has been mostly on photography.

So where do I go from here? Good question, I think that I am getting a firm handle on using my new camera gear. I want to expand my horizons so to speak, by getting back into landscape photography, when I get a chance to. But, I think the emphasis will be moving away from photography, and back towards nature from now on.

I’m still planning my vacation for the first of October, and my plan is to visit the upper peninsula of Michigan when the fall foliage is at its peak for color. That’s the best time of the year to do landscape photography here in Michigan.

Other than that, this blog will continue to evolve over time, I’m sure of that.  But, at its core, it will remain much the same, what I see and do while out and about in nature.

I’ve never been one to chase stats, and that’s more true now than ever. I’ll admit that when I first started this blog, it was nice to see that there were others who read it. But, over the last three years, that has passed. I would be sad if the people who do read this regularly were to stop, but that’s happened before. More than ever, this blog will be about what captures my interest.

I’ve been toying with the idea of changing themes for my blog, moving to one that will allow me to post slightly larger versions of my photos. I’m still undecided about that, I like this theme as far as the overall look.

I’ve also considered changing to a daily post for my walks, but I doubt if I will. I know that my weekly posts get too long, but that will change with the seasons. Come the dead of winter, those posts are likely to be very short.

I hope that the best is yet to come.

That’s it for this one, thanks for stopping by!

Advertisements

28 responses

  1. I loved this post best of all so far! Some great photos and even the ‘prattling’. For what it’s worth, I would like to see your photos in a slightly larger format. The eyes aren’t as good as they used to be and I do believe larger images would do your shots more justice.

    August 6, 2013 at 3:23 am

    • Thanks, I’m still undecided about changing themes, but you can always click on any image in the current one for at least a 800 X 600 version.

      August 6, 2013 at 9:57 am

  2. Keep going, keep watching, keep walking!!! Thx for all your insightful comments on my blog & congrats on your development as a photographer and birder over the past 450 (or so) posts. 😉

    August 6, 2013 at 4:19 am

    • Thanks, I will keep watching, and thank you for your delightful blog!

      August 6, 2013 at 9:58 am

  3. I particularly liked the Kingfisher in flight. Keep it up!

    August 6, 2013 at 5:58 am

    • Thanks, I believe that I shall!

      August 6, 2013 at 10:01 am

  4. I originally started my blog to try to help gardening “newbies” but it has changed a lot since then. I’ve never worried much about stats, but I do appreciate those who visit. This blog has been one of my favorites for a while now as you know. I have to keep coming back so I don’t miss photos like the leaning squirrel and waving raccoon!

    August 6, 2013 at 6:34 am

    • Thanks, there’s one constant in this world, change. You know that I had to post some of those shots a second time, how many people have a drunken raccoon wave to them as they walk past?

      August 6, 2013 at 10:04 am

  5. Keep on prattling!And that part about wondering who is following and thinking about changing themes and direction seems to be common to all of us.

    August 6, 2013 at 7:09 am

    • Thanks Wayne!

      August 6, 2013 at 10:02 am

  6. Congratulations on going three years strong Jerry ! Incredible collection of BiF images. I am quite jealous as I’m not that good. That grosbeak one was amazing with all of it’s colors. Keep exploring..keep sharing. 🙂

    August 6, 2013 at 9:20 am

    • Thanks Emily! The only thing that the old Nikon did well was birds in flight. But, it was also that I practiced daily, as where I used to walk was about the perfect set-up for those shots. The birds were close, but not too close. I think that around 300 mm works best for BIF photos, my Sigma is too long and too heavy, the 70-200 doesn’t get close enough for the auto-focus to pick the small birds up correctly.

      August 6, 2013 at 10:08 am

  7. Congratulations with 3 years! 🙂

    August 6, 2013 at 10:17 am

    • Thank you!

      August 6, 2013 at 10:26 am

  8. Love the wood duck photo….you really managed to capture his colors. The waving raccoon is too funny. Photographing birds is quite the challenge in my opinion and requires more patience than I sometimes have. Kudos to you.
    As for adding quotes to posts to be a good blogger – news to me. I guess I did good by putting some in my sidebar…lol. May even have to add that Mark Twain quote to my sidebar.
    Looking forward to your fall MI photos. Colorado fall colors are boring in comparison to Michigan’s. Happy clicking!

    August 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    • Thanks, but most birds are fairly easy to photograph, the wood ducks are an exception. They typically stay well hidden.

      I see quotes on many of the blogs I follow, and a post of quotes is my most viewed post, so I am beginning to think that blogging is all about sharing quotes. 😉

      Our colors may be nicer, but you have mountains in Colorado, I’ll trade you!

      August 7, 2013 at 2:35 am

  9. I have really enjoyed your blog since I “discovered” you! I love that you reposted some of your past photos, these are all excellent and ones I had not gotten to see, so I really enjoyed all of them!

    Since I am so new to this blogging thing, I have found I can’t quite figure out “what I want to be when I grow up” so this has hindered me from posting more often. I worry that I have mixed too many themes and so won’t get a regular following. Some days I consider scrapping it and starting over. I guess my blog is like me – interested in too many different things and going in too many different directions!

    Keep up the great work! It’s been a real joy to read about your hikes and see all your great photos! Congratulations on sticking with it for 3 yrs!

    August 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    • Thanks. I started out with a focus, that soon dissolved. Now, I go where ever the spirit moves me. I have followed some blogs that were so narrowly focused that I soon grew tired of them, every post seemed to be the same.

      August 7, 2013 at 2:38 am

  10. Well I keep following it and why not when there are so many interesting pictures to look at at so many interesting ideas bubbling around in your head. Keep photographing and keep posting.

    August 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    • Thanks, I’ll definitely take your advice!

      August 7, 2013 at 2:39 am

  11. I like the photo of the Rose-breasted Grosbeak in flight – it’s not often you see one from an angle where you can see the pink insides of its wings.

    August 7, 2013 at 10:54 am

    • Thanks, luckily for me, he was singing as he flew, so I knew he was coming.

      August 7, 2013 at 12:31 pm

  12. Congrats on three years of a great blog! I always love reading it, even when you “prattle”. 😉

    August 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    • Thanks Jan, you should try it more often. 😉

      August 8, 2013 at 1:58 am

  13. plantsamazeme

    Obviously many people enjoy your blog. I like it partly because, for me, it is local, contains nice photos and interesting prattling, it is about things I enjoy.
    I hope you continue to blog. Thanks for all your work.
    🙂

    August 8, 2013 at 10:37 am

    • Thanks Chris! I enjoy your blog for all the same reasons, minus the prattle of course. 😉 I would continue to blog even if no one but myself read it, this is the journal that I always meant to keep but never did.

      August 8, 2013 at 11:58 am

  14. I enjoyed this, and congrats for three years! I’m coming up on one myself, and I was interested to hear your rant on all the “followers” – it took me a while to figure some of those things out. And like you say, who cares really, as long as you ave a group of people who read and comment – a community. I too appreciate Mary Oliver so much. The GBH being chased by the Canada goose – wow, that must have been fun to watch. I guess they were doing that regularly? Nice birds in flight – love the Kingfisher. Speaking of birds, I have a Pileated Woodpecker coming to suet in a hanging feeder only a foot from a glass door, and he’s getting pretty tolerant of people in the room behind the door – so exciting! When I was a kid, they were a rare sight. Hears to much more birding, making photographs, botanizing and blogging!

    August 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    • Thanks. At my old apartment, the larger birds were always chasing each other around. One day it would be geese chasing herons, the next day, the roles were reversed. Many species of birds are becoming more common, with a few diminishing in number. It’s hard to say why that is.

      August 10, 2013 at 2:44 am