It was four years ago, in early March 2014, that with some trepidation, I joined the blogging world. The time has flown by, and it has been a rewarding experience. Thanks to all of you readers for making it worthwhile!
I've posted over 340 times in that span. The topics as initially expected, varied widely on subjects about the natural world, with an emphasis on southwestern Ontario and especially Chatham-Kent. The most frequently read post by far, with almost 5500 views to date, has been one of several I wrote about Lyme Disease. That in itself has made this blog worthwhile in my opinion, as Lyme Disease continues to be a poorly understood thing that can affect so many people who spend time out doors, or who have pets that do. Fortunately the risks, identification and treatment options are becoming a lot better known but there are still many conflicting ideas put forth as authoritative.
The country with the most page views of my entire blog is the USA with almost half the total views. Next comes China, followed by Canada, Russia, France, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom and Ukraine. I'm not sure what this means, but I found it interesting.
As you know, I really enjoy photographing the natural world, especially if 'a picture is worth a thousand words' so that I don't have to write out as much! So far I have included more than 4200 photos. Here are some of my favourites that I have used.
Forests, although few and far between in this part of the province, are a favourite site to explore and photograph, whether it be spring wildflowers or overall landscapes.
|Clear Creek Forest Provincial Park|
|Fish Point Provincial Nature Reserve|
|Marie amongst Tuliptrees|
|Huge Tuliptree along a Skunk's Misery trail|
The sloughs of Rondeau are often worthwhile to check out. Prothonotary Warblers are endangered and declining residents in a handful of swamp settings in southwestern Ontario.
|Nodding Pogonia (Triphora trianthophora)|
Macro photography is fun.
|American Rubyspots along the Thames River|
|Boogie-woogie aphids on an American Beech|
There are lots of open spaces to choose from. Some include wetlands.
|Lake St. Clair wetland, near Mitchell's Bay|
Lake front sites give lots of opportunity for photography. The lake can be quite placid....
|Erieau looking across Rondeau Bay|
|Sunrise along Lake Erie shoreline at Erieau|
|Walpole Island First Nation|
|Sky Prairie, Missouri|
It is no secret that I like waterfalls as well. There aren't many close to home, but I enjoy seeking them out in my travels. Some favourites are:
|Hogg's Falls, along the Niagara Escarpment near Flesherton|
|Rock Glen in the conservation area near Arkona|
|Brooks Falls, north of Huntsville|
At the other extreme, in southeastern Arizona is the Sonoran Desert, with the iconic huge Saguaro Cactus dotting the arid landscape. I've been to this area half a dozen times, and can never get enough.
A typical breeding bird of southern Arizona and adjacent states is one that has shown up on two occasions in Chatham-Kent, of all places, and both times in the late fall/early winter period. The one shown below stayed around long enough to be on the Christmas Bird Count!
|Vermilion Flycatcher, just north of Wallaceburg|
I expect there will be more of the same types of blog posts. Of course none of us know exactly what the future holds for us, but my intentions are as follows:
-complete the series on Natural Areas of Chatham-Kent (there are about three more parts to go);
-tidbits highlighting my regular exploratory forays across Chatham-Kent and beyond;
Some tentative blog post topics include, in no particular order:
-How old is that tree?
-Tips on forest photography
-Will all those cute little bunnies, birds and other newly born/hatched wildlife survive to adulthood?
-Prescribed burns in Ontario: has the pendulum swung too far?
-One drink too many (I'll keep you guessing on that one!);
-Old growth forest;
-A conundrum in science;
-How an ecologist views the landscape;
-Changes in the birds of Kent County, comparing a 1940s era unpublished manuscript to today;
-Invasive species: the elephant in the room;
So stay tuned if you like! Hopefully you are getting as much enjoyment out of checking out my blog as I am in sharing it!
|Sunset over Lake Erie, taken from the ferry Pelee Islander|