Thursday, October 30, 2008

wild robins

I haven't been posting as much naturey stuff as I used to. Partly because this summer was kind of crazy and I didn't get out as much as I'd like, but also partly because I have been giving too much credence to probloggers who go on and on about how a "successful" blog post should always have photos (and bullet points, and short, snappy, googleable text, and other things I don't really care about). So I start to think that if I don't have a photo it's not worth it to make an entry. But there is something to be said for good writing, too, and a lot of apparently successful blogs, with their bullet points and SEO and stock photos, are also kind of boring. And really, I spend too much energy as it is doing what I think I "should" do, rather than what I want to do. I should be writing the kind of blog that I would want to read.

So I went out to Hartley yesterday, and came upon a flock of about twenty to forty robins, feasting on a large grove of chokecherries east of the pond and behaving like, well, like wild birds, not the half-tame yard birds of summer that I am more used to. They were hopping around the trees, making this weird clucking/barking noise I don't normally associate with robins but which I'm told is an alarm/contact call. They were skittish and wary of my presence at first, but I stood still and they eventually moved in closer, and more and more kept coming in. The robins passing through Duluth now probably summered in the fields and forests of Alaska and northern Canada. Before migrating they probably haven't had to spend much time around people or civilization, and they were instead free to be the wild, woodland thrushes that they are.


Circaea said...

I enjoy reading this sort of thing -- no need for photos or complicated formatting. :) There were naturalists a century ago who didn't have photos or bullet points, yet their books get reprinted anyway.

Circaea said...

That posted before I was done -- I wanted to add this:

You can make a priority out of following the rules, or you can write things people enjoy reading. Guess which one will make you successful in the end. :)

Sonya said...

Ah, but Thoreau and Audubon and the like weren't bloggers, were they?

But of course you're right, and thank you for your comments. I've been thinking about this issue a lot lately in regard to freelance writing. Sure, I could spend a lot of energy writing boring web content, and build up a portfolio, and get more jobs writing boring web content, but is that really what I want? Would that be any better than my retail day job? I don't think so. If I want to be a successful (and happy) writer, I should work on the kind of writing I want to do, right? "Do what you love and the money will follow"? That's the goal, anyway.

Circaea said...

Early naturalists would make terrible bloggers -- they'd be posting photos of all the birds they shot!

greentangle said...

I'm glad to read your nature posts with or without photos. I've had a great time watching robins and other birds, squirrels, and a chipmunk munching fruit in the trees across the alley from my window.

I need to write up a post on my hikes of the past couple days. Not having a digital camera or cell phone will make it easy for me to not include photos. ;-)