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I suppose you’ve all figured out I’m crazy about numbers. Stats. Useful information. It’s kind of an obsession, as I explained to a friend this morning.
We’ve covered the top search engine terms people have used to find this blog. Now let’s look at the top blogs during the 365 day outdoor commitment. (Although, it seems to me that these top blog numbers are not really accurate. If someone logs on to a blog and simply scrolls down the page without clicking on the actual title of the blog or the comments, no “hit” is registered in the statistics of a particular blog.)
#1 is Some Like It Funny and Some Like It Serious (1,247 hits) and #3 is Repeating myself like a broken record, record, record (or CD, CD, CD) (393 hits). Those two don’t really “count” as random top blogs because these were the blogs featured on the home page of WordPress.com. The #2 top blog isn’t really a blog at all. It’s the “About” (612 hits) story which explains what this blog is about.
#4 is Fisher, Pine Marten, Bear and Moose (326 hits) which features photographs by Pam Boppel-Nankervis, a local wildlife biologist. The first photo (up above) was captured by a game camera.
#5 is The gall of that oak tree! That was the exciting day when we discovered that oak trees often grow green balls known as “galls”. Very educational…for all of us. Apparently, many, many folks are interested in oak galls. 309 hits for this one.
I am also delighted to tell you that I discovered one of the dead birds hidden within this blog! At least part of a dead bird. The above raven’s claw was featured in a post called Dead raven, deer hide, river and stones back in March. Perhaps all the people searching for “dead bird” end up on this post. It has had 284 hits.
#7 in the greatest hits series (ha ha, Barry made me use this title!) is A sucker for sucker fishing, written in May. I’m sure many fishermen have visited this post, wanting to know the secret for catching suckers. Bet they left not knowing much more than when they started. Here’s what I remember about that day: throw the fishing pole into the water and wait until the sucker bites. Then jerk the pole up and hope that the hook caught the sucker. End of my knowledge of sucker fishing. 237 hits here.
#8 An all-time favorite of blog visitors has been Let’s have a scavenger hunt! (235 hits). The idea for it popped into this brain on the way to the mailbox one day and we had a few eager participants. The rules: find some pussy willows, sumac or wintergreen, birchbark, animal scat and an animal. Photograph all five and email ’em to me. Some folks opted to put them in their own blogs. We had so much fun that Amy over at Flandrumhill decided to feature a follow-up contest. Hers was really classy and educational.
(Photo credit for above goes to Pam Boppel-Nankervis. And this was NOT from a game camera. She actually got this close to the fisher. Can you imagine?)
I hope that you don’t consider this cheating. Putting in all these old photos and doing wrap ups of the year. The statistics just beg to be included, you understand. Besides, I didn’t think you wanted yet another photo of me in that darn snowmobile suit from 1970 filling the wood room. That’s what we did again today.
Almost forgot to tell you! More excitement. The temperature leaped back up into the 20’s. Once again, we’re living in the banana belt…
OK, I think we’ve just about wrapped up the Duluth trip. Today (Tuesday) I sat in a swamp for the outdoor adventure. Perhaps I’ll find another swamp to sit in tomorrow and we’ll have a swampy blog.
**Here’s another sign for you all: REMEMBER THE SCAVENGER HUNT OVER ON FLANDRUMHILL’S BLOG!! The contest ends next Monday, July 20th. C’mon, everybody can play. All you need is a digital camera and some imagination. You can email ’em to her if you don’t have a blog. **
If you were a true Yooper (person from the U.P.) you would probably say, “Hey, yous guys, there’s a scavenger hunt over at flandrumhill’s blog!” Please click on the link to learn the exciting details. We had a scavenger hunt back in…excuse me, must go check…back in March. Those of us who participated had a marvelous time and wanted to do it again.
Amy, of flandrumhill, comes from Nova Scotia. I, for one, am looking forward to finding photos of the natural elements and emailing her or uploading into this blog. Maybe it will be one entire day’s outdoor adventure.
Before the July 20th deadline, please join in! July 20th is actually kind of an important day in my world. A birthday, as a matter of fact. So it will be kind of difficult to forget the final day the contest ends.
Speaking of gifts, I am luxuriating in a vacation from wood splitting! Chris has taken over the chore. He and Barry have split, transported and stacked at least two full truckloads. Oh, heaven. Oh, joy. It’s a delight to have him home!!
So now that I’m not splitting wood, what did I do outside today?
1) surveyed the woods from the deck this morning
2) walked lazily to the mailbox, twice.
3) weeded the garden a tiny bit.
4) stopped beside the roadside and photographed daisies just because they looked so pretty.
5) read part of a book on the deck.
6) meditated for a few minutes before becoming distracted.
7) phoned a few people (also from the deck).
8) sipped a glass of wine before dinner on the deck.
9) ate dinner…you guessed it…with Barry and the kids…on the deck.
10) well, there isn’t a 10 yet. That will probably happen post-blog. It’s 90% certain that I will head back outside to enjoy the warm 76 degree evening. It’s sooo enjoyable this time of year. Inside/outside…there’s no difference. Except for those mosquitoes. But the black flies aren’t biting, so all is well in our northern world!
This morning I thought about the upcoming six month anniversary of this outdoor commitment and blog. What an incredible six months it has been! (Well, it’s Day 166 as of today…June 21st, Solstice, shall be the six month anniversary.) It’s been one of the best years of my life.
I am so very grateful to the blog readers and commenters who have encouraged and cheered and helped me stick with it.
Here are the rules. Comment on this blog, a paragraph or two, sharing what you like about the outdoors. Your best nature experience of your life. Or this month. Or last year. Or a litle paragraph about what you saw outside today. Whatever. Share what inspires you or turns you on about opening the door, walking outside.
On the Solstice, June 21st, I will put the names of all commenters to this blog in a pot. Then Nature will decide which lucky winner will receive the contest award.
The winner can choose one of the following prizes:
Superior: Journeys on an Inland Seaby Gary McGuffin (looks like a book about our great Lake Superior)
The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photographyby the Mountain Trail Photo Team (for anyone interested in nature photography)
Deep Water Passageby Ann Linnea (I’ve read this one! A great spiritual story about kayaking around Lake Superior.)
Hands-on Nature: Information and Activities for Exploring the Environment with Children by Jennepher Lingelbach (nature activities for children)
** If the winner prefers a different nature book (for under $20) perhaps we can negotiate… 🙂
Thank you, all of you, for your readership, comments and support. It means more than you can imagine. Thank you also to Emma who helped inspire this idea.
When was the last time you took part in a Scavenger Hunt? The last “real” Scavenger Hunt I participated in occurred about 7th grade. Our science teacher brought a group of students to his home. We all received a list of items to find and return. The first team to make it back to the house with all the items won the hunt! (By the way, the teacher’s last name was Hunt, hmm, odd coincidence…)
Here’s your list.
You must go out in nature and find the following items. You can take a picture instead of bringing them to me.
1) Pussy willows (C’mon…if I can find a pussy willow, you can, too!)
2) Sumac or Wintergreen. Your choice. I have a photo of each. If there’s ABSOLUTELY no sumac or wintergreen in your area, please substitute. But don’t make it TOO easy. Find something a little surprising. Something enchanting. Something that makes your heart pitter-pat at least a tiny bit.
3) Birchbark. On the tree or lying on the ground. White or yellow. But make it birchbark and think about all the lovely and practical items one can craft from birchbark. Sing praises to the birch tree! (Scavenger hunts are really about praising what one discovers….)
4) Animal scat. Oh I’m sorry to add this to your list. But we’re talking about a Scavenger Hunt out in nature, aren’t we? So what’s abundant on the ground during the springtime after the snow melts? You got it. Scat. Please do not pick up. Photo only!
5) An animal. (OK, it doesn’t need to be the same animal connected with your scat photo.) It can be a bird. A fish. A mosquito. Just capture a photo of it while giving thanks to the animal world. Fortunately or unfortunately, in my Scavenger Hunt, the scat came from the animal posted below:
That’s it. Five items. Wasn’t too hard, was it? Now send the photos to me in a green envelope (reminding of us spring) with your return envelope and I shall send you a small prize. Because we’re all winners when we go scavenging in nature, aren’t we? Especially when we have curiosity, love and joy in our hearts! 🙂