Friday, January 22, 2010

I remember the year of the great gray owl...

...and perhaps the greatest thing that came of it.

Five years ago we were in the midst of a northern owl irruption that I may never see the likes of again. Great gray owls were everywhere. Sometimes it was difficult to drive on the roads without hitting one; I never did, but I did pick up one or two unfortunate ones and brought them to the local wildlife office. I looked forward to my 30 mile commute, eager to see just how many owls I could count without really trying.

I was sort of in a sleepy mode in need of awakening back then. We had lived here just over two years, and were just coming off being very close to moving away in what I understand now would have been the mistake of our lives. God acts in strange and mysterious ways, and there had to be a God to have orchestrated that in the twisted way it turned out for the better. Maybe someday I'll be ready to tell that story. Or not. All that matters is that we are still here.

But for now, it was the year of the great gray owl, and I was feeling kind of lonely and isolated, and I somehow found out about blogging. "Cool", I thought, and signed on and started one up. I had to think a bit about the name; what to call this crazy journey I was now about to document to the world? Out of the blue it came to me: Sand Creek Almanac. A nod to Aldo Leopold, and a recognition of one of the important natural features on our land. Well, not so natural in that it was ditched straight as an arrow about 90 years ago, but maybe I will do something to fix that some day.

I did not expect much at first. I did not even own a digital camera then, so no day to day photographic owl updates. I was writing, and with that I found an important outlet I had been missing. Then I got my first comment. I think it was from Dan of Through the Woods (formerly A Payne Hollow Visit). Wow, I thought, people anywhere can find what I write, and some even are moved enough to share a few words with me?

So it's just kept on growing from there. I know there are some that think blogging is dead since Facebook and Twitter took over, but I still think there is a place for each kind of social media. For the record, I enjoy Facebook in moderation, but it can never replace the depth of what I want to write here.

My fifth "blogoversary" was yesterday; I don't know how I missed it! I feel as if I've been no less than reborn by blogging. I'm not being sentimental, I really think blogging has taught a social recluse like me how to connect with people. I have met a few new friends in person, and consider many more as true friends. I enjoy the day to day exchange through comments, and I have learned so much from all of your blogs. So a toast to five years at Sand Creek, may there be many more, and may I always awake to find new posts from my blogging friends!

16 comments:

Madcap said...

Cheers!

I'm so glad you keep blogging. It's always a pleasure to see that you've updated.

Here's to another 5 years... at least!

No, really, the verification word is BLESS!

Clare said...

Congratulations. Five years a great length of time in blog years. I always enjoy reading about your corner of the world, and your place(s) in it. Here's to many more years.

Sue said...

Happy blogiversary! I always enjoy reading what you write.

cindy said...

Congratulations, Deb!!! That is quite an accomplishment. Go back and read some of your first ones. I know, we all change in 5 years, but you have grown. Grown more as a mother, as a wife, as a birder, as a thinker, as an observer of life, as a runner, as a musician, as a writer. Not all of us can say that. It shows in your writing style and substance. A toast to you! P.S. I do not Facebook or twitter. So please don't stop blogging.

Pablo said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. In blogging years your achievement is close to 100 years.

I'm grateful that you found this outlet. I never tire of reading your informed accounts about the wilderness up north or your wacky kids or even the hints you give of the Hermit.

(I suspect that move you did not make was not to Missouri because that could never have been a mistake.)

Jayne said...

Wow Deb... FIVE years! Congratulations to you my friend. I too, have been saddened in a way by how much Facebook and the likes have sort of made blogging seem out of vogue, but I just don't feel the need to be plugged in so instantaneously. I like the time spent blogging and how it helps me to express myself. I've so enjoyed getting to "know" people like you, without having to worry about who will "friend" me or whatnot. Blessings to you on your continued journey of the Sand Creek Almanac.

Kathie said...

Happy Blogiversary! I think I've probably been reading your words for close to those 5 years and how blessed it makes me. Thanks for sharing your world.

cherylhotton said...

Deb I found your blog through a search for harvesting some kind of seed , I forget what kind it was now . Yours was the first blog I had ever read and I was hooked . This was 3 years ago and I have a blog list that I read every day , thanks to you . Congratulations on five years and I hope to many more to come !

Floridacracker said...

Congrats! We both kind of dived in at the same time! I always love coming here and will continue to do so as long as there is a Sand Creek.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Deb, I'm so glad I found my way here. I think it was through Laura at Somewhere in NJ. I'm also proud that I can say that you're not just a blogger friend but a real life, face to face friend! I've really enjoyed your writing, your humor and your generosity.
Congrats friend!!

webb said...

Ditto everyone. I found you only a few months ago, but can't wait to see the spring in your valley. Happy Blogaversary.

Deb said...

Madcap- I look forward to your updates too. Bless is good!!

Clare- Were it not for your blog, I would not realize what wonderful life exists in Arctic Bay. Cheers.

Sue- Thank you so much!

Cindy- I know I have changed a lot in the last 5 years, and this blog has helped me in so many ways. Thank you for reading!

Pablo- I enjoy your accounts of your family, your dogs, and your little bit of heaven in the Ozarks.

A crowded subdivision in Sacramento...no way. ;)

Jayne- Thank you, and I have been truly blessed getting to know you through your wonderfully written blog. A toast to blogging!!!

Kathie- I still read your blog every day, and I am amazed at your determination to live the simple, self sufficient life, and to share your knowledge with others.

Cheryl Hotton- I am proud to have been your entry to the world of blogging! I am so glad we are blogging and FB friends.

FC- What can I say, you are one of my first blogging friends and I am always amazed at the connections this Minnesota gal could have with your world: St. Augustine, shrimping on the St. Johns River, etc. I will always enjoy Pure Florida! Happy birthday, by the way!

Lynne- I have been so blessed by your friendship. Our birding adventures, and hanging out at Hasty Brook, have been so fun!!! Although I am hoping some of your birding karma rubs off on me. Varied Thrush, Screech Owl...you lucky gal!

Deb said...

webb- Hello! Nice to meet you! :)

Kate said...

It is weird the way that things can turn out for the best.

I live in an urban environment, :( but we're close to a large park so even here we can hear boobok owls at night sometimes. These owls cope with living in town if there are trees and food.

Owlman said...

CONGRATS on your 5 years! I hope to see a Great Gray one of these days...

RuthieJ said...

Happy Blogoverary Deb! I remember the great gray owl irruption too -- mainly because that was the first time I saw the "Birdchick" on TV. I went to her website and read her "manifesto" and throught my myself, "Wow, it's nice to know there are other people who feel the same way about birds that I do!" Then I started reading her blog and the blogs of other people and then I started my own blog and met you and Lynne through blogging. Wow, it has been a strange and wonderful journey though, hasn't it?