answering a reader’s question!
Today, I am answering Florence Callender’s question: “What inspired you to start blogging?”
That is a great question!!!! I am now an enthusiastic blogger and I enjoy sharing my artwork and photographs, but that wasn’t always the case. I remember the first time someone suggested to me that I start a blog.
“What’s a blog?” I asked.
“It’s like a diary, except it’s online!”
“That’s okay. I think I’ll skip it. I have a perfectly good diary! I don’t need to share my private thoughts with the entire world!!!”
But then, in 2006, I changed my mind. I decided that I could tell stories about the world around me and that having a blog could be a good thing. I started out by just writing stories, as I didn’t know how to upload photographs. I didn’t have a digital camera at the time, so that made photography upload even more difficult.
This is the first blog post that I write, in May of 2006. I can definitely share it again because I posted it seventeen years ago. Also, only about five people read it because, at the time, I didn’t know how to advertise my blog posts!
“Two days ago, I walked through Buckhorn Island State Park, at the northern tip of Grand Island, N.Y. The park is now full of sound and color. The flowering bushes are covered in pinks, yellows, and a variety of other colors. The bird songs come from high in the sky, from the ground, and from the water. Young green cattails are growing tall, amidst the dried out cattails of last season. Tiny bunches of grapes are starting to form on the vines that are intertwined with trees and fences. The grapes grow wild there and are full of seeds and sweetness.
“At the end of the path, a small piece of land that juts out into the Niagara River, the birds congregate in large numbers. They are mostly seagulls and geese although a few blue herons can be spotted in the group. The seagulls take off in groups and fly in circles over the park and nearby Navy Island, which belongs, in title, to Canada, and, in reality, to the birds. The seagulls’ screams fill the air, mingling with the honking of the geese. The geese all have families now. The two adult geese and the group of goslings swim in tight clutches, near the shores.
It is because of these birds and the songbirds that call out their melodious messages from the tops of the tall trees that Buckhorn Island State Park has been designated an Important Bird Area and a Wildlife Sanctuary. It is also a restored wetland. Much life teems in the park’s waters. Occasionally, a small snake can be seen slithering across the path. Once, I found a snake sitting in the middle of the trail. I bent down to take a closer look. It permitted me to take its picture before it slid into the woods.
“A snake that poses for the camera was a new experience for me!”
Today, Buckhorn Island State Park is a less colorful place because so many of its ash trees have died. The emerald ash borer was first spotted on Grand Island in 2014 and, today, nine years later, the sad results can be seen. Nearly all of the ash trees are dead, killed by the invasive insect in its larval state, which destroys the trees’ circulatory system by burrowing under the bark and eating the trees’ phloem and xylem. In its adult phase, emerald ash borers are harmless.
Like everywhere else on Grand Island, Buckhorn Island State Park is in need of a massive tree planting project. Trees are such an important part of our ecosystem, and with more trees, we can get back to the healthy environment that I described in my very first blog post.
I now see blogging as less of a personal diary and more as a way to document the world around me.
Thank you so much for asking, Florence!