Friday, February 11, 2011

woodland strawberry ~ 02/11/11 ~ Jacks Peak

I never noticed the proliferation of strawberries at Jacks Peak before. It helps that these bright white flowers caught my eyes. I certainly have never seen the fruit there. I don't know if they get eaten by animals, collected by humans considering it's a popular public park, or rarely produce fruit since it's so shady.

As I was looking for more information, just to learn something new since I've never bothered to look up strawberries before, I was surprised to find there's a second Calflora site out there. The one I use most often, highly recommend, and link to in most of my plant scientific names is The second one is, which is the personal site of Michael L. Charter and is based out of Southern California. Other than being a little irritated at the similarity of names, (don't know which came first as they both started in 2005), I'm highly impressed by Michael's elaborate website. Can you imagine the time it took him to create that sucker?!?

So, this got me wondering this morning (posted 02/17/11)... what the heck am I doing with this blog? And, why? It started out innocent enough as a casual "I want to learn about the things I see on my hikes." Now, first thing almost every morning (well, after a bathroom visit and a huge cup of tea), while my husband gets his beauty rest, I quietly work on Nature ID. Plus, with any free pockets of time, I'll update or add more posts, many of them backdated far enough that most followers won't even see them. I'll admit to being a bit obsessive. I'm already at 413 labels and 583 posts and I have yet to reach my 2 year blog anniversary (in May). The label lists along the right side of this blog are becoming unwieldy and extraordinarily lengthy (all that scrolling is probably why my wireless mouse eats through so many batteries). At a certain point, I imagine Google's Blogger will complain with site crashes or start charging for hosting. I don't know where this is going or how I want my blog to be in another year. I watch as several other bloggers stop adding new posts or close their accounts entirely and I suspect they simply got burned out - I still really miss Steve Wilson's Blue Jay Barrens blog. However, I do know what I do not want. I do not want to sell anything and am very proud that this is an ad-free blog. And, I do not want to "network" or show off my abysmal nature knowledge - in other words, there's something really freeing in not being the expert and being totally comfortable in saying, "I don't know." I'm relatively anti-social, hence why I like hiking to get away from people and into nature. I'm not on facebook anymore and generally refuse to join nature groups, clubs, and societies. Although, I have met some very nice people online with similar interests. My questions about the future of Nature ID remain unanswered for now.

With that said, I'd love to hear from fellow bloggers on why you blog.


texwisgirl said...

I started mine last April as a way to share my life with friends, family and former co-workers who were used to me showing photos of my pets and life. But after a few months, I discovered the cross-blogging community and now enjoy sharing tidbits of my scenery, pets, varmints, nature with folks I've never met across the country and around the world. And in return, I get to see glimpses of their lives, wildlife, pets, homes. I am relatively anti-social too, prefering to be home than anywhere else in the world. But by blogging and following others I get to know wonderful folks I'll never meet, but have come to care about. Life is meant to be shared, and I find joy in this.

Orchids and Nature said...

I know exactly how you feel about blogging, I feel that it is a bit self indulgent at times, but what the heck people do read our blogs and at times pass on very usful information, so please carry on blogging.
The bluebells and Pink Purslane do flower at the same time, if you look carefully at my last blog you'll see them growing together in the 2 photos of the Purslane in the woods in S.W. Scotland.
p.p.s We love picking and eating the Wild Stawberries when we're out walking.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I'd be sad if you gave up your blog. I blog mostly because I have a brain like a sieve. I think I remember things perfectly, but when I write them down, I realize I mis-remember things most of the time! I was never good at keeping a pencil and paper journal, I found it too boring. I love to photograph (thank goodness for digital cameras, developing film was expensive), but I never really had anywhere to put the photos. Invariably they'd end up lost and forgotten. I blog because it satisfies the itch to be creative once in a while. I blog because it makes me look things up that I otherwise might not bother too. I blog because when we finally get this place ship-shape years down the road, I want to recall more accurately where we started from. I blog because like you I'm excited about nature and like to share some of the treasures I find here. Most importantly I blog so I can keep a log of what we've grown, what worked, what didn't, so that maybe I won't make the same mistake and plant that spinach that tanked the year before ;) Most importantly I blog because I want to, and because it's fun. I hope you keep blogging, I love stopping by here!

Jim Johnson said...

Hi Katie. I guess my biggest motivation for blogging is to share. Odonates seem to receive relatively little attention (even though they are the coolest!) compared with some other groups and I want other people to understand them better. I also learn more in the process.

I consider myself kind of anti-social too, so this is a way of being social that is still within my comfort zone, and it's a creative outlet. I've met a bunch of interesting people since I started just a few months ago. I do especially like to share my photography and blogging is a good way to do that.

I guess my advice is to keep going as long as you enjoy it. That's what really counts. If you reach a point where it seems like a chore and you're not getting the satisfaction out of it that you used to, then maybe it's time to find something else. Otherwise, keep going! You don't have to know where it's going--things like this tend to evolve on their own.

Anonymous said...

Re strawberries: I have some kind of native beach or woodland one I put in years ago - it actually looks just like this one - and it is incredibly healthy but never fruits.

Anonymous said...

re: why I blog.
I have two blogs. northleftcoastblog I started when we were getting ready to move from the big city to a small town in a rural county as a place to record impressions of ... whatever... city vs. rural initially, then changing seasons, garden, etc. I do it for myself with no pressure for any frequency and many of my out of town friends like to read it tho they rarely comment - more likely to address a post via email or phone call.
My zanshinart blog I started as a place to explore connections between martial and visual arts and at various times it is more one or the other. It is a place for working out my thoughts as opposed to the longer column to which I contribute really finished pieces on aikiweb.

troutbirder said...

The wild strawberries are so much more tasty than store bought. And so small you have to pick a lot to just get a cupful.
My blogging started as a way to show my far away son what his Dad was doing. And then it mushroomed in fun, new friends and a nature world amazing. :)

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Um, wow! Thanks, everyone, for sharing your thoughts. Like, David says, I feel a bit self-indulgent at times. I do enjoy creating Nature ID and it provides a focus during my hikes (instead of letting my mind wander and worry about things which I'm wont to do), but I'm struggling to find the time and balance with other things in my life. And as Jim says, the comfort zone of socialness is a huge factor for me.

camissonia said...

Keep on blogging, Katie! I started blogging to, in a way, have a dialogue with myself - kind of like thinking out loud through an online diary of haphazard experiences and photographic images. If others relate, then along the way you can develop some great connections with a community of like-minded individuals. You clearly have a love of nature and I really enjoy your posts about our native treasures here in California.