Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Michigan Audubon Society said what?

cute chickadee

When I walked into the house the other day, I thought my husband was playing a joke on me.

Greg: The Michigan Audubon Society called.
Me: Oh, do they want me to renew my membership?
Greg: No, they want you to speak at their annual conference.
Me: Quit playing around, what did they want?
Greg: No seriously!! They've been reading your blog and want you to speak about it.

Me: You're not very funny. What did they really say?
Greg: Here's the number, call!

Needless to say, he wasn't kidding and I am extremely honored. (Also embarrassed, they must think I'm obsessed with Mourning Doves and poop. ) So on March 7th at the Kellog Center in East Lansing, Michigan - I am going to be speaking about blogging and birding - two of my favorite things!! Here's where you come in, my dear bloggy friends. (Do you like how I kiss up to you before I ask you for something?)

I know why I blog. I wanted a place to connect with people with similar interests, expand my learning and promote the importance of wildlife and nature. But I need your help and would like your input!

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What have you gained from it?
  3. For some of my older crowd - what difficulties did you first find when you started blogging? How did you overcome it?

Thank you in advance for your input!


Anonymous said...

Congratulations. The crowds on the beaches are watching you surf the waves and apparently they like what they see. Looks like the blogging wave is about to get even bigger.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow Shell---what an honor. I'm SO proud of you... You'll do great. Just talk from the heart. I'll email you with the answers to your questions.

WOW---that's just GREAT.
Hugs to my celebrity friend.

Leedra said...

Isn't that great. We bloggers have obsessed with blogging and will talk about it to anybody that will listen. Do they realize that?

Leedra said...

By the way, you have such humor I am sure you will do great. Love the Bob joke here, LOL, right here by myself.

I sent you an email with my answers, it turned out to be a book in itself. Sorry.

gina said...

how exciting!! congratulations!! i've only been following your blog for a short time but i enjoy your photos and knowledge about our little fine feathered friends. i know you'll do a wonderful job!

KathyB. said...

I did a post on 'Why I Blog' in July 29, 2008 if you want to check it out. Beautiful photography in your blog. We get so many amazing birds here at our feeders and around our pond. I wish I had the camera required to easily get good pictures of them.Sometimes,according to the bird books, the birds should not even be here!

Jayne said...

What an honor Shelley! Wish we all lived closer and we'd be in your audience!

wendy said...

Oh my word! That's wonderful! I am so proud of you, my sister! Are you nervous?

1. I started blogging because I have so many family and friends all over the states, and it got hard emailing everyone!

2. I have gained soooo many new friends! and I truly consider my "blogger friends" as friends!

3. I actually found it very easy! I told my Mom who lives in TN that the next time I come down I will get one started for her! I think she would enjoy it.

Congratulations Shelley!

Kallen305 said...

Wow! What an honor. I agree you are going to do a fantastic job because you are so passionate on the subject.

I blog for a couple of reasons. One, I like to have a system of record for my photos and words. Two, I want to share my experiences with others, three, it's plain fun and gives me a chance to meet others with similar interests.

I have gained a lot from the experience. Most importantly is knowledge. I learn from my own posts and others. It has made me more aware of my surroundings and non human things in my every day environment. Mostly, I have gained a vast network of people I call friends who share the same passion for wild life as I do.

Jessica said...

Oh how exciting!! I'm going to see if I can come and see your talk!! Maybe my hubby would make a day trip of it with me. I'll email you too.

Gardener's Garden said...

Shelley I blog simply to have a connection with people who share my interests. I especially enjoy yours because of the humor!

HANNIBAL said...

Hi Shelley,

I got started blogging, because my friends were always asking me to email them my newest finds. That became tedious. A blogger friend told me to start a blog of my own instead of emailing, and so hannibals animals was born. Since then, I have met wonderful photographers and have learned so much, especially perspective and cropping. Learning about my subjects for content made it even better. There isn't a week that goes by, that I don't learn something new, whether it is about my captures or other bloggers finds. It's a great outlet for me to share my passion.

Congrats on your conference, you will do great!

Eve said...

Shelley this is just great!! Be prepared...this could snowball! I filled in and did a winter bird feeding presentation for a friend who was ill and I was referred a number of other places. I'd never done a presentation in my life, but it was fun and you will enjoy it.
Why do I blog? I sort of just fell into it but I was inspired by 2 blogs and thought I could do this too.
What I have gained? Knowledge! Friends! Experiences. As far as birding, the possibilities are endless. Especially if you are a traveler you can meet up with an amazing bunch of enthusiasts! Ask Lynne from Hasty Brook!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Congatulations on your assignment.
Why do I blog?I love taking pictures and wanted to share them with others.Also I want to show the beauty of God's creation in this way.
What have I gained?Many friends.and a fresh appreciation for nature.

hillgrandmom said...

Congratulations Shelley! That is really wonderful. So glad to see that your truly amazing pictures have gotten the credit they deserve!!

Lynne said...

I started blogging to keep a journal of what I saw, heard and felt about Hasty Brook as I dicovered just what we had there. I the process I've found so many like-minded people out there that share my feelings. Since I started my blog I've been so fortunate to actually meet several of the bloggers- it's been just amazing to spend time and actually speak with th people I've come to know. I've gained a confidence in my birding skills, I've expanded my knowledge about the natural world and most importantly- I've gained many wonderful friends.

Congratulations Shelly!

Oh- and BTW- just how do you define "OLDER?"

fishing guy said...

Shelley: What an honor; I wish you the best and just remember they asked you because you have a great site.
I will write you on the questions.

NCmountainwoman said...


I started my blog when we retired and moved in order to share pictures with my son and daughter. Then, like Topsy, it "just growed."

I have gained a new insight into how I view the "ordinary" things in life and nature. More importantly, I have "met" so many new friends...friends I would feel comfortable inviting to visit my home. It is amazing how you get to know another person through his or her writing and shared interests.

Regardless of how you define "older" I suspect I meet the criteria. I didn't have any problem at all, perhaps because I had rather extensive computer expertise. I think my biggest problem is that of other bloggers, older and younger. That is, "is this really interesting to anyone except me?"

fishing guy said...

Shelley: I didn't realize I didn't have an E-mail for you. Here are my thoughts.

1. I blog to share my photos with people who are interested in similar subjects. I'm into nature and like sites that are into similar pursuits. It has made me a better photographer and has allowed me to see a lot of great photos at the other sites.

2.I have gained friends and it has given me a connection with the world.

3. I had a fear of rejection in what I shared. The rejection never happened and my site slowly changed to a photographic site and I found joy in sharing and knowing people enjoyed my work. I had to learn a lot of the nuisances of blogging but people are willing to help you. I am now able to help others and do that quite often whether it be internet or photo relate

Mary said...

Congratulations! What an honor! I started to blog with the idea of sharing photos with family and friends, but quickly learned that there are a lot of people out there with similar interests who became my new friends and who I now share knowledge and photos with. I've learned about other parts of my own country and also other countries. I've seen outstanding photography and all for free! I have more in common with my blogging friends than my local friends :-) It is great to me to see so many people who care about the world of nature and who try to protect their little bit of it. I've always been intersted in the environment and nature and now I have hope that there are small groups everywhere who feel the same way. I see such love of nature in the photos they take and the words they write. It's a wonderful community to belong to. I've learned so many new things and in such a wonderfully pleasant way.

Shellmo said...

To all: I realize some of you don't have my email. It is shelleyupnorth at gmail dot com. (have to stop those spammers!) You are all so kind to help me! (P.S. Leedra - I didn't get your email so wasn't sure if you had this.)

T and S said...

WOW...Congratulation Shelley. I totally agree with Betsy, let you heart do the talking.

Only one suggestion from my end.

Keep a list of key messages that you would like to cover and check once in a while so that you don't missed out on them...Thomas

NCmountainwoman said...

When I went to your Log Cabin blog, my anti-virus program warned me it was a "dangerous site" and advised me to close the browser immediately. I have PC-cillin.

Just wanted to let you know there might be a problem. Or it could be my software.

Sharon said...

Congratulations! Isn't that a great honor. You know, one day I was having a conversation with a friend, we just never know who is reading our blog.

Congrats and God Bless!

Naturegirl said...

Congratulations dear Shelly!
Your blog reflects what's in your heart and The images that you post are ones which stopped you in your tracks and we are so lucky that you share them with us.
All the information that you include is very helpful because some don't or can't identify birds.
It encourages people to take a second look at Nature and wild birds if they've not in the past.

My blog is my place of respite..a place to come and sit and not have the burdens that weigh me down at times..like right now as you have read on my blog.
I post images of what makes my heart sing..like Nature images and in turn I am blessed in meeting many like minded folks return and make comments so I then can visit their blogs..like YOU! A unique friendship is made and it is heartwarming for me personally.I learn and gain lots more that I ever imagined possible..blogging is an activity I would miss very much if I had to stop.
As you have read in my blog recently I reached out to the community of bloggers and they have returned with encouragement during this stressful time for me.

I've NOT had difficuties since I began blogging.

You go get em Shelly..speak up for the birding bloggers! sending hugs and inspiration aNNa xo

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

They made a great choice, and none of us are surprised except you! Congratulations!

I started blogging because it was requested by my employer that we each start a blog for the company's website (I work for a TV station, and they wanted to boost web traffic). It became a great way to enjoy a hobby at work, and it was fun to share my photos with others. I really enjoy the community aspect of blogging and having an audience to write for. Basically, it's fun! Others enjoy your efforts and leave encouraging messages; then you do the same. It's neat how you can build friendships and find a common bond with others around the world! Plus, how else could I have learned about Zingerman's cranberry pecan bread? :-)

Shellmo said...

Natural Moments - I do enjoy blogging so much - especially on my birding and my northern mich blogs and connecting w/ others that love nature & wildlife as much as me!

Betsy - Thank you so much!! Do you think the chickadees will like me more?? ha,ha! :)

Leedra - Well said that we will talk to anyone who listens! I might have to clean up my bird humor so to speak....ha,ha!

Gina - you are very nice, thank you!

Kathy B- thank you, I will go ck out your blog post!

jayne I would love to have all of you there!!

wendy - I think that's great that you're going to help your mom start one!

Kallen - good point on the network of friends that we are able to develop here! You're definitely one of mine! :)

Jessica - oh how I would love that! Hope you're not teasing me!!

Gardener - glad you think I'm funny! I think I may be too corny!

Hannibal - I love your animals! your blog is an inspiration!

Eve - how fun that you were able to do those presentations! It is my hope I get to meet some of my birdy blogger friends!!

Ruth - Just looking into nature is proof of god's existence in my opinion! :)

Hillgrandmom - thank you so much!

Lynne - I am envious that you got meet so many birdy bloggers! Oh, and I define older as 75+. (Is that politically correct? ha,ha)

Fishing guy - it is wonderful how many people are out there to help w/ blogging tips. Thank you for your response!!

NC - I ask myself that same question! :)

Mary - it's always so nice to connect w/ people who are passionate about our environment! Thank you for your input too - appreciate it!!

Thomas - excellent advice - thank you!

Sharon - you are so right about never knowing who's reading your blog. Sometimes it turns into such a nice surprise!

Naturegirl - you certainly speak to my heart. nature is my passion and I am so glad to have found your blog - and I like your words about it being a place of respite.

Dave - that bread is the best!!! ha,ha,ha!

Wild Birds Unlimited said...

Good for you! It seems like it would be natural to place the highest value on the things we are in contact with every day (local places, backyard birds and animals) but often the reverse is true. We appear to place higher value on rare animals and far away places. I like that your blog appreciates things that sometimes people might overlook or take for granted.

We've owned 2 Wild Birds Unlimited stores for over 5 years. You'd be surprised by how many people want to know why birds feed don't freeze or why do geese fly in a V formation. I blog to answer peoples questions and my own curiosity.

RuthieJ said...

Wow Shelley--that's so cool!!

I was inspired to start a blog after reading Julie Zickefoose's blog. I thought it would be a fun way for my family to keep tabs on what was going on at my place (since I'm not very good a telephoning). Then I got a digital camera and then I got high-speed internet. It's been a free-fall ever since!

The most rewarding thing for me has been to meet people (virtually AND personally) who share the same love of birds and nature that I do--it's nice to know I'm NOT a freak!! (Since I'm not acquainted with very many people who are as obsessed with birds and nature as I am, the blog is a perfect place to share the obsession -- oh yeah, and the same goes for my knitting obsession too!)
Are you going to get someone to video your presentation and post it on YouTube so we can all watch it?

Elise said...

That is so exciting and congratulations! On to your questions:

I started blogging because I found it to be a creative venue for self expression.

I have gained new friends, new knowledge and new ideas.

As for the difficulties, I am fortunate to have my own tech support. My son has been doing web design for many years. Every technical difficulty has a solution, thanks to Ben, and results in new knowlege for me.
- Pigeon

Elise said...

That is so exciting! Congratulations!
On to your quetions:

I blog because I have found it to be a creative venue for self expression.

I have gained new friends, knowledge and ideas.

I have been lucky because I have a web designer son who helps me with all my techincal difficulties. Every problem I have he fixes and I learn from each one.

I hope this helps- Pigeon

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Shelly! I am so happy for you! I just sort of fell into blogging by accident. I do it because I have met so many wonderful people in blog land. I am older, but have experienced little, if any difficulties. I design my own headers and put together my blog myself with the help of blogger and a backgroud design co. I hope that helps. I'm so proud of you.

Stacey Huston said...

Wow Shell that is quite the honor, and well deserved.. so cool.
to answer your questions.
Why did I start blogging...
Family and friends told me I really needed to do something with my pictures and when I found out about blogging I realized it was a great and free way to share.
What I have gained.. well I have gained friendships that for me would have never been possible without blogger.. A wonderful and very unexpected surprise.. I have been touched by peoples honesty and kindness, blogging has taught me how to accept compliments I have never been good at that, and through the people in blogger world I have learned how to better show my gratitude.. I never thought that blogging on the internet with "vertual" strangers would help me when dealing with those I love, but it has.. Now for the difficulties..Sometimes blogging and family time conflicts with eachother, but naturally family time comes first.. hope this helps at least a little..
I am so happy for you Shell.. congrats again.

Mary C said...

Congratulations, Shelley! What an honor. You will do well, I'm sure. As for blogging, I first heard about it from other librarians (I'm a librarian, too). And out of curiosity I started reading others' blogs and got inspired to start one of my own. I realized this was a good way to share my photos of flora and fauna from where I live and travel. And meanwhile I have met many others who share the same/similar interests as I have. And it's been fun getting to know others who share the same interests via the internet; in a way it's a virtual way of corresponding as "pen" pals.

MuseSwings said...

Congratulations! What an exciting opportunity for you and Bob the Mourning Dove.
As for your questions:
1 I saw an interview with a blogger on a news program. I did a search on "how to blog", blogspot popped up and all of a sudden, there I was blogging away.

2 I love the interaction, the freedom of expression, and I was inspired to continue when all of a sudden other bloggers visited and left comments.

3 Age is not a factor - humor, art and the beauty of nature are all ageless. I am on the outside edge of the blogging age bracket but I am not made to feel my age here nor do I in real life.

Rambling Woods said...

What an honor...Your blog is about to get even more busy..I blog because as I write it, it helps me to remember what I've seen..

Sandy said...

wOW that is great!! What an honor.

I'll have to think about those questions. I stumbled into blogging somehow, can't remember..and can't remember if I like it or not!

But I'll let you know when I remember, really.

But wow, how cool they have been reading your blog and want you to speak.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on being chosen to speak. You will do a great job. I am also flattered to be asked about me blogging...

1. I began writing a blog a long time ago (2005) when ModBlog was big. After them I went to EFX2 and blogged and now I am at Blogspot or Blogger. I started because it is a way to learn if what I do is appreciated or not. I find it very helpful in my photography and also in my writing. I do it now to find as much possible about the birds in my backyard.

2. I have made many hundreds of new friends all over the world. I have not met any of them in person but I count them as my best Internet friends. I have also learned a lot more about birds and now use places like Cornell as a source of information for me about the birds in my backyard.

3. I big problem was that I had to learn all about the computers and blogging and the Internet. It takes some time and then when I learned those things I wanted to learn all I could about HTML so I could come up with new layouts and designs. But most of all I didn't know as much as I thought I knew about birds. I had to spend a lot of time looking in reference materials for bird information.

I still have my old blogs but now I have two new ones. I am experimenting with layouts on these. So far I do like the new layouts a lot.

Abe Lincoln Blogs
Abraham Lincoln's Blog </a

Knatolee said...

I knew it was only a matter of time before you were "discovered." Congrats!

I blog because I want to become famous, like you! KIDDINg! I blog because I love to write and take photos, and it's great to have an audience and feedback. It's fun sharing parts of my life with the world at large.

Good luck with the talk, Shelley!

Shellmo said...

Wildbirds - thank you so much for your comments! And I'm quite envious that you own 2 stores and that you are able to help people directly with their birds - I think that would be a great business to have! :-)

Ruthie - you made me laugh w/ the "freak" part! I had a former work colleague ask me "are you one of those bird nerds?!" ha,ha - yes I am! I'm not sure about the taping - I'll ask - but what if I stink? :)

Elise - thank you for your input! And that's great that you have your son to help you!

Charli - thank you for answering! And I think your blog looks so nice - kudos to you!!

Stacy - thank you for your input too! I find your photos to be an inspiration. You are right about balancing family time - I have recently begin to become a little better at that! :)

Mary C- I think it's great how you became interested in it and you provide such great information with your photos on your blog!

Muse - I appreciate your 25 year old opinion (wink, wink!) Do you think I should bring Bob? ha,ha!!

Rambling - you made a good point about the blog helping you remember what you've seen. I like the documenting process.

Sandy - lol!! Get back to me when you remember!

Abe - you are an old pro at blogging! And I found you to be an excellent resource on birds - thank you for sharing!!!

Knatolee - but I'm not as famous as your kitty Naomi!! ha,ha!!!

Daisy said...

WOW, WOW, WOW, WOW!!! How cool is that?! Congratulations on being asked to speak, Shelley! That is such an honor! How exciting!

I blog mostly because I really need a creative outlet. Very simply, I enjoy writing and creating. I also enjoy having people interested in reading what I write. Blogging has brought me many new friends as well which is absolutely wonderful. As far as the technical stuff goes, I'm still learning, but I have also learned a lot in the past few months. It is an ongoing process that I enjoy.

Deborah Godin said...

It's just terrific that your skill and enthusiasm has been recognized!! Looking forreward to hearing about it!

Jenny said...

Hi Shelley
First of I'll add my congrats to all the rest! (-:

I started a blog mainly to share my thoughts and photos with friends and family. Then Eve from Sunnysideup 'found' me somehow and it has all snowballed from there to.....
What have I gained? Well, some really great friends from all over the world who share my love and curiousity about nature. This was something I didn't anticipate and am now so thankful for!
I wish I could pop over the atlantic to see your talk, but I'll just have to wish you all the luck in the world instead. (-:

John said...

I guess I'm late to the party, but congratulations on the invitation!

1. I blog because I have things to say. I started because I wanted to elaborate more on my sightings reports, but I didn't want to fill up a local listserv with my ramblings.

2. I have gained contacts with a lot of people I wouldn't know otherwise. I also learned a lot more about birds, their biology, and ecology generally through researching posts.

3. I don't fit in your demographic for this question, but I had to learn more about web design and development to customize my blog.

nina said...

I started blogging never realizing how it would change my life.
Always a nature lover, but never really connected to others, I work in a job having nothing to do with that.

So, as I became aware of the many out there with a shared interest, suddenly, the love I had that felt so misunderstood by all those around me became common ground.
The friendships that have evolved as a result are very real.

I would say I feel closer and know my blogging buddies better than some I have worked with in person for years.

It's become quite a big part of my life.
And has generated a lot of positive feelings.

dAwN said...

HI Shelley,
Congrats to you! Let us know how the speech goes..or maybe even video it or give us the written words here..

Seven Years ago when we started fulltime motorhoming I sent out emails of our travel adventures.
It was a great way for family and friends to check in on what we were up to..
A few years ago when Internet became faster ...I started blogging..
I could now embed video so my family could actually see me and where I was while we were far away from them.

Only recently when I started sky watch did i start to check out all the great nature blogs out there..
i now have a long birdie blogroll
and nature blogroll.

So Keep on Bloggin...

Denise said...

Well Congrats! A speech on my birthday! You go girl!

I blog because everyone should see and feel and visit a place so perfect, a quiet solitude. A taste of pure heaven. Although, I cannot express those moments when I am standing in my kitchen watching our loons fish or the mink scamper across the front lawn while I drink a hot cup of coffee or paint my old creaky screen door. There is no expression that will capture that. I blog, to try and recreate those moments.

Bird Girl said...

First of all Shelley - I have to say that chickadee picture is outstanding! I see the little twinkle in its eye!

Why do I blog?

Though I have made many wonderful friends I have to say my blogging is for ME. I wanted to have a nature journal so that I could remember all that I see and do. And it is quite amazing to look back from the beginning (2 years now) and see how much I have forgotten! I print out my blog pages and put them in a notebook. I'm hoping that my writing and photos will one day bring joy to my children and grandkids long after I am gone! Also...I am still waiting for Blogger to figure out a way we can print our blogs or have them printed as a book - inexpensively - but a book! Wouldn't that be neat?
I wish you the best with your speech...
Do you think you can con Bob the Mourning Dove into going with you?

Mohammed said...

Hi shelley, not that i will add any thing new, but my blogging started recently when i realize that it helps we to think loud beside sharing what i love with others. and good luck :)

Kathiesbirds said...

Congrats! What an honor! I hope it goes well for you! I blog because it gives me a place to connect with others, a place to express myself and feel like my voice is being heard.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Shell, what AMAZING and well-deserved news!!! The Michigan Audubon Society loves your natural voice and beautiful bird photos. You'll do GREAT. What I can't imagine is how you will leave the place with soooo many interesting people to chat with. :D

Blogging connects the world like no other way of communication. Bird watching brings cultures together in a way that brings hope that we can all live together peacefully. :D

Big Hugs, JJ

Heather said...

Shelley, congratulations! That is so fantastic. Wish I lived in Michigan so I could come to the presentation. Looks like you've got plenty of answers to your questions, but for what it's worth: I blog to share my photos and outdoor experiences with like-minded folks. What I've gained are some new online social connections from all over the country, which is really cool to me. Good luck with the presentation!

Dorothy said...

You have such a great blog! I know you could talk for hours about blogging and birds! Throw in a little humor and they will love you!!