Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, October 30, 2009

Blogging Milestone, or Millstone?

Today I publish my 1000th blog posting.

My favourite photo
Lena had just given me a "welcome back" lick on my nose,
after my extended absence in Canberra, for Chemotherapy treatment.
This image is on my "desktop" on my 'puter.
So, is the one thousandth Blog a milestone, or is Blogging a millstone around my neck? Sometimes I resent the burden of "having to blog" every day, or nearly every day.

But in truth, I find the discipline extraordinarily useful and I am in a sense writing the natural history of the Southern Highlands, day by day, picture by picture. It might never be published as a book, but that probably does not matter, as it is already published (admittedly without the helpful hand of a skillful editor to tell me what to cut out as "rubbish"). But I am confident that there is a lot of information in these 1000 web pages. Hopefully people will find some of it to be useful, informative and even, occasionally, entertaining.

Blogging is also very satisfying, and for me, it is much better than a personal "diary", because I am basically a communicator. Hopefully I fulfill a role, also, as an educator, and a part-time entertainer.

I know that a lot of people read my writings or have looked at some of the 3750 photos I have published since I started out on this little adventure.

Site Summary



Average Per Day148

Average Visit Length1:23

Last Hour6


This Week1,035

I started on 26 November 2005, approaching 4 years ago.
That is 1435 days, so I am averaging a post on just a fraction under 70% of days - better than 2 days out of 3.

This image shows Zoe standing in the yard below my house,
on 17 May 2004, the day when we planted
all those Wattle Trees as a wind break.
My how things have changed since then.
I must say a word of thanks to Anni, without whose encouragement and assistance I would never have started blogging. She hosts my "Peony Diary", in fact she started it for me, in my absence in hospital, so I could see what was happening with my Peonies, while I was away from Robertson. How generous was that?My first post, and a very experimental one it was, was entitled "Odd little things which grow around Robertson", and it was about an Orchid - the Flying Duck Orchid, in fact.

My first "lucky shot"
This was the first image I took in which I realised
after I had developed it on the computer,
that I had captured something unexpected.
In this case, a flower spider inside her web, inside a Flying Duck Orchid.
She is waiting to catch an insect attracted to the Orchid.My second Post was entitled: "And what's this about Peonies?"
I note that from the statistics on the "labels" (prior to tonight) I have referred to Robertson 323 times; Kangaloon 167 times (that would be about friends of mine who live there, or the Waratahs and other interesting native shrubs which grow there, or about Orchids, for which the area is justifiably famous); Ground Orchids 117 times, birds 97 times; the SCA 92 times (of which 91 would have been somewhat critical, or negative, but I do remember saying something nice about them once!); I have mentioned the Sandstone cliffs and the underlying sandstone soil structure of the area 58 times; I have written about the Community Technology Centre at Robertson (the CTC) 47 times; I have written about Fungi 35 times; moths 26 times; fog (in Robertson) 22 times; and I have referred to my nemesis in the bush, the Leech, 7 times.

I have frequently written about the social and environmental events which occur in Robertson. In this case, the naming of the Laurence Langley Memorial Redwood Grove (in Robertson). A team of volunteers (as usual) from REPS, helped cut back a lot of privet bushes and also erected the memorial sign.
Another feature of the social life of Robertson is the Robbo Show,
and so also is the irrepressible Taz, with Lena.
Lena is wearing a Show Ribbon which she did nor really earn.
But that's all part of fun of the "Kids and Pets Parade" at the Robbo Show.
When out in the bush I occasionally find an interesting insect,
and if I have been lucky enough to get a good photo I will publish it.
My personal nemesis - in the bush - a Leech.
I love fungi, and this image, and logo, is as close as I go to declaring a position on "creationism". I am NOT a creationist, but I do have a great sense of Wonder, triggered by what I cannot help as see as fantastic impulse within Nature to solve problems by means of wonderfully elegant design solutions - such as this gorgeous little Fungus (the size of my little fingernail).
The Blind Watchmaker theory does not satisfy my need to understand Nature.
I do not believe in the great Bearded Designer in the Sky either.

Instead I look at Nature with a sense of Awe. It makes me wonder why is Nature so beautiful? Does that make me a "Pantheist"? I truly do not know, but I do tend to see God in Nature, and Nature is all around me.

Wikipedia's article on Pantheism concludes with these comments:
"some pantheists hold that the pantheist viewpoint is the most ethical viewpoint; Neo-Pantheistic ethics are based on the belief that any action initiated resonates throughout all of existence. What is good and evil is not mandated from something outside of us, but is a result of our interconnectedness. Instead of consideration based upon fear of divine punishment or hope of divine reward, the better Pantheistic ethical decision comes from an awareness of mutual interrelation."

Certainly, when I look at what I believe to be going wrong with the World (I mean - politically) I can ascribe that to a breakdown of "awareness of mutual interrelation". In my mind, that applies as much to day-to-day politics as to the Natural Order of things.

But I can console myself, when nobody listens to me, that, at least there are orchids to admire!


mick said...

Congratulations on what is definitely a milestone. Your retrospective photos were very interesting to one who hasn't been on here for the length of time you have.

Jiaogulan said...

Denis - I congratulate you with awe! One thousand blogs is awesome and shows a discipline I'm afraid to say I have not acquired as of yet. You have inspired me to complete some projects I have not yet attended to and to get started again. Thank you for you - I appreciate you.

Miss Eagle said...

Congratulations, Denis, from one who has been around for most, but not all, of those years and posts. I believe that your blog is one of the leading nature/environmental blogs in the nation - and yet it is more than that because of its emphasis on community. That is, when you are not chattering on about those jolly ground orchids (smile).

I hope there are many more posts to come because the day you stop blogging Robertson will be the poorer and so will life in the Southern Highlands.

Blessings and bliss

Anni said...

Congratulations Denis! Long live The Nature of Robertson!

Anonymous said...

My friend Jill sent me this message:
"Well done Denis,
I for one have enjoyed your running commentary about life in our community.
Your botanical, horticultural and environmental posts are a valuable resource for now and especially into the future.
Keep going!"

Anonymous said...

Gary sent me this message:
You never know when a blog is going to be useful Denis. As discussed, glad I found your blog on how that nodding gereenhood orchid worked before I ran a session on animal/plant interactions for a USA student group as a discovery ranger at Royal National Park.
I may not live others lives vicariously through blogs...have not much time to run my own...but thousands obviously have found something in you writings which educated or touched them in some way,
I too have had the big C...Bladder Cancer 7 years ago, now clear. I have a bladder made of reconstructed small works!! Been to Antarctica twice with it.
Hope your journey is progressing OK!
Cheers from a fellow green educator/activist.
Gary Schoer, now Secretary Southern Sydney Branch NPA and occasional worker for three government departments in great outdoors. I met you at Rivers SOS Booral you will you were chasing a moth or something flying.
And Congrats on milestone.

Anonymous said...

Chris and Lynn wrote:
Congratulations Denis

A wonderful achievement and thank you for keeping all us Robertsonians well-informed!


Lynn and Chris

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Bell OAM sent me this note:
Thanks Denis and congratulations – it is a fascinating site and a great tribute to your effort.
Hope you are well. Best, Jonathan.

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey Dabb from Canberra Ornithologists Group (who has contributed via many "linked" photos from the COG Bird Photo Gallery) and who has also spoken ar a REPS meeting, sent this message:
"Great Denis. Enjoyed that, whole world there. Didn’t know about the health issue, hope all is well. Geoffrey"

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks to everybody who sent me either private messages of encouragement, or publishable comments.
Keep on reading, folks.
It is you who make my efforts worth while.

Denis Wilson said...

In response to various health-related questions, I should add that I am on a routine check-up system, every 6 months (no treatment), and as far as I know I am in reasonable condition.

Tyto Tony said...

Good for you, Denis, and good for you too!!!

James Benjamin said...

Way to go Denis,
Devotion is as devotion does, and I guess 100 blogs is pretty devoted. Well done!

Gouldiae said...

G'day Denis,
Busy as heck down here, just got around to catching up with my reading. Congratulations - oh bugger, that at least deserves upper case - CONGRATULATIONS! Love your work, your attitude and your information. Keep it up, it's inspirational.

Matt said...

Wow, congratulations Denis! That is awesome. I've just done a rough total of all my blog posts and articles on all my various sites and it's 380 (and I've been doing this for 10 years). So I still have some catching up to do. :)

It can be a hard slog a lot of the time. I recently moved to writing 3 articles/week and your continual blogging efforts have been an inspiration for me. Great work!


Snail said...

Congratulations, Denis! Here's to the next thousand.

I've certainly learnt a lot from your blog, so keep the posts coming.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Denis!

I always enjoy your entries and have learnt a lot over the past couple of years as a result.

Keep 'em rolling!

Best wishes,


celeste said...



David said...

Hi Denis,
congratulations on the milestone.
It was you that got me into blogging three years ago, and it has been with great pleasure that I have partook journeys with you into the mysteries and wonders of our natural world.
Although distance makes it difficult to go for a quick look at fungi in the rain forest these days, those memories of discovery I will carry always.
Thankyou Denis, and keep up the good work.
Did I tell you octopus are down here hunting for crabs?
Looks like a visit is in order :)
(bring your wellies)

In the highest regards,

David Young

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks to all for the encouraging words and wishes of support (and one invite to watch Octupuses)
Your collective encouragement is much appreciated.

Zoe said...

Wow Dad!!
Please excuse me if I quote Fatboy Slim and say "You've come a long way baby!!"
What a journey from Anzac Park to Missingham Parade Hey??
I used to think that life would kind of dry up at age 30.... Thanks to you, I now know that the real fun starts at 60!!
You make me very proud Dad. Well done.
Love Zoe