I inserted a new first paragraph in “Back to Basics” several days after I published that blog. So for those of you who haven’t read it, I include it again here:
“There’s a wonderful old ‘Far Side’ cartoon featuring a dog, Ginger, and its owner. The owner says to the dog, ‘OK, Ginger! I’ve had it! You stay out of the garbage! Understand, Ginger? Stay out of the garbage, or else!’ But all the dog hears is, ‘Blah, blah, blah, Ginger. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Ginger.’ What’s happening here makes me think of that cartoon. I suspect many people reading my blogs zero in on the pictures—consume the pictures, if you will—but have less interest in the text if they read it at all. I’ve noticed that the blogs that are more picture-heavy are by far the most popular and that the ones featuring photo galleries are more popular still. But having said all that, I remain, for now, an unapologetic writer. And I’ll continue to write, in hopes that viewers will read!”
The Main Focus
And though many of you have read what is now that blog’s second paragraph, I need to repeat part of that paragraph here:
“I might write about Aretha Franklin or Beethoven or California Condors or the Wright Brothers. I might write about Broad-winged Hawks kettling in the Blue Ridge or the woes of the Washington Redskins. But the overarching focus continues to be the restored Elizabeth River in SE Virginia and the wildlife, the bird life, and the people who are using it. The focus also continues to be the Elizabeth River Project and its myriad partners, who’ve worked so hard to make that restoration a reality.”
Up to this point, the restored Elizabeth River, and the Elizabeth River Project, the organization that began with a few courageous, conservation-minded citizens sitting around a kitchen table who resolved to do something to clean up that river, have been the focus of my posts. But as we all know: Some things change, and some stay the same.
A (Slightly) New Focus
The Elizabeth River Project, the official blog sponsor and the party that came up with the wonderful idea to start this blog and tapped me, in March 2018, to write and publish it, has decided to move on and head in a new direction. At some point soon, when you visit the ERP site, you’ll no longer see the “Elizabeth River Bird Blog,” which has been a fixture in the bottom corner or has been buried somewhere in the menus at the top. I’ll be yielding all that valuable website real estate back to them.
But this valuable real estate will remain unchanged. I’ll continue to blog here @ birdpartner.com and, hopefully, fingers crossed, you’ll continue to read! The focus may no longer be all that it had been before. But as I told a wonderful group just this afternoon, the blog will continue to feature photos of birds, other wildlife, and people in and around the Elizabeth River in SE Virginia. And the blog will continue to feature what I hope viewers will find to be engaging writing, especially about birds. It will remain the “Elizabeth River Bird Blog.”
Before I say farewell and not goodbye, and as I am often wont to do, I’d like to deliver a few shoutouts. You’ll note that the titles of 2 of my earlier blogs were “Two Shoutouts” and “More Shoutouts,” which include plaudits to a group I led on a bird walk, Mary Reid Barrow at the Virginian-Pilot, birds in general, and our “iconic Osprey.” I enjoy giving shoutouts.
The first shoutout goes to Marjorie Mayfield-Jackson, one of the people who were sitting around that now-famous kitchen table, an ERP cofounder and its executive director, and the person who “tapped” this former “expository” writing teacher to start this blog. It’s been a pleasure working with her, and we’ll continue to work together on other projects. I’d also like to give a shoutout to Casey Shaw, the ERP grassroots coordinator, who has handled with aplomb my many demands, like making sure that we post my blog to the ERP Facebook page in a timely manner. Lastly, kudos to Deb Colvin and Taylor Waldron at Maverick Marketing in Virginia Beach. They’ve provided considerable help and advice with the web-based end of things.
So, here’s to everyone above. Thank you. And a very fond farewell and not good-bye. Here’s to my blog family, too—my followers, readers, and supporters. Here’s also to our ever-present, ever-inspiring, and ever-important feathered friends, which lie at the heart of most of my posts and are “God’s mysteries in nature that we can see” (thank you, Ann). And here’s to this blogging endeavor, which will continue unabated. (So please stay tuned.)