Last January, my friend Beckie suggested I might enjoy reading her cousin Lisa's blog, which I did. For awhile I "lurked" around Greenbow and eventually got brave enough to sign up for a Blogger account and began to leave a few comments on Lisa's blog. When Beckie decided to begin her own blog at Dragonfly Corner, I became even more curious and eventually decided to take the plunge myself several weeks later.
That first post contained only one picture--my front yard (to the right), which ironically looks much the same today except for quite a few sticks and small broken branches. I think my intent was to show that I had lots of room for garden expansion, but truth be told, my eyes and ideas are bigger than my energy level:) Before publishing this first post, though, I began reading other blogs as well, particularly Carol, Jodi, and Mr. McGregor's Daughter, who unknowingly were my mentors in how to create and write an interesting post. My thanks to the three of you, as well as Beckie and Lisa, for your inspiration.
I received a total of 6 comments on that first post, which isn't bad for a first-timer. Of course, two of them were mine, one was from Beckie, one from Lisa (whom Beckie had told about my blog), one from Carol kindly encouraging a newbie, and the fourth from Cheryl (whom Beckie had also told). I had never visited Cheryl's blog before, but with this first exchange, we became regular visitors, and today I think of her as a dear friend--all because of blogging.
I joined the blogging community primarily as a garden blogger, hoping to get ideas for landscaping our property and tips on dealing with some gardening problems. As a novice gardener, I soaked up all the information I read. An early post of Lisa's inspired me to plant some zinnia seed for the first time in years. I've gushed over these zinnias since last summer, so needless to say, I was very happy with this idea. Other blogs have enticed me with photos and praise of other plants, so that I've developed a very long plant "wish list." For example, I've already planted a "Limelight" hydrangea and ordered some hellebores for this year after reading all of your glowing recommendations.
As time went on--and I discovered the macro setting on my camera--gardening became more than just a solitary pastime and a way to beautify my yard. I became eager to share with you some of my successes--as well as failures--and I began to read more and more blogs. I wish I could name everyone who has so kindly left a comment, encouraging me and offering advice, but I know if I started naming names, I would leave somebody out. If I read your blog on a regular basis, you know I enjoy reading what you have to say and that I value your friendship. It's amazing how many wonderful people I have met! While most of my blogging friends live in the States, Canada, or the UK, I have met so many different people all over the world from Sweden to India. I sometimes think that if our world leaders could share ideas as we do that this world would be a much better and more peaceful place.
I have learned so much from all of you, and it hasn't all been about just gardening. I've learned about photograpy, art, new books, and many things in between. Thanks to Cheryl, in particular, I have learned about the true "secret lives of bees." My appreciation of wildlife and nature in general has deepened over this past year. I have watched the birds more, and I now can identify some of them besides the common cardinals, robins, and sparrows. I've always loved butterflies, but for the first time I know the names of some of them beyond just the monarchs. I've learned to spend more time "in the moment."
While I am in thanking mode, I also need to thank a local blogger, Joyce, for this award she gave me recently. "This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his/her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day." That's quite an honor, Joyce; thank you! I am allowed to pass this on to up to 15 bloggers, but I know that many of you prefer not to accept awards, so I am going to pass this on to just one deserving person--Beckie. I think it's fitting that she receive this award since she started me on this journey, and because she helped me celebrate my blogaversary in a wonderful way yesterday.
Thank you again, dear blogging friends for everything. I hope to spend many more hours in the coming year with you and am looking forward to meeting a few of you in person this May in Chicago.