Happy Birthday, Green Path

Today is the first anniversary of launch of my blog in April, 2011. I am quite pleased that I have been able to maintain it at the level of two or three posts per week (the average is actually just over three) and to keep a reasonable variety of themes ticking over.

Changes? My working title during development was ‘Bugblog’ and that made it onto the finished site, in a few not-too-important places, but I can’t see that it is useful: ‘Green Path’ is better, so dropping ‘Bugblog’ (however cute it is) will save any confusion over the blog’s title. Also, the Search Engine Optimisation plug-in which I installed at the end of January is quietly increasing readership but more could be done and I will try to find time to add buttons for social media to make it easier for my readers to recommend an article to their friends.

Regrets? I had hoped to get more of a sense of community through a stream of comments. That may have failed because the blog format is not particularly congenial to conversations – bulletin boards are better and Facebook, while not better, is more popular – but still, it would be nice.

Another personal online milestone slipped past recently before I noticed it: I posted my one thousandth photo to my Flickr photostream a month ago. There is some sort of poetic justice in the fact that it was a picture of an ant, a creature known for its quietly persistent industriousness.

I joined Flickr in April 2010, so my average there is ten photos per week. Nearly all of them are insects and spiders of North Queensland, and two thirds of them – representing perhaps 300 species – have been taken in my own garden, an indication of just how much usually-unnoticed life goes on around us.

Remembering Cyclone Yasi

It’s a year this week since Yasi crossed the coast between Townsville and Cairns, affecting both cities to an extent but devastating the smaller towns in between, especially Tully and Cardwell. It was the biggest cyclone ever to cross the Australian coastline, though perhaps not the most intense.

Our own memories of the event are of trepidation, anxiety, relief and a lot of inconvenience and hard labour. We spent hours beforehand preparing the house and yard, as best we could, for the wind and rain. We lost mains power halfway through the afternoon, cooked and ate dinner by gas stoves and lanterns, listened apprehensively as the wind built through the evening, and got as much sleep as we could during the night – which wasn’t much.

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