Rethinking Blog Hate, or Welcome to Dixiecology

Great horned owl hatchling trusts no one (Courtesy Chris Reiss, Everglades NPS)

I have a confession: I hate blogs.

Everything about them gives me anxiety. The self-aggrandizing nature. The difficulty of running them with consistency, and the internet’s consequent surplus of apology posts asking pardon for the erratic stops and starts. When blogs grow old and die, they don’t pass quietly out of memory like other stupid things you’ve done. Your musings get to hang in cyberspace forever, perfectly preserved.

The only blogs I read with regularity are cooking blogs, which I use to satisfy some urgent need—like ten ways to jazz up my oatmeal. Or, meyer lemon bars, now with more butter. Or, what the hell are garlic scapes anyway?

I’m the kind of analog curmudgeon who still buys CDs for a hand-me-down stereo receiver, meticulously prints photos and documents to have in hard copy, can’t count a correspondence as real unless it comes handwritten. Like many curmudgeons I suffer from a tactile fetish for paperback books, for I love the warm grain of paper and comforting heft of binding. Though my life has been profoundly shaped and enriched by the digital revolution, the internet remains in contrast for me a cold place that precludes meaningful dialogue.

Which is to say, I’m probably using it wrong.

So here is my push to embrace the twenty-first century community of which I’d like to be a part, my effort to share with Raptor Lab friends (and our moms, in all likelihood) the science stories I can no longer tell them in person.

Y’all can expect natural history news, dispatches from my favorite forests, dabbles in agriculture and archeology, and tales of that one time I touched that scaly thing. Most posts will be rooted in the Southeast, which in addition to being my home and a beautiful, complex region, is full of stories that go undercovered in science writing. You might learn why graveyards are great places to study environmental history or exactly how far I’ll go to get my hands on pawpaws. There will probably be at least one ode to turkey vultures. If you’re lucky, I might even share that lemon bar recipe.

Courtesy Brian Call, Everglades NPS

Courtesy Brian Call, Everglades NPS

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