I am constantly amazed that I have enough followers that like my blog to warrant recieving awards, and not only am I amazed, but I am truly GRATEFUL and super EXCITED about it.
With this award comes a few stipulations (as with most things in life)....
1.) I must thank the person and recognize them for their generosity....that's EASY!!!
2.) I have to list 7 things about myself.....Lord don't get me started
3.) and lastly Pass it along to as many as I would like to...not so EASY!
ok here it goes...
1.) Biobabbler over at http://biobabbler.blogspot.com/ was thoughtful and generous enough to think of my blog when passing along this award, and for that I must say THANK YOU. I must also add though that her blog is wonderful and full of interesting nature related posts. I learn new things there all the time. Well worth the visit.
2.) Talk about myself? Seriously? I spend so much time listening to kids, husband and others talk about their lives....that if I am finally given the floor I may never shut up.....so how can I resist the opportunity?
#1 --I grew up in a city of 80,000 then during my freshman year of High School we moved to a town of barely 5,000. I knew this was some sort of punishment visited upon me by the Gods of "unfair treatment of teenagers". My life as I knew it was surely over!
#2--During my time in this very quaint, small town I met the man who was to become my husband. We have now been married for 23 years and have two grown children. This wonderful man I married.....wasn't satisified to live in this tiny little town, he further "punished" me by telling me we were moving to a farm. Now I was to be isolated 6 miles from people!
Oh it gets worse! We were going to raise hogs! Seriously.....HOGS? Was he out of his mind? Possessed, that's what he was, but raise hogs we did...oh yes! I learned to give shots, deliver pigs, wean pigs, transport pigs, cut teeth and tails...but I drew the line at castration...no way no how!
What I viewed as a sure punishment for unknown crimes commited against my husband has turned into a blessing and I can't imagine myself living anywhere else. (He got lucky!)
#3---I was a very precocious child (thats what my grandma says)....I was happy, friendly and talked non-stop. I remember as a child going through grade school....EVERY single report card that went home stated "Shelly is a delightful child, with a beautiful smile, but she needs to talk less and focus more"
Heehee..seems I still have that problem. I worked for a company for 10 years, and my boss there used to tell me I talked 125 mph with gusts up to 180....seems I have a lot to say and I am afraid I will run out of time to do so.
#4---One thing that has held true from the time I was a small girl was my love of all things outdoors. I spent hours outside exploring creeks, catching crawdads, butterflies and anything else that caught my fancy.....I even brought a bat home once and was determined to keep what I viewed as the "cutest thing ever" as a pet. Unfortunately my mother did not see it the way I did, and me and my bat were banned from the house until I let it go. Since I figured I had to eat sometime, I had to say goodbye to the bat.
#5---When I hit the rip old age of 35 I walked into the Conservation Department and introduced myself and asked if they ever needed help rehabbing wild animals that people bring in. They took my name and 2 months later I recieved a phone call that they had 5 baby raccoons for me to care for. This phone call started a journey that has forever changed my life. I took classes through a facitlity in Kansas City called Lakeside Nature Center that taught me the proper care of Missouri Wildlife and since then I have cared for 8 raccoons, 36 Fox squirrels, 3 gray squirrels, 1 blue jay, 1 ground hog, 1 red fox, and 20 opossums. These experiences have taught me the value of even one small life.
#6---I attended a Naturalist training course through the Conservation Department. This allowed me to work as a volunteer for MDC. I embraced this opportunity and over the course of 6 years I put in nearly 1,000 hours working with children. I led trail hikes, helped at special events like Eagle Days, and I led nature related programs. I met numerous interesting people and touched the lives of untold amounts of chidlren and was able to share my love of nature. This volunteer time led to a job and since January I have been the naturalist at the same facility that I volunteered out of. I am one of the lucky ones who can say I LOVE MY JOB.
#7--Lastly and probably one of the most dear to my heart are the INSECTS. The blog that I have was created to be able to share my photography and my limited knowledge of insects. This has been a journey of learning for me. I have written a field guide to Missouri Insects that I am trying to get published. I wrote a short field guide to Missouri Grassland/Prairie Insects that is being used by the Grassland Coalition of Missouri and is also linked on the Missouri Prairie Foundations website. I collect insects and mentor children who want to do the same. I read every single book I can get my hands on about insects. I am currently writing an article for our local paper entitled MObugs Discover Missouri Insects and Spiders. I enjoy writing and expressing myself, but I especially love bringing nature and INSECTS into what I write.
Now to nominate some of my favorite blogs
Julia over at http://julia-oursimplelife.blogspot.com/ has a blog that will leave you in stitches as she relates her everyday life raising two children, and a husband (as she tells it). She lives in California and raises horses. She shares her farm with numeorus other creatures including one ornery rooster. She recently wrote an endearing childrens book about "Bingo" their new cat. Be sure to visit and share in her day-to-day life...I promise you will relate!
Eric over at http://bugeric.blogspot.com/ writes a supremely interesting blog about insects and all the places he visits in his home state of Arizona. His knowledge is vast and his willingness to share it is greatly appreciated by many, including me. He is also the lead author of the Kenn Kaufman Field Guide to North American Insects. He volunteers his time helping identify insects on bugguide.net and Allexperts.com. More recently he is a staff member of http://www.spideridentificartion.org/ which is hugely beneficial website created to help all of us identify those spiders we come across.
The Geek at http://falltoclimb.wordpress.com/ is sure to impress with his enthusiastic approach to adventure and insects. Countless times I've laughed at the situations he finds himself in; along with his ever present canine pals.
The photography at this blog http://beingmark.com/ is sure to impress. He sees the world of insects in a way that makes them art. I can hardly wait for his posts to see what he has found next. His photography is superb and I must admit I am a bit jealous of his talent!
Words cannot describe the photos you will see on this blog http://wildlifephotographic.blogspot.com/
Richard Steel is a photographer whose talent is unsurpassed as far as I am concerned. I have not seen such clarity or attention to detail anywhere. He primaryly photographs birds, and you are drawn into the photograph. He makes you feel like you are there seeing what he is seeing in person.
Meredith at http://www.theenchantedearth.com/ has a way with words that turns all she sees in nature into poetry. Her love of the outdoors is apparent in everyword she writes. She is taking a short break from blogging after the loss of her father, but I suspect she will be back with her usual child-like excitement. To be able to see the World for the first time everytime is a true gift....and it is one that Meredith possesses.
Maria at http://gardeningwithturtles.blogspot.com/ has a zest for life that is contagious. She shares her home and her life with a menargerie of critters. Her blog posts are always interesting and fun and she invites us into her life and to come along on all her adventures.
http://crazymountainman.blogspot.com/ is a blog started by Steve who has a passion and a love of the prairie and all the things that call it home. He shares thoughtful prose and beautiful pictures with his followers that often make us ponder.
Dr. Art Evans over at http://arthurevans.wordpress.com/ shares his vast knowledge of insects, especially beetles. He is the author of the National Wildlife Federations book on North American Insects and Spiders.
He brings wit and common sense knowledge to all he writes. He is quick to help identify insects and provide you with information about whatever it is you've found.
Lastly and certainly not least...is Ted MacRae's blog http://beetlesinthebush.wordpress.com/. Ted hales from Missouri just like me. He lives on the Eastern edge and I live on the Western edge. He has a love of beetles as the title of his blog implies. He writes valuable information on a vast array of subjects, his favorite being his beloved beetles. He has a passion for the outdoors that shines through in his writing.
Again thank you BIO for the recognition and for believing that this blog is worthy of yet another award.
I hope everyone visiting will take time to check out the above blogs. Each and every one will be worth the time invested. The knowledge shared is limitless and hugely beneficial. I am proud to be linked to such intelligent, friendly, and helpful people.