Monday, April 20, 2009






                  Central California Coast
                                Los Angeles
                                Northern California Coast
                                Northeastern California
                                San Diego                          
                                Sierra Nevada
                                Southern California                 
       NEW YORK




Sunday, April 19, 2009

On Migration

Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, CA
When I started to blog, it was for the sheer enjoyment of sharing the priceless joys I often find in my wanderings, most of them exploring our natural world. Very new to blogging, I really had no idea about categorizing and organizing my posts. In as much as I wanted to share as much information of the jewels I found in the trails, I carefully research usually the features of the place I found out. I did so because of my desire to bring others "there" to enjoy the outdoors and in the process also get a very cheap form of a healthy recreation because the activity usually keeps one going and moving. Plus of course, communing with nature brings us a lot of benefits other than develop us physically. 
In doing so, I usually spend a lot of time for one post alone. I really did not mind, I was happy with what I was doing. Plus, it gives my brain some mental exercise. When the opportunity to earn something while blogging came knocking into my door, I jumped on it. I was thinking, " I am really blogging anyway, why not get a few cents from what I write?" Thus, I joined Today. When I signed up at Today, the only category I knew that my thoughts would fit the most was "hiking". My blog then was under Today's hiking page, and all my posts, whether it was about hiking or not were always in their hiking page. I felt a little guilty about it, thus, as much as possible, I tried to minimize my non-hiking posts. But there were times I really wanted to talk about simple whale migration instead, or the simple joy of seeing and catching a hummingbird finally while it pollenates the flowers, among others. Sometimes, just so I could talk about this, I had to somehow make it sound like hiking :) But as I wrote some of my non-hiking posts, I felt awkward.

Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, CA
Later, as I met a lot of seasoned bloggers in the blogosphere, I learned how to group posts in category so that I can present my posts in some logical manner. I was slowly learning and growing. I wanted to categorize my posts, but I could not, since all our paid posts in Today (we were paid $1 for every post per day with 100 words minimum) are closed for any editing already. In short, even if sometimes I saw a need to correct something in my blog, I had no freedom anymore to do so. Silently, I was questionning if that $1.00 per post plus the $2.00 per 1000 unique visits paid to me were enough that I already lost my ownership to a particular post? Of course, it is still written by me, but I totally lost the control over any of my posts. I could not go back to edit, to update, to revise, to categorize, to add or change pictures. I started contemplating about getting started all over again for I wanted to havethat  full control still over my posts. I can say that I built, I wrote and started At The Backroads, but I just do not own it. I have no control over it. Complicated, but that is how it works with our hosting.

Now, I am here. What is the advantage of being here now? Full freedom. :)

What is the advantage of getting my own domain? Let me quote Rochelle, of Femme Power,
 " Hi,Betchai! Congrats for the move and good luck. Hope you continue to enjoy blogging and benefit from it in whatever way possible like gaining new friends, improving writing; layouting skills and earning dollars on the side,lol! Wouldn't that be great? mwah!"
Actually, for now, the greatest joy I had in blogging is gaining new friends, and learning from and with them. In time, I hope to be able to improve my writing, lay-outing, and also, taking pictures skills. For now, I am still conscious into calling my hobby of taking pictures photography, since I still have a lot to learn. But I am glad to meet a lot of photographers here in the blogging world, I really am learning from them.  Regarding the "earning on the side", I know in my few months at Today, I was able to earn something, not really a lot to make me quit teaching (which is very unlikely since I really do love teaching), but for me, earning on the side is a bonus and adds fun.But whether I "earn on the side" or not, I still will write and continue to share the simple joys I found in my wanderings.

In my migration from Today to Blogger, let me share the migration story of the birds at Mono Lake. In the two pictures above of Mono Lake, they hardly tell that the lake is teeming with wildlife. Yet the black dots on the sand are actually birds. During fall, millions of birds flock to this very salty desert lake. 

Phalaropes, Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, CA

Why? Because as the water level drops, the brine shrimps that thrive in the lakes are more exposed that it becomes easier for the birds to feast on them.

 Most of the birds seen at Mono Lake are migratory, between mid-summer and fall, as water level drops, Mono Lakes becomes a very busy international airport for birds coming as far South and North, some migrating more than 3000 miles in 3 days. Birds come here to breed and raise their youngs. We have many reasons behind migration, but each time we make such a move, like these birds, we think of "for the better". Thankfully, like these birds, we are free to fly and migrate when we see the need and not afraid of the change.

Mono Lake, Eastern Sierra, CA

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I am sorry if my blog does not work so well right now. It is still actually in the transition stage from the present site, to just simply . After helpful inputs from some blogging friends, I decided to get my own domain here at blogspot, and was surprised that it is only for $10 a year :) Cool, huh? I feel like I really have my own world now :) , such a big accomplishment for me who never had my own site before, haha! Thanks to Icy and Rochelle for the thoughts they had extended.

I feel like my blogging world has turned up side down lately, in all directions. No, I am not complaining, I am actually happy about the changes for it lets me see more about the many aspects of blogging. I am happy to say that I feel growth somehow, that in many times of our lives, we have to embrace CHANGE. The fear of change is something that sometimes stop us from doing what we can do, stops us from exploring our potentials, for we may be afraid of the world that awaits when we make that change. But there are some good change, and bad change. And I consider my moving a "good change", I feel freer, I feel I can fly more.

I am liking my CHANGE to the two pictures in this post, it is the same cactus flower, the same two bees, yet, just in different directions. The picture at the top, the two bees were facing each other, seem to enjoy sharing the sweet nectar from the cactus flower. Yet to get the most out of everything, they had to face CHANGE, even though it means they will have to back away, even move to another flower, all for the BEST.

And right now, that is just what I feel, like these two bees, I may have to move away from my old home, to give way for a new home which hopefully will let me expand my wings.

I am looking forward to more "Joys of Simple Life".