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
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  1. How come you're blogging over here? :)

  2. Well first, I agree in that away from we have total freedom and don't have to give up our rights to our writing for pennies. Anyway, I love the Mono lake bird posts and photos. They are so cute :) Also love the style of this blog. Thanks Betchai

  3. Thanks so much Jo and Mei.

    @ Mei, I actually do not know :) but are you not glad I followed you?

  4. Freedom is one of the most important things we have. I hope the change gives you the freedom of the birds in your post. I understand about feeling limited to writing about certain things. I've felt that way sometimes too.

    By the way, they still seem to be having a few problems with your domain setup. I had to paste in the blogger address to add this comment.

  5. Stunning landscape photos. Mono Lake certainly makes a great subject.

    Glad you made the move. Your freedom is worth more than the couple of bucks earned.

  6. Sounds like you made the right decision to move and be free!!! ;)

  7. Hi, Betchai!thanks for the write so well and it's a great thing how you manage to insert valuable information in your posts.i loved reading about the migration of birds, why they come to this place, your pictures are amazing, they're good enough for postcards,lol!really good stuff.
    continue learning.I,too,am still self-educating about the blogosphere everyday.There are just so much to learn about.have fun!

  8. I think you are going to be very happy with your new found freedom. I look forward to your posts.

  9. thanks a lot, everyone.

    @ Jo, thanks a lot for the understanding and the support. Mono Lake is actually one of the places in the sierra that we always make a stop whenever we are in the area.

    @ Ratty, thanks for bringing that up, I hope my link gets stable soon. Thank you for doing that extra step.

    @Wiseacre, thank you, yes, Mono Lake is a very interesting place.

    @ Jason, hey, thanks for being here. Glad to see you here.

    @ Rochelle, thank you, yes, i just do not want the many information in blogging to overwhelm me, I would want to learn one thing at a time, but definitely, I will keep on learning, we have to take care of our brain cells as well.

    @ Melissa, thank you.

  10. I'm glad you are here, and the freedom to write and do what we want on our blog is the greatest feeling!

  11. I forgot to mention that your photos are superb! Love the lighting, colors, and composition in these pictures!

  12. welcome to blogger!

    well in blogging just go on forward and you will learn many things. the important is express of the things that you love in life and no one can stop you.

    the pictures are so lovely. thanks for sharing.

  13. The lanscape there is so beautiful. Makes me wish I was there.

  14. As always, your photos are amazing. I will be looking forward to your posts.

  15. I have my total patience to read your post to the end. Thanks for the sharing.
    Your are actually a good photographer for many good pictures.
    I agree on the freedom that we have on "our own" writing. I am still able to edit them after months when I think it is neccessary since new visitors are still coming for them.

  16. The photos are really amazing and so relaxing to look at. :)

    I thought offers good deal with bloggers, I'm sorry to hear about what happened regarding not be able to edit your post and the like.

    Welcome to blogger and I hope you enjoy blogging your ideas here. Anyway, there's more to earn here than blogging in