As you would plainly see, from the nifty Outdoor Blogger Network badge - if you were on the home page of my blog called the Nature of Portland - I am a member of the Outdoor Blogger Network (OBN). The OBN is a great way for outdoor bloggers, outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds, and would-be outdoor blog readers to connect and discuss the things they love.
A post on the OBN website recently asked the question: "Why do you blog about your outdoor experiences?" I'm only about two months into this, my first blogging experience, but I thought I would take a couple of minutes to answer that question for myself, and for my fledgling group of readers.
So... why blog about nature at all?
That's me in the red hat, on my way to Crabtree Falls
I guess I have my parents to thank for instilling in me a love of nature when I was small. I was one of those babies in a backpack, bouncing along the trails from the Appalachians to the Ozarks, on one set or another of my parents' sturdy, nature-lovin' shoulders. When I was old enough to leave the backpack behind, I roamed freely through the woods, streams, and meadows that surrounded our house. I knew all the best places to find salamanders, snakes, crawdads and mud.
OK, but why the Nature of Portland?
Fast-forward a couple of decades (OK, maybe three decades if you really have to know), and now I'm on the opposite coast, living in Portland, Oregon. I still love nature - and Portland is a great place for city dwellers that do - but I don't get as much time out in the woods as I would sometimes like. That's why - about three years ago - I started the Nature of Portland photo group on Flickr. I wanted to create a place where people could share all of their great photos highlighting Portland's naturey goodness. Then I could just immerse myself in our city's natural side any time I felt the need.
The photo group really took off, and today it hosts almost 2,000 images of nature around the Portland metro area. And while Flickr groups do have an area for discussion, most people are there to post or view photographs. I felt like there was more I could do, to share my love of nature and my beautiful city, with other folks with similar interests. I wanted to really showcase the parks and natural areas around our city, share news that affects Portland's nature, and profile some of the northwest native plants and animals that share our space. I figured the best way to do that was to create a companion blog for the Nature of Portland photo group.
I already had the name, but it took me about two more years to think about what I really wanted to do with the site, settle on a platform and design, and finally decide to make it happen. I'm really enjoying it so far, and I hope to build my blog into something that's interesting for any nature lover, and resourceful for all the local nature-ophiles. And the Outdoor Blogger Network is there to help me make that happen.