The Northern Great Plains is far from any ocean. Water melts off mountain snowpack, slowly trickles down glaciers**, and pools up in basins. The largely arid region is dominated by thirsty industries like agriculture, energy extraction, and tourism. There’s a byzantine system of century-old water rights and competing interests.
Or as my dad, a Montana cattle rancher, puts it: “Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting.”
Residents might want to steel themselves with a little bourbon as climate change will escalate those water woes, according to this report. Winters will end earlier and snow could decline as much as 25 to 40 percent in the mountainous regions.
It’s culturally critical, too: The area is home to 27 federally recognized tribes that are already experiencing climate threats such as a lack of access to safe water and declining fisheries. …
“I am large. I contain multitudes,” Walt Whitman said of himself. But he could have very well said it of the Southwest, where stretches of desert give way to soaring, snow-capped mountains. Yet this might not be the case for long.
Climate change threatens all of this beautiful ecological diversity, as well as the 60 million people who call this area home, including 182 tribal nations.
In Alaska, water is life, life is shellfish, shellfish is power. But, alas, climate change is about to do a number on the state’s marine life, food webs, and species distributions. According to the climate assessment, ocean acidification is expected to disrupt “corals, crustaceans, crabs, mollusks,” as well as “Tanner and red king crab and pink salmon.” Lots of indigenous peoples rely on that variety of marine life.
Blogging as an art? Oh my, oh my. Where do I begin? (This is another long post but trust me, it’s about you.)
In June I was cleaning up and deleting old posts and I was happy to reread many of my old posts but not a single person had read them. WHAT? That’s perfectly fine.
Whoever came up with the idea of “postaday” was nuts.
I cannot believe “I” tried to blog something every single day. Back then I was getting the hang of it, so to speak. When I started this blog in 2011, I had very little knowledge of WP or what blogging could be. It’s a practice, like writing or yoga or raising pigs.
When you start blogging, learn as you go. And I want to STRONGLY encourage new bloggers to keep at it.
Start with: Pick a topic/theme you like. Write posts around news articles…. Use links, photos, and videos. (Like I did above)
The big lesson for me was social media, aka sharing blog posts. It took me two (dreaded) years of blogging to find readers and keep them. And that is what you must expect. It takes time, maybe years. Just remember, you will find your niche and you will become a greater writer, photog, chef, poet, or whatever you choose to blog about, if you persist.
Writing about adoption and being adopted was the reason I chose to blog in the first place. (“When you have a book, you must have a blog.” I didn’t create that lovely saying… but yup, it’s true.) In 2013/4 I was dedicated to research the topic of human trafficking. (I even did a radio interview about this blog topic when trafficking was a neglected yet news-worthy topic.) Not grabbing any new readers on that topic for this blog, that didn’t matter to me as much as I needed to learn about it –and was SADLY shocked at what I did learn. FYI: I also dedicated many 2015 posts to orphanage asylums around the US. Of course “adoptionland” (adoption controversy) is closely related to human trafficking. (Those are categories I chose for this blog.) And, I usually tie-in and write about Indian Country which is my career!
When I tell non-blog friends I blog, after I explain what it is and that it’s perhaps addicting to be a reader/writer, I tell them my LARA blog is for “serious writing.” (Of course I admit I might have a disorder called ADHD and I secretly experiment making other blogs but don’t yell “bloody murder” when no one reads them.)
OK, but seriously, Bloggers, just remember— YOU get to pick your poison/passion/past-time. That is the magic key to blogging. Educate yourself on whatever the topic and new readers will find you! Even if they don’t find you, (SEO will) and you will learn more than you dare to dream and YOU be a better blogger (and person) for it. (If you are tech-minded read up on SEO/search engine optimization — very boring stuff…) (11 tips that you can use to optimize your blog posts for SEO (like a Pro).
There are so many great bloggers out there now. REALLY!! More than a few years ago I used WP Reader to find blog suggestions. Today in 02019 I follow (280+) (OMG, that many?) way too many great blogs to keep up with and sometimes I have to choose which blog(s) to read every week. I do get posts via email which keeps some order to my disorder.
Do not think I don’t care if I don’t read your blog every time. I am simply trying to keep up. I’m old now.
One of the wonders of blogging is you can find bloggers in other countries and learn a great deal from them. It’s a huge blessing to learn about other parts of this world and what they care about, or write about and share. Google Translate will help you if they are using another language, so anyone, even you can explore the big bad blogworld.
Engaging with others (with comments, shares and reblogs) is truly the best way to blog (and make interesting new friends). By way of a perfect example, I highly recommend my UK friend Pete who blogs at beetleypete – he is one of the kindest bloggers in the world. His excellent blog is about “The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk.” HERE.
Don’t be discouraged, new and tired bloggers. Keep at it. Change your template/theme occasionally. Maybe get a domain name, once you settle on a theme or niche, and use social media to reach others… then go wild with that Twitter button! You may want to blog weekly… or monthly or daily. But trust me, “daily” is very very hard and requires great skill and loads of research + deep thought + time. (And you will miss all your TV programs, trust me on that.)
(OH NO, I have violated my own rules with this post – it’s WAY TOO LONG!) (Forgive me this time and all the other times. I will do better.) There are no rules — just the ones you make for yourself…
TIP: If you do give up, leave your blog up. You may come back to it. (Put up a “I’m on Hiatus” post and let it sit.)
TIP: On WordPress, go to the dashboard and under settings, go to the SHARING tab. Add the PINTEREST button to your blog. It will bring you many new readers… I love sharing your posts to Pinterest (and Twitter)… it helps visually if you use a featured (top) photo for each blog post! (I’m not on FB and don’t share there.)
TIP: You don’t have to “Like” the post but do click LIKE anyway- this tells the blogger you were there. It’s like saying, “hi there blog bud…”
Why this post about glaciers and blogs??
This fall I am working with a poet who retired from glaciology, which is the scientific study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice. Dr. Richard Cameron has traveled the planet and I can’t wait to share his poetry with the world. I will help him publish his collection (then brag/blog about it).
Blogging (and writing) will be a colossal chore if you let it…. Don’t let it!
If you have a blogging question or just want to shoot the breeze, my email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
p.s. UPDATE::: Healthwise…I’m following the KETO diet, kinda, but it’s more strict. It’s working wonders and my new hormone cream is the bomb! Can you tell I’m feeling better? 🙂
My dear husband Herb has been in the hospital for a ruptured appendix – his surgery was a success on June 24 but they kept him a week. That was not fun at all.
And you can also use this neat thing (the contact form) to ask me something?