Saturday, April 1, 2017

Las Aventuras: 7 Years Strong

male Rufous Hummingbird
This past March, Las Aventuras celebrated 7 years of "work" on the internet machine.  Slowly this blog is getting closer to a million hits which blows my mind away.  The journey has been incredible!

Broad-billed Hummingbird
People ask why I blog.  Sometimes they think it's kind of a joke, but I'll tell you why it's not.  When I began blogging, I couldn't have answered these questions because I didn't know much at all!  I just wanted to have a running diary of my garden. Today, it's crystal clear why I do what I do.  If you're looking into blogging on blogger or wordpress, here's what you need to know. 

Common Raven
It takes time. None of it was overnight.  I began with an idea and it turned into something else.  I wanted to document my garden plans around our place and it was great until I stopped gardening.  Then, the title, "Las Aventuras" really hit its mark when I discovered birds.  The blog truly shows the beginnings of my birding career and the adventures that have ensued since I began chasing our planet's birds. 

Chihuahuan Raven
From novice to ?  As a birder I am continuing to grow.  But when I began this blog, I really knew nothing.  Today I help guide people around southern Arizona to find birds.  It's not a job but a way to connect with my readers and make new friends. And it's also a way to manage my sanity in this crazy world of ours. 

Dark-lored White-crowned Sparrow
The social connection.  I have met so many painters, birders, photographers and friends because of this blog.  Many people joke about the world of online social media, but it isn't a laughing matter if you use it the right way.  I wouldn't have met MANY of the incredibly talented and wonderful people out there if it wasn't for this blog.  I have grown as a birder because of their knowledge and expertise. And vice versa.  We grow together and accomplish the impossible when we put our minds ANY age. 

Canyon Towhee
Writing.  On a blog, you can write whatever comes into your brain.  My advice?  Keep it short and sweet.  The writing and photography are my favorite parts about putting a post together.  NEVER delete your old work.  Look back at it and discover how much you've grown as a writer, photographer and blogger.  

Inca Dove and Pyrrhuloxia
Photography.  I LOVE THIS PART!  When I began this blog, I found pics on the internet to help aide with my writing.  I then purchased primitive cameras to help begin the narration of my stories.  Plants don't move so it's easy to get a pic of them. Were they quality shots?  That part is debatable:)  But when I got into the wildlife part of the blog, it became tricky.  I'll admit it. I had lens envy and today after about 5 camera upgrades and thousands of dollars, I have a nice set up.  Of course that requires a financial commitment but I am now satisfied with the captured details from our amazing observations out yonder.  Finding the right camera equipment is important.  I thank Gordon Karre for aiding me in that department.   

Cell phones take GREAT photos!
You can take courses on photography, as many do, but it's your experience with the camera out in the field that makes you stronger. Weather conditions, lighting conditions, and positioning oneself to safely capture wildlife in action are all biggies.  Never endanger yourself or the subject you're observing.  That's proper etiquette out in the field.  PLUS, you'll really get to see some amazing behaviors by not interfering with the wildlife.  And I shouldn't forget to add.  It's not the size of your lens that matters.  Some of my purchased work here in Tucson had me using a point-and-shoot camera.   It's the photographer that makes the magic happen. So my point?  Get out there and start taking pics!  Photography is an exciting part of our blogs!

Western Screech Owl
And most of all, a blog is YOUR story.  As much as I do it for others; I also do it for myself.  Writing down my information helps me retain the data in my head while helping others interested in birding the places I've visited.

Lincoln's Sparrow
Both blogging and birding have changed my life for the better.  It's not just a "hobby"; it's part of who I am.  There is a quote that sticks with me to this day in regards to how learning never stops.  Albert Einstein once said, "I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious."  And in this case, for me, this refers to our planet, our planet's birds and the preservation of habitat for future generations. It's also about the human stories that tie into the birds.  

White Wagtail at the Ajo Sewage Plant
This blog is uniquely my own and I am proud of what I have done. Ok enough of this stuff. Let's quickly talk about the Arizona Code 5 bird of the week!  A White Wagtail is currently being seen in the ancient mining town of Ajo!!!  Code 5 is serious business because it's rare!  The only AZ record of this bird was back in 1985 at the Grand Canyon.  The lure for me?  Drop everything and GO!  This was a lifebird, a state bird AND a county bird.  When a bird meets all 3 of these criteria, it's an absolute no brainer!  The White Wagtail hails from Europe and Asia and is seen yearly in the US.  But to have one in AZ?!!!  That is big news.  Until next time friends!  And thank you for reading Las Aventuras..... 

New friends, the Teuke family, from Wisconsin stop and search for the White Wagtail in a very remote area of our state.  EPIC!


  1. Where can I find a list of the codes assigned to Arizona birds? I know ABA is easy to find, but from what I have been told, there is no coding of birds in AZ. Is there a site where someone has come up with codes? Curious to know.
    Thanks and congrats on 7 amazing years!

    1. Thanks Gordon! So for the codes. Someone, somewhere posted something about this being a Code 3 bird for the US and a Code 5 bird for AZ which makes sense. Where people get this ABA listing material is beyond me? Where do Jon and several other birders who we know get the link to this info. I always get it second hand from the ABA listers.

  2. Wow! Congrats on the White Wagtail...that's amazing! What a lovely post about blogging! I have enjoyed my blog so has evolved for me as well. I certainly learned that to have a focus is important! :-) I love all my blogger friends. Finding you meant a lot, for instance! I enjoy your birding adventures so much since I can't get out there in the "bush" like I used to. Glad you enjoyed my Black Billed Magpie post. It was fun for us to discover they were here as well. Beautiful shots, as always!

  3. Congratulations on a fruitful 7 years, Chris. I've immensely enjoyed watching your evolution over the years. I believe my thoughts on blogging are concurrent with your own.

    Incidentally, with reference to my comment on your last post, in UK 'shite' with an 'e' means exactly the same as it does without the 'e'!

    Best wishes to you both. Here's to the next seven years. Keep up the good work - - - Richard

  4. Congrats on the blogging anniversary. You take awesome photos. Also congrats of the Code 5 bird sighting. For me it's been fun to know bloggers like you because I get to see things that I probably will never see in real life and I learn a lot of the world through your photos.

  5. Interesting blog, as usual, Chris. To respond to your "coding" question, I went into the ABA Blog where Nate Swick called it a Code 3 bird. If a bird has never been seen in AZ, I took the liberty of calling it a Code 5. If the Tufted Flycatcher is a Code 5 with that species being seen at Ramsey Cyn again this year (3rd year in a row), certainly a White Wagtail being observed in AZ with no prior records should be a Code 5 for the state....a liberty I took beyond my status, but I used it in my blog. Good point from Gordon. Do we have a Code for AZ birds?

  6. If it weren't for blogging we'd never had met. It is a fun way to learn, share, and grow. You've come a long ways baby.

  7. I have not been blogging as lng as youo but I also started konwing nothing about blogging and I can say all that you siad here today is true for me also (well mostly) different part of the world of course. I do enjoy your bog immensely and may you still be blogging in another 7 years time.

  8. Hi there - great post and a great bird. I have been asked many of the same questions about blogging! I wonder why??

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  9. Congratulations on the 7 year anniversary Chris and thank you for your wonderful posts. I've loved reading your blog from the gardening days through to your birding adventures.

    A very interesting post with super photos as always.

    Here's to the next 7 years :)

  10. Congratulations on your blogging achievements.I always enjoy your photos and am fascinated by your descriptions of the environments. Sometimes I am a little envious and then I decide that I would really rather be right here where I live. However, keep on blogging about your place and I can keep on imagining what it would be like to bird around your place.

  11. Great photos! Congratulations on Seven Years!
    I started blogging in much the same way. Reading blogs to learn about gardening, documenting my own garden, and then I became more interested in birds. Five years now and still enjoying it.
    Hope you are having a great day!


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