Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Desert Edge Bloggiversary - 8 Years!

"Everyone's doing it", so here's my take. The Desert Edge is 8 years old as of today!

I began The Desert Edge after another native plant society member started her blog, urging others on as a modern way to keep a garden and nature journal. She quit blogging after a few posts that spring of '05.

My journal of natural and built environment sightings is about spaces; my own garden and designs were only side notes. While I never had other readers or comments in mind, I like how that's evolving, too. It's since turned into more of a landscape design blog, but I often mix it up. Here's some statistics -
POSTS [my Abq patio after an overnight snow in the winter of 2009...definitely not this blustery, dry winter]
493 - all time (but I'm not always a regular)
119 - in the queue (more ideas than time)
2853 - page views on my top post - here . Top posts and pages include our Feb 2011 über-freeze (brrr), posts for the GDRT (no surprise), yuccas (yippee ki-yay), Arizona Rosewood (of all the plants!), and my plant inventory (more than most of my neighbors properties combined). Some even looked at my rain gauge (at times, I too like sun-cracked plexiglass & spider webs)!

VIEWS [fall in the Abq north foothills, pink Bush Muhley / Muhlenbergia porteri, awaiting some clever name to get used?]
177,903 - all time
7,275 - last month. There are certainly other blogs compared to mine, which are - more or less popular, newer or older, kinder and gentler or nastier and more uppity, smarter or less so, more pop-culture or more fringe, more shallow or deeper, worse or better, and many other superlatives. The Desert Edge "is what it is". And thanks for being a part!

COMMENTS [squirrels enjoying dappled shade from a mesquite on a mid-summer's day in Abq]
3528 - all time
? - spam (I lost count, since I incinerate some weekly). No matter how many of you commented or didn't on The Desert Edge, visited, sent many or few my way, or whatever, anyone should know that I'm thrilled with each visitor. 
HOW PEOPLE GOT HERE [near Junction TX, near the edges of sub-humid prairie and semi-arid uplands]
Already using Google, tweeting and being a knight on the GDRT, I owe others a big thanks, too. At under 700 miles, Blogger stats say Rockrose sent many here. At 2/3 the way across the US and a touch S of due E, is Tara. And at 400+ miles and 6+ hours down the Salt River Canyon, is AZ Plant Lady. Gracias, from the land of 4 seasons of eternal sun, birds that run, and limitless drought!
WHO READS IT [whimsical planter at a San Angelo TX residence]
I've had countless great interactions while sharing my insights. As many educators say, 
"I learn more as I teach others". I'm thankful to know each of you, even if only virtually
or on a lighter level! (well, maybe not the occasional HOG who gets in:-)

Many cause me to laugh. But the above copy / knock-off of my blog made me laugh as much as most anything in the Desert Edge's 8 years! "Midnight at the oasis, bring your camels to bed...!" Tres bien? Que no?
TIME I'VE SPENT [Giant Sacaton / Sporobulus wrightii in El Paso)
No comment, other than time spent here may have helped me lose a few projects that 
could have been lucrative. And I'm reminded often of someone who I know benefited,
though it's actually someone I admire - six of one, or half-a-dozen-...

HOW MUCH MONEY I'VE MADE [Bismarckia Palm / Bismarckia nobilis at a luxurious Phoenix home)
"For the love of money is the root of all evil."
A RARELY-STATED GOAL [Central New Mexico Community College in Abq, west side campus building - Quercus 2002]
Help get arid region-centric, desert-celebrating, dreary-denying and high quality horticulture in high desert areas on the map! Meaning above and cooler than Tucson and the Sonoran Desert. Or...no HOG, just right:-)

In my 8 years, there should be more such blogs, with 12 million+ people in the major towns of the Desert SW, including the high desert. 2 places rule the garden blogosphere - one with moss coating every major plant form in the world, as their sky drips unrelenting for 6 months; the other with metal stock tank planters dotted with spikes and blooms, scented with BBQ and tinted burnt orange. Good for them! But no need to compete - humans "need" to move beyond making everything into a competition.

Let's all just do our best, whoever we are - including we in the high desert and desert southwest.
MY HOPE [my Abq front yard in spring...the yellow is Damianita / Chrysactinia mexicana]
Help others have the best environment and lives that they can. Be true, real, better and deeper than most traditional garden media has been, each person thinking why they do what they do, then telling their unique story.

And get arid-region-centric, desert-celebrating, dreary-denying, high quality, and appropriate horticulture in high desert areas on the map!


  1. Congratulations on 8 years of providing inspiration!

    1. Thanks - I look forward to your bloggiversary, and all you'll teach us fellow desert people!

  2. Yes congratz on the 8 years. I actually had to look at when I started my blog. It was July of 2011, but I let it lay there. Finally in March of 2012, I decided to go forward. Had I still been living in So-Call, I would have never thought to write down my years of experience. At times I wished that way back when, that I had photographed more in the 1970s/80s/90s , but I didn't. Mostly I did what I did out of personal satisfaction for myself and nothing more. Over the weekend I wrote about your area and the massive wholesale destruction of Pinyon Juniper woodlands. They are not able to produce seed anymore, but I had already experienced this in Anza in the late 1990s. Things are definitely changing for the worse.

    I like your point about notoriety and competition. I never liked it in school and I don't like it now. That's why I'm pretty much anonymous in writing, with the exception of a few who actually know me. Lately there have been a plethora of articles about fraud and deceit in Science motivated by this obsession with fame glitter and glory. Of course the pursuit of obscene wealth is always present.

    I love things to do with Fungi and there is one respected mycologist out there that is sort of a celebrity darling in this field, but I find that in many of his TED Talk video, he spends more time talking about himself than the actual subject. Me, Me, Me, I, I, I, We (he & wife) We, We, and so forth. Then he speaks of his obsession with acquiring patents because he's going to save the world with mushrooms and he wants to be on paper as having discovered it, so the money as well as the fame is a factor. Whatever!!!

    Incredibly, it's these personality traits that has gotten the natural world into the proverbial toilette in the first place. So I stay away from many of his things anymore when they appear on the headlines.

    I see you've finally gotten some snow in the top photo. There is a huge storm set to hit So-Cal and San Diego County is expecting 18+ inches of snow out of it. Show be headed your way directly after. There also appears to be a long southern tail of Pineapple Express moisture stretching beyond Hawaii from what I see on the map, so maybe you'll make out after all.

    This last photo I almost need sunglasses to view. I can only imagine what it must be like in real life to look at on a sunny day. Gongratz again, nice story.


    1. Thanks, and glad you post on many topics I am now learning on. Now it's easier to take photos, but if the past was missed, then it's gone. Some people border on freaky in how territorial or proprietary they are with knowledge, which is funny, since there is little new under the sun...sigh. But in my field, where there's little money in it, that's even sadder. Part of why I'm not on Facebook... Top photo - I added the 2009? date to it, since that's what the photo showed...hoping for some moisture, but it's 10% chance so far. Last photo - sunglasses necessary in person - I was told some of the editorial staff at Sunset did *not* like how bright it was, though the same or bolder in Tucson is just fine!

  3. Congratulations on eight years! That's a long time in blogger years. I have learned so much from you about plants that work in our climate. Your observations about people are always amusing too.

    The bismarckia photo is stunning!

    "It is what it is" is the best way to go.

    1. Thanks, I'm ancient it sounds. And I learn from you, including the advantages of living with live oaks and without much winter at all! Amusing keeps me sane:-)

  4. Happy Blogoversary!!! Love hearing about the growth and your photos are awesome. The one with the two squirrels is my fav!!
    ps, you forgot to mention your sketched pieces.......

    1. Thanks down in Tucson...with the wind holding off another day, today may need to be a sketch pad day on the mountain bike ride. Those squirrels were so funny - more human than people!

  5. Eight years, congrats! You're like a senior citizen of blogland!

    I love this look back, the photos and text are a fun way to do it. I too have learned so much for you...and still hope to meet you in person someday. (in case you've not heard the 2014 Garden Bloggers Fling is gonna be in Portland, here's your chance to venture north)

    1. Thanks, Danger G.! Same here, and as I've said, you could teach most here on hardy spikiness and they would be floored you were from OR. We shall meet - the fling in late June in SF is hard to turn down coming from here, but Portlandia in '14 sounds nice, too.

  6. Happy Bloggiversary!

    I have learned a lot from you, too. And, I think your Stated Goal is a noble one.

    Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks L/P - I will, and you keep on regardless of those hoofed beasts posing as bambi.

  7. Happy day David! :)

    I REALLY loved this:
    "Help others have the best environment and lives that they can. Be true, real, better and deeper than most traditional garden media has been, each person thinking why they do what they do, then telling their unique story."

    I especially love it because you say it, AND mean it... you demonstrate it continuously. Thank you for always answering my many questions....thank you for all the teaching...Looking forward for the many more years to come.

    1. Thanks! I do mean it, and I learn so much answering your q's, by the way... (most of that to still put into action)

  8. Happy Bloggiversary to you!!! Keep up the good work :-)

    1. Thanks, señor - fun times, especially being inspired from blogs like yours'!

  9. So animals woke me up in the middle of the night, so I turned to my laptop for comfort before trying to sleep again. Congrats on your blogiversary. I had one, too. I find your blog informative, intellectual, and necessary. (Most importantly necessary.) I miss hearing from you! I hope all is well with you! Take care, David!

    1. I'm so glad you visited, and I miss you too, my favorite Firewheel! Thanks, thanks and thanks...I'm going to try and get caught up commenting on blogs this next week, since I've caught most of your posts for weeks.

      All well, and I hope the same for you, L. wheeleri!

  10. Eight years! Congratulations on still posting and being more relevant than ever, David. And I LOVE that last photo, by the way. Yours from the land of stock tanks, BBQ, burnt orange, and spiky plants.

    1. Thanks, oh bloggenmeister - I've thought about stopping, but I'm trying to just pare it down, to relieve myself. Too bad Sunset hated that pic...sheesh! Hopefully, we both don't have to watch Austin become Del Rio!


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