The Christmas post

Melbourne red gumWhat a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how concerning unexpected feelings.

Dear readers, welcome to my last blog for the year. I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s stories. Thanks for reading this year’s blogs and for following the links to other bloggers. Blogging has introduced me to a network of enthusiastic ecologists, writers, photographers and artists, all sharing their support for the environment and love of nature.

Thanks too if if you’ve sent in a comment or shared one of my posts on Facebook, Twitter or other social media. The stories on old paddock trees, vanishing Banksias, great ecology blogs, and many more, reached a much bigger audience than I dreamed of thanks to your links and shares.

What’s in store for 2014? Unfortunately, I never know what I’ll write after the current post (as you’ve probably guessed by now), so I’d love to hear about the types of stories that you would like to see more of in 2014. You can guide the future of the blog by posting a short comment below, to share your festive thoughts on:

  • What did you most enjoy (or dislike) about the blog this year?
  • What would you like to see more (or less) of in the future?
  • If you could suggest one thing that you’d hate to see happen to the site in the future, what would it be?

The more ideas you submit, the more varied and entertaining next year’s posts will be. To provide some guidance, I’ve listed below a selection of this year’s feedback from my ‘faceless readers’. The WordPress blogging software deletes hundreds of spam comments every week, but a few spam messages escape the automated cull. If these weren’t from shady re-financing sites and dodgy commerce and porn sites, I’d be overwhelmed by such flattering praise and uniquely phrased opinions.

If you share your thoughts in the comments box below, please refrain from writing anything as syrupy as this …

Wonderful items from you, man. I’ve take note your stuff prior to and you’re simply extremely wonderful.

Or as terse and disgruntled as this…

I used to be able to find good advice from your blog articles.  [aka, ♫ ‘I like your old stuff better than your new stuff’ ♫]…

I can’t help but be perplexed by a comment like this…

Absolutely composed written content, regards for selective information. 

But after years of marking student assignments, I’ll make perfect sense of informed commentary like this…

So if you are like insurance agent commission most people, you’re not getting this opportunity. If you were at the forefront of change, I like to use a more environmentally friendly water heating option such as a mother who stays home with her children needs to be done in manual. If you’re getting at a trusted expert online, however, you’ll be astounded as to how long you are insurance agent commission going on to heirs typically. 

And, of course, I’ll be overjoyed to receive more zen-inspired praise …

What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how concerning unexpected feelings.

In conclusion, dear simply extremely wonderful reader, as your trusted expert online, please remain absolutely composed and enjoy many precious unexpected feelings this Christmas. I hope you all rejoice in an environmentally friendly manner at the forefront of change in 2014.

P.S. If you’d like to read a Christmas ecology blog that’s over-flowing with talent, innovation and beauty (unlike this post), check out Kate Whittington’s Christmas sketchbook. Every day she posts a gorgeous sketch with embedded links to more online information. Move your cursor over her pictures to see and follow the links. It’s a fantastic fusion of art and technology.

Best wishes, Ian


20 thoughts on “The Christmas post

  1. Thanks for a great laugh out loud with the excerpt re the ‘environmentally friendly water heating option’ or whatever it was about. Ian your blog gives me such faith in the future, that people like you are doing the work that you do, using science, technology to study the land with intelligence and an open mind. Your blog always inspires, provokes thought, boosts that tenuous part of the heart-mind called ‘hope’. I’m off to Port Fairy with husband and 3 grandsons for a few fun-filled days -and lots of catering! Will give thought to your request for feedback on my return

    • Many thanks Christine, I shall make it my challenge in 2014 to write a better line that that one! I hope you have a wonderful Xmas, best wishes Ian

  2. Dear Ian;
    I enjoy your blog because of the focus on new issues/research, and due to your own facilitation of information (informal and inclusive). Findings from your new students add to the excitement and please do continue with the excellent cross referencing of other sources. Thanks for this year and look forward to next years instalments.
    Merry Xmas Runar

  3. Hi Ian,
    I particularly like your ‘brain teasers’ where you throw out the challenge to us to try and solve puzzles in the landscape. Also a great example of crowd sourcing possible interpretations and answers – I enjoyed keeping track of others musings and knowledge, and your always encouraging comments in response. It’s good to try and think until it hurts. And thank you for introducing me to the concept of “shifting baseline syndrome – the new normal” vis a vis current landscapes. I also like how you weave in your students’ research and collaborations. Great links to other blogs. Hours can pass! The recent Kate Whittington one was a real gem, which I have sent on to others.

    • Thanks Deb, I haven’t had a puzzle for ages, I’ll try to think of a good one for early in the new year. Glad you enjoyed the Kate Whittington link, it’s a beautiful site. Thanks again and best wishes Ian

  4. Hi Ian,

    Really been enjoying you blog, It’s great when you live out in isolated pockets of the country, far away from any university to be able to get your insights into the world of ecological research. Its a great opportunity to see what is going on in the rest of the State/Country.

    Looking back at your posts I enjoyed plenty e.g “Forgotten woodlands, future landscapes” also noted there are some I missed that I need to go back and read.

    Always interested in ways that volunteers and amateurs can contribute to effective monitoring or restoration works.

    Would hate to see the site fold due to a lack of appreciation of the effort you are obviously putting in. Thank You

    • Hi TB, thanks for your thoughts. The ‘forgotten woodlands’ blog about Banksias was the most popular story this year by a long shot, thanks to so many readers who kindly shared it on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t anticipate the blog folding next year, unless I run out of ideas, so it’s great to see the variety of topics that have interested everyone. Thanks again, and best wishes Ian

  5. Hi Ian, your blogs quite simply make me feel part of the bigger picture, the future of our planet relies heavily on each of us playing our small part, through your site I feel connected to a wealth of expertise and passion that enables me to feel more confident about playing my small part in a more informed way. Cheers and Merry Christmas to all 🙂

    • Thanks Catherine, it’s been great to trigger interactions and connections between so many people through the great comments on lots of the blogs. A Merry Xmas to you too. Best wishes Ian

  6. I’m a resident of Vermont in the States and enjoy hearing the details of a landscape very different from the conifers that dominate our woods. And every so often you provide little gems like the link to science writer Kate Whittington who does wonderful illustration and writing. It’s a very complex science blog ecosystem out there.

    • Hello Tom, it’s fantastic to hear that the blog resonates across to the other side of the world. It’s going to be be 40 degrees C (over 100 degrees F) here in a few days time. I hope your Christmas is a lot cooler! Best wishes Ian

  7. Hi Ian, I stumbled across your blog by accident while searching for woodlands information, and was gripped from the beginning. I look forward to each new installment and agree with Deb Little’s observation that ‘Hours can pass’. I especially liked puzzles and the ‘Forgotten Woodlands’ blog. It would be great to see more ‘lessons from history’. Looking forward to the next post. Best wishes for 2014.

    • Hi Sue, thanks for writing in, I’m glad you enjoyed the posts. I’m really going to have to put my thinking cap on now to invent some puzzles for next year. I try to mix up the historical posts with more contemporary ones, and I’ll do my best to keep posting both next year. Best wishes for a great year next year to you too, Ian

  8. Hi Ian – thanks for ‘treating’ the reader to a whole range of vegetation dynamics posts this year, both historical in context and current day issues. While I tend to focus on the more pointy-head stuff at times in my Blog, I love your story-telling (although I can do without the Patrick Swayze references!!). And you tend to hit the nail on the head with your choice of ecological themes to write about, many of which seem to be “hidden” from view in the general discussion about vegetation in SE Oz. Keep up the good work. And have a terrific Christmas break too. JOHN

    PS My favourite post (among many) was your 1st post of the year – How to Grow a Woodland Tree. It’s hard not to drive around the landscape now without asking – “is that a true woodland tree, or an outcome of clearing”. I’m a bit obsessed by this now!

  9. Hi Ian,

    I’d like to see you toss around some provocative ideas, for example looking at some of the themes Tim Low discusses in the New Nature, a book I first read a decade ago but found just as refreshing and stimulating on a second read earlier this year.

    Anyway, I have found your blog a source of great inspiration and now cultivate about 20 of the grassland herbs indigenous to my region on my North Central Victoria acreage as well as many of the larger plants. Have a great Xmas and New Year!!!

    • Hi Melaleuca, thanks for the suggestion. I think Tim Low’s ‘New Nature’ is an absolutely fantastic book. Lots of the themes he explored are now being taken up by research ecologists, but Tim hasn’t really received the credit he deserves for raising so many topical issues for nature conservation over a decade ago. If anyone else is searching for a fantastic book to read over Xmas, New Nature should be on the list! Thanks again for your many great comments through the year too, best wishes Ian

  10. Hi Ian,
    I’m not usually a bloggy sort of person but yours is good stuff.

    So with the flowering of the various Christmas Bushes…
    Happy New Year!

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