I and the Bird #78 – Summertime Birding Adventures

25 Jun


Summer time and the living is easy — for teachers.  We teachers just spend the summer kicking back, eating bonbons, and getting pedicures.  So, of course, I volunteered to host I and the Bird in the summertime.  Sure, I’m busy with sipping my ice cold iced tea by the cabana but I figured I could squeeze it in between reading that great summertime novel and supervising the pool boy.

And now, back to reality.  Sure it’s summer and I’m not working but my two kids need a chauffeur, my husband expects to be fed regularly, my house is a disaster area, I’ve got to plan for next year’s batch of kids, kitchen/dining room remodel isn’t finished, the backyard landscaping has been designated for me to manage, and did I mention my house is a disaster?  I know:  whine, whine, whine.

Yes, I do have the summer off and yes, I am enjoying it to the fullest.  Still, I’m not above taking a shortcut here or there.  So, when I learned about Wordle, I was ecstatic.  This is great, I thought, now I don’t have to be clever and come up with a witty theme for I and the Bird #78.  I can kick back, relax, and let  Wordle to the work for me.  (Maybe I can squeeze in a pedicure, after all!)

So,  Wordle works like this:  you take some text (like, say a whole bunch of posts about birds submitted to the world’s favorite birding carnival!) and you tell  Wordle to make it pretty.  And, it does.  You can fiddle with the fonts and colors until you are happy with it and bob’s your uncle (or something like that!).   Wordle is a free service and comes with no strings (that I’ve been able to see!).  You can take your  Wordle results and use them as you will — make t-shirts, make postcards and send them to all your friends and relatives, needlepoint a pillow for your Aunt Clementine, sell them on street corners, or whatever.  That’s pretty cool.  They’ll even let you use them to illustrate a Blog Carnival!  🙂  Oh, and rest assured I have absolutely no affiliation whatsoever with Wordle except that I think it’s pretty cool and I read the FAQ which is how I know all that stuff.

But, without words, Wordle art is a picture of a polar bear looking the other way in a snow storm (as my unartistic 5th graders used to say to me while staring at a blank piece of paper).  So, I am extremely grateful to the contributors to this edition of I and the Bird. You’ve seen their words as art — now go read their posts — see if you can figure out who contributed which words.

IATB #78’s Hard-working Contributors:


Can you believe the third anniversary of I and the Bird is here already? Three years of the best bird blogging on the planet deserves something special so instead of talking about birds (boring!) let’s talk about ourselves! For the first anniversary, Mike asked everyone to write about why they bird, blog, and/or blog about birds. For the second anniversary, he urged everyone to summarize why their blogs were must-read material. After all this time, Mike has another question, one that he hopes the hundreds of contributors we’ve had over the years will consider and confront: Why are you still bird blogging? Don’t take this question the wrong way! We want to know what wonderful experiences/insights/interactions bird blogging has rendered unto you over your weeks, months, or years of micropublishing.

What makes this anniversary edition of IATB even more exciting is that it’s being hosted by Charlie Moores, the second-ever host of our favorite blog carnival and someone who helped shape this collaboration from the very beginning.  So write a post on your blog tackling this pointed question by Tuesday, July 5 and send your link to Mike (mike AT 10000birds DOT com) or Charlie (charlie10000birds AT googlemail DOT com) for the July 7 edition.


15 Responses to “I and the Bird #78 – Summertime Birding Adventures”

  1. jayne 26 June, 2008 at 2:48 am #

    Love your Wordle Liza! Fantastic hosting job! Can’t wait to read all the entries.

  2. Cindy Mead 26 June, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    great edition, this will keep me busy reading for awhile-
    will have to retry woordle- heard about it on via negativia, very cool!
    enjoyed browsing around your blog as well.. I too love Ravens.. many thanks Liza 🙂

  3. Trixie 26 June, 2008 at 10:07 am #

    Fantastic! Liza, this is such a great post. It makes me wish I had gotten my act together to contribute. Ahhh….next time maybe.

  4. Duncan 26 June, 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    A nice collection Liza, well done!

  5. Mary Carlson 27 June, 2008 at 7:16 am #

    Wordle is sure an attention getter. Great job as usual, Liza. That sure was a varied collection of posts, but all good reading, of course.

  6. Liza Lee Miller 27 June, 2008 at 7:57 am #

    Thank you all for all the kind words. I really do feel that I coasted through this one so I’m very glad it was well received! Can’t wait for the Anniversary Edition hosted by Charlie Moores next time! Why do I think he won’t be coasting through it?

  7. Larry Jordan 6 July, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi Liza,
    I love your site and you did a super job on the carnival. Like Trixie said, I wish I had had the time in the last couple of weeks to get it together and send you something. A big thank you for turning me on to Wordle. I have been playing with it since!
    Happy Birding!

  8. The Ridger 8 July, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    I came to double check something and realized I forgot to say “Thanks! Great job”


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