1,576,800 minutes

It’s been a few days more than one year (525,600 minutes according to the lyrics from Rent) since I last blogged, and three times that since I blogged consistently. In that time, Google Reader disappeared and blogs were declared dead.

Wrenaissance Reflections may have been quiet, but it’s not dead. I’ve missed blogging and missed being part of the nature blogger community. I am ready to resume but doing so will require some changes, such as moving from hosted WordPress to Blogger, allowing me to focus on content rather than technology.

It will be slow at first. In addition to new posts, I will be moving older ones here bit by bit. In some ways, it’s same old, same old. In others, it’s a new adventure. I look forward to moving forward, and hope to see many friends old and new around cyberspace.

Here’s a little nature to start:

A U-M squirrel:
gray on the outside,  maize and blue on the inside. 


When Blogging Becomes a Slog – NYTimes.com

A few case studies on blogger burnout. Blogging is demanding if you do it right. If you don’t, why bother? The article comments only in passing on community, however. For me, it’s one of the most important parts of doing this. I’ve met many good friends and colleagues through blogging, and it’s taken me places I wouldn’t have gone otherwise.

It’s the community I miss, and which draws me back each time I stop. I’ve decided to start blogging again, and as much as I’ve loved playing with technology by having my own hosted WordPress site, I’m going to concentrate on content rather than container or platform. 

Wrenaissance Reflections will continue.

— Wren

what’s going on?

In September, I wrote:

It’s hard to know what to write here. One month ago, I thought I was slowing down the number of posts on Wrenaissance for a while. I thought I was going to the Midwest Birding Symposium as an official blogger.  I thought I had an overly busy and heavily scheduled life.

One of my favorite quotes is “Life is what happens while you’re making plans.” Life happened. Out of nowhere, the sudden illness and death of an immediate family member has set us reeling.

I’ve had a longer break from blogging than I expected. I missed going to the MBS, let alone blogging it. My schedule is in tatters, and obligations are unmet. So I sit here, and for a change I have no plan for blogging, for birding, or for the rest of my life’s affairs. I don’t know how often I’ll be posting here, or what my content will be. For a time, I need to stop thinking, stop planning, and let life happen.

Updated January 8, 2012

Thank you to those who sent private comments or emails while I’ve been off line. Your kind words and encouragement are much appreciated, and they have helped more than you know.

I’m going to continue in a low-maintenance mode for the foreseeable future, including moving back to blogger (wrenaissance.blogspot.com) and sharing primarily through less involved platforms such as Googlie plus. We’ll see where that leads.

It’s been great doing this. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve gotten to know some terrific people. I hope I’ll still see you out and about in cyberspace.

Updated again June 23, 2013

I never did get moved over to Blogger, but I also haven’t resumed blogging in any real way. Still, I haven’t completely given up on the idea, or the format – hence the new design and some ongoing reformatting. Google Reader’s demise to the contrary, blogs are not dead.

Stay tuned.


Wind moving through the grass or the trees has long been a metaphor for change.

When I started my website, long before it was a blog, I thought I’d be sharing information about backyard wildlife habitats, and that my enthusiasm would be contagious. In those long-ago days, the internet was lightly populated compared to today. Now there are many sites from large, reputable organizations with high visibility which fill the information niche and promote habitats and other conservation practices.

As a birder and naturalist, I’m a perpetual beginner. I appreciate the beautiful and the interesting, but I don’t need to be an expert. There are numerous blogs from professional and amateur naturalists that share rich, detailed information about plants and animals culled from years of study or days of intense research. My contribution to this conversation is one of many, and in some ways superficial.

Given this, and with new professional responsibilities that take more of my time, I considered closing the blog. Writing is slow and cumbersome for me. One of the reasons I began blogging was to develop my writing skills, but that development is only possible with regular writing. Being realistic about the time I have to devote to blogging, it’s unlikely that I’ll practice enough writing to improve it. I could make time, but that I don’t says something as well.

Nonetheless, I don’t want to give up blogging. Over time, the blogosphere has become more about community and less about content for me, and I want to continue to be part of that community. I’ll continue here with more photos and less writing, posting less often. Following Klaus’s untimely passing, the Skywatch team has decided to continue that meme, and I’ll be taking more of a role there. Most of this has already happened. It’s my desire for closure that motivates this post, not the need to give notice of change.

Welcome to the new Wrenaissance. Thank you for reading and for your comments. You are my community.