A look back – a 3rd blogiversary

It seems quite a few people decide to start a blog in July, as did I three years ago.  My daughter convinced me that I needed an outlet for all the geeky science stuff I taught for 38 years.  So she made a home page, with a banner of water lilies from a shot she took, and christened the blog:  Back Yard Biology.

My first entry on July 17, 2011 was about the insect I hate to see in my garden, Japanese Beetles.

Japanese Beetle damage to raspberry leaves

I started out with a Canon point-and-shoot so this was as close as I got to small things.

sunflower-crop in northern Minnesota

A year later, July 18, 2012, we were visiting prairies in northwestern Minnesota. They grow a lot of sunflowers up there, and I couldn’t pass up this field at sunset. All facing the same direction, just like students in a big classroom.


On July 17, 2013 I found two male 12-spotted skimmers having a face-off on a tomato stake in my front yard.  The pink background is actually the faded color of my house.

Three years of blogging, 695 posts, I can’t imagine how many words or photos posted, 222 faithful followers who must take a peek almost every day because the average is about 200 views per day, 102,800 total lifetime views of the blog, and 3,998 comments.  Thank you, blog readers, for making this such a fun and educational experience for me.


The animal that continues to garner the most views per day (about 40) is the Great Black Wasp (“Scary-looking, big black wasp alert” posted on July 25, 2012). It must have been the exciting title that generates interest!?


There has to be a bird in a blogiversary post, and my personal favorite from the backyard is this female Ruby-throated Hummingbird approaching Cardinal Flower (from Aug. 17, 2013).

28 thoughts on “A look back – a 3rd blogiversary

        • It is amazing, and that’s what makes it so worthwhile to continue updating daily — to hear from my virtual friends.

  1. Congratulations, Sue. You are one of my favorite bloggers, combining awesome photographs with a wealth of information on your subjects, and you were one of the first readers to comment on my blog. You’ve been a constant source of encouragement for me over the last two years and undoubtedly for countless other readers as well. You’ve had so many memorable posts, but one series that really sticks in my mind is the one with the baby foxes. Best wishes as you celebrate your anniversary and move forward into more adventures. (I chuckled as I read how you were “encouraged” by your daughter to start the blog.)

    • Thanks, Mike. Such kind words, I really appreciate it. I, too enjoy seeing what others are seeing each day. Thank god for children who are bolder and better risk takers than their parents, or I wouldn’t be doing what I am today!

    • Thanks, Maryann, you are so kind, and I do intend to keep going, but need to peruse other peoples backyards from time to time! See you soon.

  2. Happy Blogiversary! I’ve been following your blog since I met you at Birds and Beers. I think that was back in May? Absolutely love the blog. You’re a really prolific poster and I love the content and the photos. I’m always learning new things. I’m always glad to see a new post in my RSS reader.

    • Hey Abrahm! Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m glad you have been following my backyard “adventures”. Here’s to more birds and beer!!

  3. Happy Blogiversary, Sue! I love to read your updates: I learn something new each time I read them. A toast to you!

  4. Congratulations on reaching 3 years, Sue. I didn’t know we had so much in common-just over 3 years ago my daughter set up my blog and the banner photo is one that she took!
    I love the different plants, animals and prairie landscapes that you post here and always look forward to seeing more.

  5. Dr. Chaplin,

    While your daily views may be 200, I bet your daily “reads” is much higher. I am sure that I am not your sole subscriber who receives email alerts which contain the entire blog post. I very rarely read within the WordPress app or website. Also, please thank your daughter for me, as I am so happy to once again have the privilege of having you as a guide to the wonderful organisms that surround us.


    • I think you are right — many of my subscribers are by email only, not bloggers, and I’m sure they read it as it comes in the email and not by clicking through to the WordPress site. And thank YOU for the compliments. The teacher can never stop teaching, apparently.

  6. Congrats on 3 years! And thank you for the informative, interesting articles and photos. I never miss a post. – Jon Shanahan

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