1. On this day today, exactly one year ago, i.e. on 20th June 2009, I was accepted by Blotanical, a worldwide community of garden bloggers. On my first day at Blotanical, I stumbled into my 'Plot' and found that it was filled with welcome messages. Soon each and every one of my new blog posts began to receive some comments. Wow, what an exciting begining and boy, blogging was fun!
It is great to belong to a social network of sincere garden bloggers who looked out for each other and help each other when the need arises. I am really thankful for the assistance given and grateful for friendship extended to me.
2. Via Blotanical, I visited other garden bloggers and learnt a lot from them just by doing Picks. Picks helped me earn the points to move up the ranks at Blotanical. I wanted more faving power so that I can fave as many blotanists as possible. To fave and be faved is such a joyful thing to do.
To all the freshie Blotanist, I shall send you a welcome message whenever time permits. I want you to feel welcomed and ready to break the ice, just like how happy I was to be welcomed by other Blotanists who were Patrons, Fellows, Master and Guru level when I was a newbie 'Freshie'.
While doing Picks, I got to read the latest post of each Blotanist blogger I visited. It all began in June 2009, the season of Spring to early Summer then, and the whole northern hemispere was bursting with flowers blooming everywhere. I have never seen so many beautiful blooms in my whole life. Fake plastic flowers in my living room appeared as real gorgeous blooms from your patios and backyards. And there were beds upon beds and borders of stunning wild flowers everywhere. Even the critters, slimy creatures and creepy crawlies do not look like monsters. They look like nature's masterpiece when photographed in their natural habitats. Soon I discovered that many skilled gardeners are great photographers too.
3. I traveled round the world and visited many many types of gardens, many styles. I learnt to appreciate nature and be kind to the enviroment. Hey, I even saved a family of little birds who came to build a home in my garden! I saw flowers and buds opened everyday in so many colours, shapes and hues. I watched the seasons go by. I witnessed the heat of Summer, the Autumnal blushes, your Winter frost, and I watched Spring came alive.....
I did all these, sitting on my desk, from the flat screen of my desktop computer in a land of neverending summers and heavy rainfalls. I also shared your happiness, joys and sorrows. You showed me your wedding photos, your engagements, birthdays and anniversaries. I felt your sadness and gave words of consolation during your time of grief and loss. I celebrated when you threw a party and it was nice to be invited for a walk in the English woods, then have tea and scones while sitting on a rustic bench, watching the world go by. I toured all over Europe and I journeyed from Alaska to South America. I can identify with fellow gardeners from Malaysia and other countries in Asia but I was surprised to see familiar flora and fauna in Hawaii, Queensland, Florida, the Caribbean islands and even Africa. Next was a hike up the Colorado mountains, a journey to the Everglades and a trip to the desert of Arizona. I was fascinated to know that deers which I only get to see at zoos, just wander into a Washington garden univited and wallop all your gorgeous blooms.....
Blotanical connects garden bloggers around the world!
Red Helen Papilio helenus is a large swallowtail butterfly
4. Then, a shocking reminder came in the form of an email to me:
Subject: Google Verification
Due to congestion in our database system, We have come to realize that your account information on our database system are out of date, as a result of that we require you to verify your Information. Failure to verify your information will result in account suspension. If you are still interested in using our email service, Please click the reply button and fill the below spaces as requested.
Note: This email is only for Gmail users.
Thank you for using Gmail !
I spent many sleepness nights thinking about it and praying that all will be well. Now, I just delete all these junks, spams and scams and laugh my Kookaburra laugh, hahaha...
Hylarana nigrovittata or Dark-sided Frog
5. And another shocking Mail from System Administration
Dear Valued Member,
Due to the congestion in all Webmail account and removal of all unused Accounts, we would be shutting down all unused accounts, You will have to confirm your E-mail by filling out your Login Info below after clicking the reply botton, or your account will be suspended within 48 hours for security reasons.
Date Of Birth: .....................................
Country Or Territory:...............................
After Following the instructions in the sheet, your account will not be interrupted and will continue as normal.Thanks for your attention to this request.
We apologize for any inconvinience.
This too was dipped in batter and fried!!!
6. Surprise also came in the form of emails announcing my windfalls :
Lottery winnings, secret business transactions, urgent assistance request, earn money just by clicking my mouse, partnership proposals, $$$$ gazeleons of inheritance money waiting to be transferred to my bank account !!!!!
I firmly believe that there is no such thing as FREE money dropping from the sky, so I won't take what is not mine.
7. Copyright, intellectual property thefts, misuse and abuse of my post titles - Well, I still have not solved this problem 100%. Some thieves are difficult to trace and how do you take action when you don't know the source? But never mind, I will blog on.
Update: I am happy to share with you Rosie of Leaves n Blooms recommended links. I have adopted many of the measures taught. You can also visit http://www.gardenbloggers.com/, another wonderful community of garden bloggers.
a) Feed Scrappers III
b) Feed Scrappers II
c) Feed Scrappers - Guest Post by Dave Townsend
Meanwhile, please be assured that I have (and will not hessitate to) reported to Google Adsense and Google 'report abuse' platform regarding those blogs/websites that I know of who have violated my rights.
Whenever I have a problem, Blotanists and other Bloggers rallied to help and offered solutions.
Thank you very much for being my friend!
Yay! From a 'Freshman' I am now a 'Sophomore' at Blotanical.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!