A long, long time ago I can still remember when JJ of A bigger Pot kindly awarded me one of her Arte y Pico awards (and she won hers from like a proper newspaper blog - MSM/blogosphere crossover hit or what?)- this sort of meme isn't how I usually roll but after much deliberation I finally got around to picking my 5 and writing about them. So here's my 5 - a few others would have got one (Isis, Tetzoo, 10,000 birds) but they all either have one already or already have a number of links here and I wanted to draw attention to a few of my less well known favourites:
My first choice was the easiest: Pure Florida - its just an awesome blog, personal and educational, caring, funny and serious with never a dull post. I was going to write that I wish I'd had a teacher like Mr. PF but the truth is I did have - he just didn't write an awesome blog and I think that's what makes this particularly awesome for me.........that and the cute turtle photos.
Wittonia or, more prosaicly, Mark Witton's flickr site is a recent favourite. Long term readers will know the high esteem in which I hold, and the frequency with which I link to, Darren Naish's Tetrapod Zoology. It was through TetZoo that I discovered this blog as Mark is a colleague of Darren's who shares his fascination with prehistoric beasties and who has just handed in a phd thesis on Pterosaurs. He's also some sort of artistic genius hence this blog thingy being based on flickr and being populated by a) some of the most atmospheric "scientific art" I've seen and b) definitely the longest flickr notes ever. If you think of Pterosaurs as just those flappy things in the background of dinosaur movies whilst T-Rex is doing something more interesting click here and prepare to be amazed. As for evidence of Mark's artistic genius check out this black skimmer or this rather dark piece.
This next blog is rather specialised but I think absolutely fascinating and I'm sure those of you who aren't aquarists will be amazed. Many of you will be familiar with sayings like "an inch of coral takes a century to grow" or some such. Well for the most part those aren't quite accurate, in fact nowadays the reef aquarium hobby has developed to such a degree that not only can hundreds of soft and hard corals be maintained in aquaria but they can be propagated like plants by cutting (or fragging as its known). Its not just coral either but zooanthids, anemones and sponges. Others breed particularly beautiful localised strains of clownfish. People even scour giant clam farms to spare the most beautiful clams from the cooking pots of the south pacific! Different strains and colour morphs become highly desired and propagated and highly skilled "reef farmers" become well known in the hobby. One such is Eddie of My Coral Adventure. Even if you don't read much of this blog I think you'll find his posts on a californian coral farmers' market and this post on Aquaculture in Bali. Absolutely amazing.
One Straw Revolution is named for an interesting Japanese farming text (which is itself worth a read - its short and available online somewhere) and represents an awesome community of what I guess you'd call green lifestyle blogs. I think what makes OSR rise above these is the attention to detail and enthusiasm in every post regardles of the topic - be it talking, farming and eating potatoes or hypermilin'. Also Rob thinks big and has a number of really awesome projects going on and I look forward to his posts on them just to find out how they're doing. The detail and enthusiasm combines to infuse every post with a real belief that with the help of people like Rob maybe everything won't get screwed up. Sometimes we all need that.
Camera Trap Codger is the blog of retired Smithsonian scientist and conservation consultant Chris Wemmer. It provides pretty much what you'd expect from the name - camera trap photos. Whilst Chris' hit rate in terms of getting excellent photos of north american mammals would be reason enough to check it out - the backstory of how, where and why the traps are set and the insight it gives into animal behaviour and Chris' knowledge hereof would be reason enough to check out his blog with no pictures. Happily there are pictures: Bears, Mountain Lions and Show'tls! Oh My!
So there you are. Go. Read. Enjoy......but please come back after you've seen how much better they are than here - I get lonely when y'all ain't around otherwise :(
ps - forgot the rules of the meme and their origin:
- Choose 5 blogs you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogging community, regardless of the language.
- Each award should have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
- Each award winner should show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented him/her with the award.
- The award winner and the one who has given the award should show the Arte y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this award. Translated, it means "the peak of art".