Friday, March 23, 2018

Blogging from A-Z • Theme Reveal

Last year I took a year off from A-Z, and one might even suggest I practically took a year off from blogging!

But also last year, I modified / rebranded my blog, changing it from simply 'Amybeads' to 'Amybeads...and birds!'.

So without further ado, the theme of this year's Blogging from A-Z challenge will be: BIRDS.  My intention is to only post about birds I've seen here in my home state of Massachusetts.   To keep things relevant to the bead portion of my blog, I will also be challenging myself to a new pair of earrings each day of the challenge (taking a page out of my friend Christine's playbook!).

Did you know that 2018 is Year of the Bird?  This year was declared Year of the Bird by the Audubon Society and National Geographic because it marks the 100 year anniversary of the Migratory Bird Act.  And in part, because birds are a great indicator of how our environment is doing.  There is a fantastic article (click here) on "Why Birds Matter."  Plus, let's face it, birds are pretty cool.  

I have always enjoyed nature and wildlife, but I would say my love of birds started when I didn’t even realize it. I was in Florida for a vacation in 2009.  When I returned, I posted an album of my vacation on Facebook   The photos I posted were about 90% photos of birds! My friends ribbed me about all the bird photos ("Nice pics, but you seem obsessed with birds" "What's with all the birds?" "Wow, you REALLY like birds, huh?"), but I just brushed past it thinking, "but those birds are so freaking cool."

Fast forward a few years later, in 2014, when there was a snowy owl irruption on the coast of the Atlantic.  While this is not a new phenomenon, it was the first time I had ever heard of it and  lived close enough to go witness and observe these fantastic visitors. 

I visited the Massachusetts north shore multiple times that year and in doing so, started reading up on local bird forums and Facebook groups on where I could find the snowy owls.  But with that, I also started reading about other winter birds in the area and really caught the excitement bug of seeing new birds. 

It wasn't until 2015, that I realized the town conservation land that was so close to me, abutted an Audubon property! Let's just say, the rest is history.  I visit this property just about every chance I get and there are always some wonderful birds and/or wildlife to observe. 

I hope visitors will enjoy this year's Blogging from A-Z posts of birds in my state and probably some narrative on my experiences observing these birds.   Stay tuned also for a pair of earrings per day.  To spice things up, at the end of the challenge, I will hold a drawing for anyone who comments during the month and will gift someone with a week's worth of earrings.   (Examples below but not necessarily the earrings that will be gifted!)


  1. I am amazed by my birder photographer friends like you who manage to get some great photos! I still have yet to see an owl in the wild, outside of wildlife parks. There were snowy owls on our beaches this year too but I didn't get out to see them! All I ever see are turkeys, robins, chickadees, blue jays, seagulls, cormorants and the occasional mourning dove, pigeon and cardinal.

  2. It was fun to read about how your birding got started! I can't wait to see your A-Z posts and your daily earrings :-) I have always looked forward to your A-Z and am glad you are back at it!
    Thanks for the shoutout, too :-D

  3. You are a brave and hardy soul doing A-Z. I did it once and don't think I'll try it again. I am looking forward to seeing wonderful bird photos, getting bird information, and seeing gorgeous earrings (of course). Maybe you will sneak a pair of bird earrings in. I'll be looking :-)
    Best of luck in April!

  4. Birds are cool - for sure! and what a great collection of earrings .... that second pair - what pattern is that? LOVE those


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