Back at the six-month mark, I realized it was high time to acknowledge the many folks who helped get my blog rolling, and to offer a few reflections on the weirdness of Google searches. The twelve-month mark seems like a good time to do the same.
As always, my greatest debt is to my readers.
Thanks, too, to the folks who have posted mentions of my blog in recent months, including Tamar at Starving Off the Land, Phillip at The Hog Blog, Albert at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles, Daniel at Casual Kitchen, Kate at Living the Frugal Life, and the UMass Library’s Local Food research guide. (I’m sure some folks are missing from this list. If you think of someone who is, please remind me.)
And another shout-out to Holly at NorCal Cazadora, who gave my blog a big boost in its very first weeks. I make special mention of her here, both to say thanks and to tell anyone who hasn’t heard: her partner Hank Shaw’s book Hunt, Gather, Cook will soon be out, featuring Holly’s fine photographs.
A few words about Hank’s recipes: Two months ago, I got lucky in rifle season and thought back to one of Hank’s posts about braising venison shanks. Instead of trimming and grinding all those small, tough muscles, I decided to freeze the deer’s lower legs whole. This past weekend, I thawed a shank and tried a variation of one of Hank’s recipes. The result?
Unbelievable. You could cut the meat with a fork. If Cath wasn’t already committed (and married) to me, that dish might have won her heart.
Thanks are also due to the many fine folks who have welcomed me to the world of Twitter. Like any good semi-Luddite, I’m wary of newfangled social media, so it has helped to receive such a warm reception. As one benefit of joining, I’ve come across some wonderful images, including Steve Creek’s wildlife photography and Tommy Ellis’s watercolor landscapes. The one at right reminds me of the brook that tumbles through the woods behind our house.
Finally, I cannot resist—okay, I relish—the opportunity brought my way by Google bots, ubiquitous scavengers of the web that they are. Here, with commentary by yours truly, are a few favorite search strings that led folks to my blog over the past six months:
- “I want to be snake food” – There’s probably a cure for that. Other than the obvious one.
- “Approx how long would it take a large snake to swallow and digest a small human?” – A while. If you want a more precise answer, you could arrange an experiment. You may have a volunteer above.
- “What would be the term for extreme fear of porcupines?” – No clue. Porcuphobia? Quillophobia?
- “Why am I not seeing deer in Vermont 2010?” – That depends. What were you doing when not sitting at your computer, Googling? If, like one of my friends, you were sitting by your living room window instead of sitting in the woods, then I have a theory.
- “Are woodchucks invertebrates or carnivores?” – Um, neither. Wait, do you mean the kind that raids gardens, or the kind that hunts deer?
- “Vegan falconry” – What does the falcon chase, a tofu pup on a string? Does the bird get a say in this?
- “Vegetarian hunters organization” – If you’re starting one, please let me know. I want to be a founding member.
- “Words of wisdom for vegans from hunters” – Hmmm. Unlike most of the other Googlers above, you might actually have come to the right place.
- “Hippy ethics for hunting” – You definitely came to the right place. Technically speaking, I was never a hippie: I was a generation too late, didn’t pop psychedelic mushrooms, and never owned a pair of bellbottoms. I was, however, a peace-loving vegetarian who wore his hair long. In light of recent demand for evidence of that last fact, please see photo at right.
© 2011 Tovar Cerulli