Susan K. Williams has the best job in the world, and she blogs about it. She’s an educator for a Cincinnati-based bird of prey rehabilitation center and has conducted more than 1,000 programs with the center’s education birds. Her blog, Susan Gets Native, not only highlights her work with raptors, but also the humor in her daily life, whether it’s a funny exchange with her kids or the latest idiocy she’s seen in public. I had the pleasure of meeting Susan in person at the New River Birding and Nature Festival, and can vouch for the fact that she’s just as much fun on the blog as she is in “real” life. As Susan says, “I have found my place in the world.”
Susan, Why do you blog?
I got my blog started after reading a family member’s blog. I love to talk and share what I do and my experiences tend to run into the absurd, so I let myself loose on the Internet. I initially was just talking to myself, but then a little comment from a complete stranger (Laura at Somewhere In NJ) began the weaving of an intricate web of relationships.
What do you like best about blogging?
That’s easy to answer – it’s the people I have met. We share our joys, sorrows, triumphs…and getting to finally wrap my arms around someone whom I have “cyber-known” for years is just the best.
What’s unique or different about your blog?
My blog is “Like a Box of Chocolates.” You never know what you are going to get, reading my blog. It might be an especially trying moment of parenting, a cool bird I saw, or a rant about the latest moron to cross my path.
Tell us about the name of your blog.
I read a book several years ago, Suburban Safari by Hannah Holmes. It changed the way I think about everything…what plants to choose for my yard, recycling, conservation…Every single person who is a steward of land, regardless of the size of the plot, can help nature find a place to thrive. NATIVE PLANTS, PEOPLE!!!!
In our little 3/4 acre yard, we have hosted 6 species of raptors, 55 species of song/other birds, about 15 types of dragonflies, 3 types of snakes, small, medium and large mammals, frogs and toads, countless beetles and other insects…you get the idea. We welcome nature in…we don’t shun or kill it.
How do you promote your blog and attract readers?
I use Facebook, but not for my blog. Just for fun! The best promotion I have found is by commenting on other blogs. I have had plenty of people who find my blog by some goofy comment I have left elsewhere!
Any comments on being part of the nature blogger community?
Though great strides have been made in erasing the “bird nerd” stereotype, we still have a long way to go. It’s gratifying to read blogs dedicated to the same things I love: not just birds, but all aspects of the natural world. It is a dream come true…I have found my PEOPLE!
Has blogging changed how you think about nature? or how you write?
I experience more outside, now that I have an audience to share it with. I find something exciting, or grotesque, or new, my first thought is, “I can’t wait to blog about this!!!” I learn about everything I post, reading up on subjects that are new to me. It’s like an Independent Study course.
Here are a couple of favorite posts from Susan Gets Native:
Thank you for joining us, Susan.