Followers

Friday, 5 March 2021

Who Could Have Imagined Where Blogging Might Take Us?

      When I first started to blog, the only purpose was  to place my trip reports (hence the name "Travels With Birds") on the internet so that others contemplating a birding adventure in a given region might benefit from my experiences.
     I could never, in my wildest dreams, have imagined how far-reaching and expansive blogging would become, and how many true and genuine friendships would be made. I have stayed with people, birded with them, had dinner in their homes on three continents, and received gifts. I have even mourned a couple who have died. Relationships that will no doubt last a lifetime have been formed, developed, enhanced and cemented.
     One such amazing alliance has been with Sue Goldberg in Canberra, Australia - about as far away from Waterloo, Ontario as you can get! She has become a true and steadfast friend - and we have never even met. It has often crossed my mind that the internet in a perverse sort of way sometimes  facilitates friendships more easily than actual contact.
     I have visited Australia twice and Sue knows that I have become besotted with Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Cacatua galerita), a species that often visits her garden. Gorgeous and endearing as they may appear, a gang of cockatoos can do serious damage, merrily severing the flowers from their stems, peeling bark from trees, removing the weather-stripping from windows, detaching the seal around your car's windshield, and other nefarious deeds of their own devising. Sue calls them Sulphur-crested Vandals with good reason; yet she loves them still, and understands more than anyone my obsession with them.
     All this preamble is to tell you that yesterday I received a package from Sue containing a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo coffee mug and a selection of flight feathers shed by her visitors.


     How incredibly kind is this? What a splendid, personal and deeply meaningful gift! I was thrilled, ecstatic, moved, grateful and happy that Sue has become part of my life.
     At around ten o'clock each morning Miriam and I have coffee and a little confection of one kind or another that she has made. It is as much a part of our daily rhythm as waking up! Even when we are out birding for the day we take it with us.
     You will not even need to guess what my favourite coffee mug is going to be for all time!


     Thanks again, Sue. Better friends just don't exist.

 

84 comments:

  1. Fantástico regalo, ahora los desayunos serán más agradables. Un abrazo amigo mío!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Que maravilloso regalo David. A mi me fascina de que manera se coge cariño a personas que no se conocen físicamente y como forman parte de mi vida. Eso me ocurre con muchas de las maravillosas personas que me siguen y sigo. Y Míriam y tu soy de esas personas que no conozco, pero que quiero. Un abrazo enorme.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Truly an act of kindness and friendship.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is clear that passions like the one we share as our love for nature and its inhabitants, creates a very special bond between us and no matter how far away we are from each other, our hearts feel very close. Greetings and happy weekend

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sue's friendship gesture for you is truly touching!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am thrilled that it arrived safely and that you like it. When I went past that mug in a community market it called your name. Loudly.
    And a big YES to the community I have found in the blogosphere. I have laughed with bloggers, I often learn from them and yes I have wept with and for them too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a lovely gift you sent, Sue, you are an angel!

      Delete
  7. How wonderful!
    I too feel the same way about my blogging friends. To me, blogging has replaced the 'Pen Friend' of the 1960's era, but so much more immediate.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What wonderful gifts with such happy memories!

    ReplyDelete
  9. That was such a really thoughtful and very kind gift from Sue.
    I too have received some wonderful surprises from around the world, some from people that I have never met. I received a large parcel from Taiwan, it was filled with many special surprises and treasures. I have also met and spent happy times with several bloggers from the States and Australia.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ce sont de jolis cadeaux, j'ai déjà reçu et envoyés des petites choses à des amies de blog, c'est sympa d'échanger des idées et partager des photos avec des gens qui ont les mêmes occupations.
    La tasse est jolie.
    Bon weekend

    ReplyDelete
  11. To prawda blogowanie jest wspaniałym sposobem na zawieranie przyjaźni. Piękny kubek z niezwykłym ptakiem:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hari OM
    David, blogging is far more than a mere 'log' of any subject, I have discovered. It moves across into pen-friendship and even deeper, over time. It is because of blogging that I made my trip to the USA and Canada (five year gone already since then, egad!) and also have made lasting connections - even met and made an excellent 'real life' friend or two. So yes, this was a tremendous gift and proof that Love Universal knows no boundaries! YAM xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. That mug is quite a sight to see.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sue is a dear ❤ . My birds are corollas. They have attitude.

    ReplyDelete
  15. That is such a beautiful gesture and it couldn’t be more fitting!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Awww that is so kind and thoughtful.
    A perfect gift.

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
  17. And the feathers add that special touch only those cockatoos could contribute! How perfect is that?

    ReplyDelete
  18. How marvelous! The internet is an amazing place. I have made friends, too, I would never have met from the other side of the world. What special gifts--the mug is great but the feathers are treasures, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. How wonderful and special, truly a gift from the heart to a friend.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anyone who makes blogger contact with Sue becomes besotted with her. She is our glue. I hope your next trip to Australia brings you two together.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great photographs. You are on a different level of birding to me obviously, being a world traveller, but one thing I was delighted to notice, visiting my sister in Australia many years ago, is that birds over there might be very different to look at in colour with sometimes some extra bits attached but I could still tell what they were just by body shape alone, i.e. songbird, magpie, finch, kingfisher, etc so the same is probably true worldwide of all animals and birds by whatever niche they fill in the different countries and adapt the best shape to fit into it? Up until that time I hadn't thought about it much yet I was able to tell what they were before she did, much to her disgust as a 20 year local resident, without knowing the actual names.

    ReplyDelete
  22. How thoughtful of Sue!!
    She is indeed a wonderful virtual friend.

    ReplyDelete
  23. You have been blogging quite a long time. Do you still have some friends form the early days? I may have one or two although they don't blog vey much anymore if at all, but there is fb.

    ReplyDelete
  24. You are a very lucky man, David. The coffe mug looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  25. You are a very rich man ... if you have friends all over the world! Right?
    Sue's feathers are a very special gift!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Wonderful.....
    You captured the whole essence of blogging and friendship in this post, well done to Sue xx

    I have also met some wonderful people through world birding. Some guides I have used I still keep in regular contact.

    Where to next???

    ReplyDelete
  27. How nice that you received this as a present.
    I know you can get sincere friendships over the internet, I also met a girlfriend over the internet, we've never seen each other but we both have a blog, we also call each other now and then, I really like that.
    We've known each other for about 20 years now, I think.
    I wish you a nice weekend.
    Greetings Irma

    ReplyDelete
  28. How lucky you are, David, you have such a considerate friend from Australia. Nice mug, and feathers too. I was surprised that the feathers went through customs.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Enjoy your beautiful gifts. Blogging does indeed bring us good friends. Hae a great weekend, hugs to you both, Valerie

    ReplyDelete
  30. the cup is perfect, what a great gift. I have found every thing you say here to be 100 % true. I started in 2009 and still have about 7 of the orginal friends and then many more for years. blogging kept me sane through this pandemic.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello,

    Your friend Sue from Australia is very kind. I like the cute mug. I am sure you made friends all around the world, from blogging and traveling. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, enjoy your weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  32. A wonderful gift indeed.
    Happy birding and happy blogging!
    Stay safe and well.

    ReplyDelete
  33. What an interesting post about blogging friends. It is the same here, I have made several friends whom I have never met and two whom I actually did meet. Interesting what you said about the fact that making friends on the Internet could sometimes be easier? I think it is certainly different and it is marvellous to be able to meet some whom we would never ever otherwise meet.
    I rather like your 10 o'clock tradition and the cake looks delicious. The patchwork mat is rather nice too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wife makes them and calls them mug rugs - perfect for a coffee and a muffin.

      Delete
  34. That’s a very lovely story. Mugs with bird pics on them are really great reminders of what we have seen ... or in your case what you wish you could be seeing!

    be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  35. Yes, friendship is easier in the online world. That's a most precious gift. Very thoughtful of Sue.

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a beautiful gift you got from Sue. Blogging makes friends, and if you don’t hear from them for a while, you get so worried. The coffee rug made by your wife is charming.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi David.

    Great that you have a great friendship with Sue.
    Beautiful feathers and mug.

    Greetings from Patricia.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Wooow!
    A truly lovely gift from the heart. It's so nice that blogging friendships are made for many years. The patchwork mat delighted me. She is lovely.
    Hugs and greetings for you David and for Miriam:)

    ReplyDelete
  39. I couldn't agree more about blogging friendships. They are as real (sometimes more so) than those with people I've known in "real" life. What a fabulous gift -- and just perfect for you. I love the mug (and those fabulous placemats are wonderful! Mirima?) The feathers are a perfect touch. Very special indeed.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Blogging gives us a window on the world and the chance to make friends that we might never meet. Or we might if very lucky. Sue does indeed sound like a special person.

    ReplyDelete
  41. The blogging community is real, what a thoughtful gift!

    ReplyDelete
  42. It's strange how we feel that we know people around the world through blogging. That's a pretty mug - and the cake looks good too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John: It is made from an old Mennonite Recipe. Its name is Eppel Dunkes Kucha in the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect used by the early settlers here, which translates roughly to Apple Dunking Cake. It is damn good! Miriam made another one this morning.

      Delete
  43. Sue is one of my blogging friends too, she is a lovely generous and caring person, and she lives fairly close to my cousin, so if I ever get the chance to visit ACT again, guess who I shall visit for a cuppa tea?????
    I agree with you that we make good friends from our blog writing. I've met up with two of my bloggy contacts, been to a funeral of another, and in regular email contact with another.... the world gets a little smaller every day.

    ReplyDelete
  44. You are blessed with Sue's friendship and she yours. And even better, you have had the opportunity to meet her and get to know her in person. I know Sue as well. We have commented on each others posts for years (she being much more consistent than I am). Sue has a huge heart and shares it with everyone she meets. I agree it is wonderful to have her in your life. Yes there are good things about the internet ... and some bad, but making friends across the world when there is little chance that we will ever meet in person broadens our horizons and opens our minds to the good in people ... Lovely post, David ...

    Andrea @ From the Sol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andrea: I have not actually met her yet, but I hope to!

      Delete
  45. I also have met up with bloggers and even had one spend the night in my home. Blogging has come a long way. I remember seeing the cocatoos in large groups when we visited Australia. I did not know how destructive they are.

    ReplyDelete
  46. My early blogger associates used to become close friends but most of them have moved to Facebook. Now I am starting over a bit, almost like an unknown. Yesterday was my 16th year on this blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have never done Facebook and don't plan to start now!

      Delete
  47. Hello David, what a wonderful gift from your friend Sue. The feathers of those cocatoos are lovely. Love the mug. I agree with you that friendships can be made via internet and I have the same experiance with people some what closer to home who I met via my blog but also other ways of internet.
    Regards,
    Roos

    ReplyDelete
  48. So nice. I too have made lasting friends through blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I agree. I am very pleased for you too. Blogging has given me friendships both virtual and real. Indeed my New Zealand life was enriched immeasurably by the friends I made there through blogging.Some with whom I went of many safaris and with whom I stayed in New Zealand and they and their families have stayed with me on Lewis. Many have remained close friends even though I no longer live there.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Buenas tardes amigo David, para los verdaderos amigos no existe la distancia, y mucho menos ahora que, estamos conectados a una red y de una parte del mundo a la otra en segundos estamos hablando. Muchas veces, la amistad por la red, se hace mucho más fuerte y crea unos lazos de unión que, en algunos casos aun conociéndose de presencia no llegan a fructificar.
    Precioso detalle el de tu buena amiga Sue. Debe ser una persona muy especial.
    Un fuerte abrazo queridos amigos y compadres, os deseo un feliz fin de semana.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hello David,:=) What a lovely post, and everything you write about blogging is true. I have also met many kind and sincere people this way,and formed friendships that I treasure.

    Sue is a great friend to have remembered your confessed obsession with the white Cockatoo when she first saw the decorative mug, bought, sent, and even included the white feathers for your pleasure.

    Our mutual love of nature brings us together in a very special way which without blogging would not be possible, and I'm very glad to have met you this way David.:=)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am very happy to have met you too, Sonjia. Wouldn't it be fun one day to have a grand reunion of bloggers?

      Delete
  52. Very nice... I love cockatoos... Happy weekend

    ReplyDelete
  53. I feel the same way! I never imagined my blog would take me here and that I would get to know so many remarkable people! What a sweet thing for Sue to do for you! Blog friends are special AND they know just what you like!

    ReplyDelete
  54. that´s a wonderful thing. I too have friends on the blogs.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Bonitos regalos. Me apunto para una reunión de blogueros, aunque estamos tan lejos unos de otros. Abrazos.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi David - excellent post ... loved it - and it's been a wonderful world to 'fall into' - I'm amazed at the real connections we seem to make ... and who continue to support each other. Brilliant - and yes Sue is very thoughtful ... lovely mug and feather - enjoy your coffees even more now - Hilary

    ReplyDelete
  57. I could not agree more, blogging has changed my life as well. I started out when renovating our house in France purely so that friends and family could see what I was doing. I have also made friends worldwide and through Geogypsy (Gaelyn) I actually got to see parts of America where we had never before planned to go to. She then worked at the Grand Canyon North Rim and was very friendly with another blogger in RSA who since, I have also been to stay with. All amazing people and we all seem to like and dislike the same things. Keep well Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's one of the great things about blogging. Very quickly we come to know whether we share the same interests and have the same values.

      Delete
  58. You are so right, David, in stating that friendships have been made through blogging. Like yourself, we are fortunate to have been able to met some bloggers, several of which are no longer blogging. Also, there have been those bloggers who have sadly passed away. We have formed friendships with a couple of bloggers who we try to see whenever we are in their state. Sadly, those visits have been waylaid now, but there are always online visits. Your blogger friend, Sue, sent a very thoughtful gift which she knew you would enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hopefully you will soon be able to visit Australia again and meet up with Sue for a cup of morning coffee and some real-life Vandals :))

    ReplyDelete
  60. A valuable example of the unexpected contacts in which blogging can result.

    ReplyDelete
  61. hello David
    with every sip from your favorite cup you think of the friendship with Sue and the nice present she sent you, nice gesture, I myself visited a blogger in Sweden .. very nice with coffee and cinnamon rolls ... (Kanelbullar)
    It was a very nice day and only through blogging and the same love for animals and nature ...
    Greetings Frank

    ReplyDelete
  62. Imagine that I saw waxwings in my area only once, many years ago. They flew around my garden and a neighbor informed me about it, but I was not as lucky as you, because the sun was not shining and the photos were bad.
    Congratulations on meeting Waxwing and beautiful photos.

    ReplyDelete
  63. The mug is beautiful. Is it apple pie ?

    ReplyDelete
  64. The gifts are so thoughtful ... a true friend knows you well! Your words perfectly captured the joy of blogging and the way the hobby evolves. That’s a gift for which I thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  65. Great post. I started out blogging to enter Sunday Postcard Art challenges, which helped stimulate my creative side. I've made some "virtual" friends along the way, which has been wonderful. And I've found some very nice, helpful people like you, who are willing to help out identifying bird types that I photograph. (Stewart in Australia is good that way, too. And JP in Connecticut, who officially monitors Bald Eagle nests, etc. And others, too.)

    ReplyDelete
  66. That is great and very kind!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very kind, indeed. I am sitting here sipping my morning coffee from that mug right now!

      Delete
  67. Good night dear friends o mine!
    That tender detail has become a kind of everyday magic;
    what a nice gesture!
    Yes, with blogger we have come to connect with
    many wonderful people, also traveled a bit through their posts;
    sometimes i even feel like a connection...
    like i'm already familiar with places, people,
    works of art and things like that, i've also received some gifts, it's moving..
    Well, i think i'm digressing too much already
    Enjoy your beautiful gift.

    ReplyDelete
  68. What a lovely gift. We don't have sulphur crested cockatoos here but we do have pink and grey galahs plus visiting Baudin's black cockatoos (they come seasonally to feast on pine nuts at local parks). Fairly common are Eastern long billed corellas - these last originate from aviary escapes and are beginning to be a real pest species as they are displacing the Baudin's and Carnaby's black cockatoos and are particularly destructive unfortunately. I can forgive the galahs sometimes causing damage, though, because they are so engaging and entertaining.

    ReplyDelete