Well, it’s award time again.  I got two surprise awards back-to-back a couple of weeks ago and am just now getting around to acknowledging them publicly and passing them on.

But first, a GIANT Congratulations to Mrs. G at Derfwad Manor and Klaus at Virtua Gallery who have both just had their 1-year Bloggaversary or whatever it is called.  These are two very different blogs, but I love both of them.

I began reading Mrs. G before I started blogging myself.  Most of the time she writes in a way that gives me one of the best laughs I will get all day.  She does, however, get serious periodically, and she is always logical and blunt.  Exactly my type of girl.  If you have never read Mrs. G., really, it’s worth the time, especially if you need to smile.

My fortune was good that Klaus found my blog very quickly after I began.  It was probably through Sky Watch Friday, but whatever it was, it was good because his is one of the best photography blogs I have seen, and his pictures are not only beautiful works of art, but so inspirational.  They inspire me to take better pictures and go find more birds and other natural things of which to take pictures.  Plus he’s an all-around funny and blunt guy.  (Can you see a trend here about things I like?)

OK, hope you check those out, but the rest of this post is about checking out other blogs, too.

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Now to the awards.  Reiterating that my “award policy” is that I do not necessarily follow the rules and you do not have to follow the rules at all if you get one from me.  You need feel no obligation to pass these on, display them on your site, or even acknowledge them.  I am passing them along because I like something about you or your blog.  If you do not like it, then just ignore it.  I personally like to pass them on because I LOVE to tell people about blogs I like!  But what you do is up to you!

The first award is this:


It’s from Lara at Laras Welt:  Photos From Romania and Austria and Other Ramblings.  Her blog always shows life.  She has done some wonderful series on festivals that make me feel like I am right there seeing the bright colors, dancing to the music and smelling and tasting it all. 

This one is going to:

Chrome 3D at Cloudbusting.  Another blog I followed before I started my own, and always an inspiration to see what he has seen in the sky.  He says right on his site not to give him awards; he doesn’t pass them on.  That’s fine with me, but I want to acknowledge him anyway.  He also leaves great comments on my posts that make me laugh a lot of the time.  And he’s blunt.

Your EG Tour Guide at East Gwillimbury WOW! The blog is aptly named.  There are a lot of WOW! photos there.

Lisa at Lisa’s Chaos.  There’s no telling what might show up on this blog, but there is a lot of nature photography.  Recently there have been some absolutely fabulous dragonfly shots.  Go look!

The Fish Whisperer from Picture This and XStreem Fishing.  He is an excellent photographer who lives in a beautiful place and takes pictures of it all.  What really inspires me at Picture This are his reflection shots.  Not every post is reflections, but he does a lot of them, and they are all amazing.  He also leaves me encouraging comments.  Sometimes I think I throw garbage up on my site, and maybe it is, but he says nice things about it anyway!

Pietro Brosio at Pietro Brosio Gallery.  Brilliant photography with some original artwork thrown in periodically.  In his photography, it is evident he has the eye of an artist.  Terrific stuff at that site.  Also an encouraging commenter.

Shimmy from Shimmy Mom. Shimmy blogs about her life, and it can cover anything.  She is funny and nice.  When I was traveling in her area, she gave me weather updates.  I was going to give her this award anyway, but then she gave me the one that is below, and here is what she said:  “Louise at Potted Frog who always has a bright outlook on the things in life. She is an avid visitor who always has a kind comment. And her posts maybe long, but they are always good.”  Prince Charming laughed out loud when he read that.  Shimmy, you are just too cute for words!

Julie from Sydney Eye.  Fabulous photos.  Perfect Haiku to go with them.  Encouraging comments.

TSANNIE from The Tombstone Chronicler.  Another “expect anything” blog with lots of great photos.  She is from my home state (as is Lisa from above), so that makes her (and Lisa) extra special!

RuneE at Visual Norway.  The blog name says it all, except it does not say the photography is excellent.  I love the glimpses into life and scenery in Norway that are on this blog.  Also says nice things about my posts and pictures.

OK, I realize I mentioned comments a few times above.  If I said something about your nice comments, please do not feel under pressure to continue!  I appreciate what you have done, but I know making it public like this sort of puts the pressure on.  Forget about it!  Just thank you.

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The next award is from Shimmy Mom.  I already talked about her above, so I will just show you the award and tell you who gets it from me.

Madge from It’s A Mad Madge World.  First, I love Madge.  Second, she is funny.  Third, she gave me my first award.  Fourth, she has things like: “It’s National Madge Is Going To Post Every Day For The Next 37 Days Month Which Is More Than A Month But What The Hell It’s My Blog Month OR NaMaIGoToPoEvDaFoThNe37DaMoWhIsMoThAMoBuWhTheHeItMyBlMo”.  You just have to love that.  (And I am not chiding that I have not seen a post in a few days. That whole school starting thing knocks the wind out of you–well at least it does me.)

Maria from One Day in Hania and Organically Cooked.  Oh my goodness have I learned so much from this woman’s blogs.  She gives detailed descriptions (with pictures) about all kinds of things pertaining to her life in Crete, and her cooking blog is just amazing.  Although she is Greek and grew up in New Zealand, and I am a midwestern American, we have a lot of common background.  OK, not everything (I didn’t get stuck in a foreign country for months due to outbreak of war when I was little), but more than one would think.

And last, but never least is Deirdre at ReluctantFarmChik. I have referred to her before as my “best” or “dearest” friend, but said those were not exactly the right words.  (Neither of our personalities support “dearest” with one another.)  So saying she is a “joy” to me is sort of in the same category, but in all honesty, she IS a joy to me.  She just started blogging, and I love it because it is just her personality coming through her stories.  She makes me laugh.  In real life she makes me laugh and pushes me places I would never go on my own.  Hanging out with her always means special privileges. And even though she is sometimes tough, she is NICE.  She treats me like family.  (Better than some family!)  Oh, and she’s blunt!

I hope you take a moment (or a few) and check out some of these blogs.

by Louise Cannon

Note:  The magnolia photos were taken in June in my neighbor’s yard.  None are blooming now.  And they do not enlarge when you click on them.  No idea why.