01. Welcome to Nature Center Magazine. We are all anxious to learn a little bit about you. Tell us what your blog is all about.
My primary blog, The Joys of Simple Life, shares some information about the hiking trails we tread, some of the places we explored, some itineraries of our travels and some road trip information. I take pictures of the trails and the scenery around that touched me, then I blog to share the unexplainable joy I find.
02. Everyone has their own unique story about what gave them the idea to start blogging. What is yours?
I was in a social networking site before, called Friendster, where some of my friends have blogs. I enjoyed reading their blogs, and inspired by them, I started blogging.
03. What do you enjoy about nature and what benefits do you derive from it?
Life’s most beautiful experiences happen to me when I am outdoors enjoying the gifts of nature. Nature has that healing power to empty my mind from distractions, and it is when my mind is not distracted at all that I am able to see clearly the boundless opportunities we have in this world, and also, of seeing the simple joys in simple life.
04. Each of us has our own way of being with nature. Some people hike, some take pictures, and some climb trees. How do you experience nature?
I experience nature in a variety of ways. I hike, take pictures, write poems. I enjoy the ocean by tidepooling, watching the fishes and the underwater scenery when I go for a swim. It is when I am still, that I can say I am experiencing nature in a much deeper sense, listening to the healing and moving power of silence. Sometimes, the words that I hear are so powerful enough I can’t stop myself but write them down. Here is one example of those moments where I had to write down the feelings I had when experiencing the healing power of nature:
In the deep silence of my mind
Beyond the echoing of the birds
The fluttering of the leaves
The glittering of the sparkling sand
And the splashing of the blue ocean
I see you
Inviting me to take a step
To embrace your love
And dance with you
Happily I walked to thee
I feel the warmth of your love
As we beautifully danced
Through the cresting of the waves
That mightily splashes into the sea…
Sea of unlimited love
Deep in the blueness of the ocean
In the stillness of my heart
I feel Your healing touch!
05. Tell us about the most exciting or scary nature related thing that ever happened to you.
It seems like everything is exciting whenever am in nature. J But the most exciting and kind of scary for me was my encounter with dolphins and sea lion about 2 years ago. While waiting for a wave, 2 dolphins passed right in front of me. I was totally mesmerized by them, so I followed them with my gaze. Then, a sea lion appeared maybe 10-15 ft away from me, staring at me. I got scared at first, since sea lions are not known to be as friendly to humans as dolphins are. I did not want the sea lion to attack me, but I did not know what to do either. I was afraid of moving because I was afraid the sea lion may think I was attacking him/her. So, for a few seconds we were staring at each other. Then, maybe I was imagining this, but I saw the sea lion softening his/her gaze towards me, then, s/he turned his/her gaze North towards the dolphins, and then, shifted his/her gaze again towards me. I felt like at that time, the sea lion was telling me, “why focus your attention to the dolphins who swam away from you when I am here?” In that instant, I probably changed my facial expression too from being scared to apologetic, mumbling, “sorry, I love you too, sea lion.” And then, I saw the sea lion’s flippers wave, and the facial expression changed to more smiling, so I smiled too and waved back. At that instant, I felt a connection between the sea lion and me. It felt like the ocean was sending its angel to me through that sea lion. That was a very special moment for me.
06. If you were to take us on a nature tour of your area where would you take us first?
@ Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve.
Describe what we would see.
Torrey Pines has more than 8 miles of hiking trails on top of the bluffs that overlooks the Pacific Ocean from above 400 ft high. Some of the trails pass through grove of Torrey Pines that it felt like you are not right next to the ocean but some twisted pine forest. Some trails pass through badlands right next to the sea, the sculpting in eroded soil reminds me of Earth’s and our life’s fragility. You would see the rare Torrey Pines, the masterfully sculpted badlands, wildflowers, occasionally transiting sea lions and dolphins on top of the bluffs, brown pelicans, peregrine falcon, sea gulls, and many more. Since I love ocean, mountains and desert, it feels like I have the best of three worlds at Torrey Pines State Reserve.
07. If you could visit any nature spot in the world, what would it be? Tell us why.
I really do not have any specific place. I know my most memorable travel experiences always are in a National Park setting, so to any National Park would be great for me. Why I love experiencing National Parks because they are a place of natural wonder that preserves nature’s beauty. I may be too sentimental, but seeing the grandeur of nature does make me teary eyed, for to me, they testify God’s greatest artistry that can never be equaled. Whenever I travel, I always search for nature, because the greatest art piece for me is not man-made, but is living in extreme fragility in the great outdoors, in our natural museums, in our National Parks.
08. Each blogger has gained their own insight into writing a blog. What have you learned that you would like to share with other bloggers?
When I started to blog, it was for the sheer enjoyment of sharing the priceless joys I often find in our beautiful world at the back roads. I did not know about keywords, or any technical aspects in blogging. However, I opened myself to the blogging community by reading others blogs, slowly I was learning some technical aspects of blogging. I have learned how to install google analytics in my site through I believe Icy, or it can be Ratty. They are the two who sometimes would put some technical aspects in blogging. The use of google analytics helped me a lot. My blog posts share more information of trails and of places now than they were before, because those were the keywords that I mostly see in google analytics. People ask questions like: how do I get to Potato Chip Rock?, how do I explore Antelope Canyon? Etc.. Even if my posts maybe more than a year old, but I do go back to them sometimes and I edit them to provide helpful information. I noticed when I started doing more of this, my blog’s traffic increased further. The joy can’t be explained each time someone I do not know would send me a thank you note through my contact form for guiding them “to be there” and have a wonderful time experiencing nature.
09. Where can our readers find you? Give us the name and a link to your blog. If you have more than one to share, we would all like that too.
My primary blog: The Joys of Simple Life (http://www.thejoysofsimplelife.com/ )
And I maintain another blog, Breathe In…. Breathe Out (http://www.breatheinbreatheout.org/ )
10. Is there anything we have not discussed that you would like to add?
I would like to thank you and this site, for this wonderful opportunity to share the Joys of Simple Life here as well. J
Thank you, Betchai, for taking a nature walk with us. Your poem was inspiring. Now we will all go to visit The Joys of Simple Life to look at some of your photos.
Do you write a nature related blog and you'd like to be interviewed by Nature Center Magazine? Click the link and let us know who you are and that you'd like to be featured in a Nature Walk: Interview Me.