The Five Top Stories of 2020 on Marie’s Meanderings

If you’re reading this, you survived the year that was 2020. I won’t offer any inane or overused platitudes about this year. We all know how it went. While I did write a few posts about the coronavirus and other 2020 disasters, everyone else was, too. So, I tried to keep my topics unique and personal. My most-popular list reflects that. Here are the five top posts from this year, along with a couple of overall popular posts since I started this blog seven years ago.

But first – a couple of more numbers: views almost doubled again this year, with 27,960. My blog has about 520 followers. Thank you, followers. I value you all!

A girl makes friends with an Ojibwe horse at Quetico Provincial Park in Canada.

#1 Revisiting my Horse Mania – This is a relatively recent post (from November) where I reminisce about the love of horses I developed a child. I was able to revisit my passion as I researched and photographed a story in Canada for Lake Superior Magazine about a rare and endangered breed, the Ojibwe horse (also known as Lac La Croix Indian Ponies). My story, “The Horses Nobody Knows” describes how the breed was saved from extinction in the 1970s, and what the horses mean to the Ojibwe people today. The story is only available in the printed magazine (Dec-Jan issue) right now, but the magazine intends to post it online in Feb 2021. I’ll try to remember to post a link here once it’s up.

#2 Bog Birding Bust – This story’s high ranking surprised me because it’s about something that DIDN’T happen. After years of anticipation, I finally went to a local bog that’s a legendary birdwatching site. I hardly saw anything! So, this post was a lesson in the worst time to see birds in the Sax-Zim Bog in northern Minnesota. I guess failure is sometimes much more interesting than success.

#3 That Time I Organized a Sea Lamprey Taste Test – This was a trip down memory lane from when I worked for Minnesota Sea Grant in the late 1990s. We received funding for a demonstration project to determine whether there was an overseas market for a Great Lakes invasive pest – the sea lamprey. To promote the project, I organized a media event, which included a taste test by local luminaries, including the university chancellor, the mayor, etc. The event was a hit – leading to national and international stories. The project was also a hit, until further testing showed the lamprey were too high in mercury for safe consumption. So, it turns out, despite my concerns at the outset, I did a darn good job of promoting something that can contaminate people.

#4 The Many Faces of Buddy – As if this year wasn’t sucky enough, my dog (who was a frequent contributor to this blog) died. To know Buddy was to love him. We still keenly feel his sudden loss.

#5 A Mini-Minnesota Vacation: Lake Vermilion State Park – Despite travel restrictions, Russ and I were able to meander around a bit, close to home in our Scamp trailer. One of the first trips we took was to a new state park in northern Minnesota. Read my post for some pros and cons.

Overall, my blog’s most popular posts continue to be a tongue-in-cheek story I wrote about writer’s bumps (17,300 views this year!) and another about how crappy Iams dog food is.

Best wishes to you all in 2021. May your coronavirus vaccinations come quickly and with few side effects.