As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
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Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.

My 100th post, and how this blog started


Today is my 100th blog post ! I never thought I would get this far, but it feels awesome to have written 100 stories about all the bones I've collected.

Writing my blog has helped me a lot with my bone collecting. I've had emails from people all over the world, which is really great. Everybody had been really nice who has emailed, and people who work with bones all the time have emailed me to help me with things I didn't understand.

I decided I wanted a blog in July 2009 because I wanted to write more about the bones I'd collected, and dad had his own website for his work, and I didn't see why I couldn't have one too. I'd been collecting bones for about two years before so I knew I had to a lot to write about.

I asked dad, and he said he would help design it and set it up as long as I wrote on it every week. He said it was very important to keep writing about my bones, even if it got hard. I promised that I would do that and then he asked me what colour I would like my website to be, and I said red. Then he took the photograph at the very top of this page showing me with three skulls on a red background, and that's why all my skulls are photographed on red.

Sometimes it's hard to decide what to write each week. Dad and I sometimes draw up alist of all the stories we could write, and what then we decide what week we could do them in. At the moment I have stories for the next eighteen weeks on a list on my wall, but it changes all the time. Even today, I was exploring a new wood and found two new fantastic skulls that I'm going to write about.

Other times it's hard to think of stories, especially during the winter when it's difficult to go out walking, and difficult to find new bones. That's why in winter I've written about watching roe deer or watching birds on my bird table.

To keeping doing new stories, I need to find new bones, and to find new bones I need to do at least one walk each week. Sometimes that means finding new woods to explore like the woods I found in January where I have already found a shed roe deer antler, a young roe buck skeleton, a fox skull, owl pellets a sheep skull and a lamb skeleton.

When I've decided what to write about each week, first of all I choose the pictures. Dad is a professional photographer, and he takes a camera on walks. He takes all the pictures of the skulls when they are finished as well. When I've chosen about six different pictures I put them in an order so they tell a story. Then I sit down and write the bit inbetween. Dad helps me tell the story, and mum checks it afterwards for mistakes. Then I publish it.

When I started my blog, no-one knew it was here so not many people came. But every month I've had more and more visitors. I started with just 55 different visitors in August 2009, but last month I got 2,300 ! It's really nice to know that people like my website, especially when they leave comments.

Although I would still have been collecting bones anyway, lots of amazing thing have happened because of my website. I've been in newspapers, on TV and on radio, and I've had VIP visits to museums and universities.

The thing that I didn't expect is that people would send me bones as well. Some of the skulls I've had have been amazing, like this beaver skull I got from a collector called Steve Dean in the USA:

A few weeks ago I got a parcel that was so amazing I'm going to write about it over four weeks starting next week. (If you are a fan of this website's Facebook fan page, then you might have seen a sneak preview already)

I love my website. It makes me excited about my bone collecting, and when I something new or amazing like today I can't wait to write about it.

A big thank you to everyone who has emailed me or added comments here ! It's amazing that through the internet I've met so many people who are helpful, nice and kind. It's brilliant to wake up in the morning and see all the emails in my inbox from people all over the world. I always write back, and I always try and help just like people have helped me.

Thank you to everyone, and I'm really excited about my next 100 posts !

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J. O'Brien said...

You are awesome and your blog is awesome. It can be so tough finding topics to write about each week, but you're doing wonderfully! I eagerly await reading about your most recent finds. :)

Jake said...

Thank you ! That's really nice of you !

Monica Squires said...

Jake, it's awesome that you have made it so far! I think it's great that you have such a passion for bones and for learning about them and are using your site to teach others about them. I hope your passion stays strong and you continue doing this for years to come! I'm a 25 year old Osteology student from Idaho in the USA and you are constantly teaching even me new things! If you ever have any questions you can email me at MonSquires@gmail.com and I'll see if I can help you out. Maybe we can even do a skull trade someday. Keep up the great work!

Jake said...

Hi Monica,

Sorry it took me so long to reply, but the spam filter ate your comment ! Thank you very much indeed ! A trade would be good someday.

Anonymous said...

Hi jake,:) I am a 32 yr old mom who loves collecting bones also,I have always bought mine or had them given to me,my cat recently killed a rat and left it for me :) I would really like to clean it myself but I have no clue how to start with a whole critter,I was going to put him in an ant bed and let them take care of it,but I have to many animals around here and I know it will disappear like a bird I had found,so if you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it,I live in Florida so it's usually pretty hot and humid here,right now it's chilly and has been raining off and on.
please e-mail me at phoxflame@yahoo.com when you can..Thank you so much for any help and congrats on your 1000 th post..:) very awesome..

Jake said...

Hi Gina,

I have just sent you an email !

Julia said...

Jake, your blog is so cool! I recently started collecting bones as well. It is my favorite hobby! I am 15 and live in the US. I think that everything you collect is so impressive. I wish I were as cool as you! Peace out and keep doing what you do, it's awesome! xoxo, Julia

Jake said...

Thanks Julia !

normalkid said...
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Paul Takahashi said...

Hi Jake, I think you are UK's greatest kid. I've been chasing and collecting bones for a while now for artistic purposes, and I've been checking your cleaning tips more than once. I'm a "macerating" enthusiast, it always worked fine for me whatever the initial condition of the animal :)

Keep on living your passion,

Jake said...

Thanks ! PS. Your drawings are amazing.

Rowan Taylor said...

Your sites been really helpful to me thankyou so much!!! I think it's amazing your doing all this and so knowledgeable!!!!

Jake said...

Thanks !

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