It is now EXACTLY five years ago today when I wrote my very first blog post, which was about the broken swan skull I found in my local wood. I never, ever expected what would happen in the next five years !
Since then I have written over 322 posts and I have had 1,658 comments, but I'm still writing more or less the same way, about once a week, about bones I find, wildlife I see or places I have visited. But I have also been on the TV, radio, in newspapers, met some of my heroes, and even got my first book deal ! So for my fifth anniversary I have written my blog post early in the week and answered your questions about my blogging journey !
Three people asked almost the same question:
- What was the most exciting bone you have found? - Dorinda Hogue Troutman
- What is the coolest thing you've ever found? - Jack N
@jakesbones wat is your favorite skull if u had to choose
— Sam Misan (@NatureBase2) July 5, 2014
Most of the exciting bones I have ( like the leopard and snake ) have been sent to me from people all over the world rather than me finding them myself, but I have found some exciting bones while on my walks. I have three cat skulls, the two broken red and roe legs and my big stag skulls on my walks. I have found most of my good stag skulls in the poachers or gamekeepers pits, which are where illegal hunters or gamekeepers leave the rest of the deer after they have taken the meat.
- What will happen when you run out of storage room? N what bone would you love to find? :) love ur blog btw - Sophie Bagshaw
First of all, Sophie and I found out by accident that we were on holiday in the same place last week, and we met up ! Massive coincidence ! This is us on the shore under moonlight.
- Why is the "secret bone cleaning method" kept secret and will there be a time it can be revealed to all us other boneheads too? - Richard Lawrence
- Do you find bones all the time or just like 1 a month ? - Bessie H
It varies a lot. It's a lot harder now to find bones which are new or different to the ones I already have, so although I find a lot, I leave a lot behind. I don't find bones on every single walk, but I do find something on most walks.
- Why don't you degrease your bones? Have you seen a noticeable difference in quality of some bones than others because of a higher grease content that rises to the surface? - Brad Simons
I do, but I only degrease if I have to, and I usually don't usually have to.
When a really fatty animals, like a sheep or bear, dies and it is left out in the sun, the fat soaks up in to the bones, which makes it greasy and a yellowy colour. Removing the grease is called degreasing. There are different methods of degreasing, one involving hot water which loosens and thins the fat so it rises out of the bone, and other ones involving chemicals.
When I have really fatty animals, like my seal, I use a secret cleaning method which degreases the bones as the animal decomposes.
@jakesbones OK- where do you find the time. Aren't you just worn out when you get in from school?It takes a lot of time, not just writing on my blog each week (which takes a couple of hours at least) but also answering emails and writing other articles for magazines. I try to go on walks and write my blog posts at the weekend because I would not have the time to do it after school. But it DOES take up a lot of time, which is why it is a bit annoying when someone emails you, you go to a huge amount of effort to try and answer their questions, and they never say reply or say thank you.
— valerie selby (@vaselby) June 29, 2014
- What's the biggest change you have made to your blogging methods between then and now? (ie, you now post more often, less often; you posts now have more/less detail than they used to; or whatever.) Thanks, and keep up the great blog! - Cowboyway.com
I have always written at least one post a week since I started. What I do different now is that I write my posts in more detail than before, because I know more about bones now, and I've always tried to write for people the same age as me, but also make it easy so people who are younger can understand it.
@jakesbones Have you come further than you thought you would in the last 5 yrs? Where do you see yourself in 2019?
— Sam Barnett (@Palaeosam) July 5, 2014
I did not think I would nearly this far five years ago. Five years ago, I saw my self collecting bones and still writing about it, but I never thought I would wrote as much as I have or going on TV. In another five years I will be 17, so I think that I will be in looking at going to university studying something on bones or animals.
- Has blogging helped you look and learn ? If you hadn't had to explain your finds to your readers (if bone collecting was just a hobby) do you think you would have found out so much about them ? - Jo Bourne (my editor !)
- What's the worst/most boring thing about blogging, tweeting and posting on Facebook (apart from Ben Garrod)? - Jo Bourne (my editor !)
Blogging or replying to comments is not boring at all ! The only thing I don't like is that I can only have 140 letters on Twitter, which makes it difficult to give detailed answers. And sometimes if I'm away for a few days, I come back and there are 100 notifications on Twitter, which I then have to work through.
- Congrats Jake, love watching you grow and learn! What are you most interested about going to school for and if not too soon, what careers interest you? I know if I had my life to do over I would do something related to my love of bones. - Jana Miller
My favourite school subject is biology, and I am doing it in my second year. I'm not too sure about what I want to be when I am older. Definitely something to do with bones but I don't know what exactly.
- What are you most looking forward to doing this year ? - Melanie Gould
The thing that I am looking forward to doing this year is what I announced a few days ago: speaking at the Children's Bath Book Festival in October, doing a Q&A with the Ceebeebies presenter Jess French. That's going to be pretty amazing, especially as a lot of people I know through my blog are going to be there.
I've also just written an article for a wildlife magazine, so I'm looking forward to that coming out.
The thing that I am hoping to do is to hopefully find a new wood to exploring in because I have almost ran out of woods near my house. And there MIGHT be other interesting things happening as well that I can't yet talk about, who knows !
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