Thanks for the kind comments and well-wishes. I’m grateful to all of you for being here, long-time readers and newcomers alike. A few responses…

Ken – Even after a million spam, I’m still occasionally capable of being amused by some of them. The trouble is, so many are so boring and repetitive. The email spam I get is actually more interesting. Which isn’t to say a spam epic doesn’t have a certain amount of appeal.

Jo – Actually I think I’m a bit of a jerk, but I appreciate your good opinion.

Gina Marie – A job is such an impediment to blogging, isn’t it? :) I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up the Plummer’s Hollow blog lately – it was becoming a bit much. I will try and get my brother Mark to blog about this year’s Christmas bird Count, though.

Lorianne – Coming from the queen of tenacity, that means a lot. Thanks. Your example has been a real inspiration over the years.

Jean – I’m awfully glad you think so (in reference to both your paragraphs). I hope it’s true.

leslee – Thanks for saying that. I’ve really appreciated your online companionship – a calm and clear-eyed presence and a voice that grows stronger and more resonant with each passing year. I’m flattered to think my own words and example might have contributed to that in some way.

PeterI don’t remember what it was, but it kept me going until I didn’t need a reason.
Ha! Well put. Yes.

Sherry – Darn, I can’t believe I left IRFD off this list! Starting that was certainly something I ought to add to my C.V., should I ever write one. I had forgotten that’s how we “met,” though – cool. Thanks for sticking around, and for staying online despite the objections of Mr. Berry, who is wise about so many other things.

bev – That’s interesting to hear you say that about nature writing. My mother has always gotten a lot of fan mail, but that’s because of the markets she’s written for: a local newspaper for many years, and then the PA Game News. Game News readers are still letter-writers, some of them. But national magazines – you’re right, hardly ever a reaction. Of course, online magazines can have comments, but most literary magazines choose not to, for some reason. At qarrtsiluni, I think the ability to interact with readers is one of the major selling points for authors, especially those without blogs.

dale – Blog time is definitely different, that’s for sure: it passes more slowly in some ways and more quickly in others. Five blog years feel like fifteen or sixteen people years, don’t they?

Dana – Never!

Rebecca – I was? Cool. I tend to think I don’t comment nearly often enough… Anyway, thanks for reading, and also for writing the kind of melange blog I most enjoy. One of these days I’m going to have to talk my banjo-playing, insect-collecting brother into taking a drive down your way, and we’ll drop in on you. I’ve yet to see the southern part of the Mon.

marja-leena – Repetition is virtually impossible when you’ve been blogging this long, I think. But as I was saying to Peter the other day, it’s not that I’m repeating myself, I’m working within a fugal structure! Yeah, that’s it.

David – RE: “the” economy, I couldn’t agree more.

Yeah, I know about all those missing WOTS cartoons. I almost added a point to the list about image hosting sites, actually. The take-home message would’ve been: DON’T USE IMAGESHACK! If it’s not a site you have to register for, you can bet that sooner or later, your files will disappear to make room for others.

I would replace those missing images if I only knew which ones they were. Maybe I can figure it out from the file extensions. I should really host them all here; they’re only a few KB each. The ones in Photobucket are probably secure.