On the 27th of May 2007, I made my very first post on Catalogue of Organisms. It wasn't very good. But I persevered, and that mediocrity has become a proud tradition. CoO is five years old today!
I'll admit, it hasn't always been easy. There have been times when I wondered if anyone ever did read this bollocks, or if I was just muttering into the digital void. According to the trackers, this site gets a bit over 200 visitors a day. True, that's a mere droplet compared to what some sites get, but then I think about it: two hundred people a day at least look at what I've written. That's a lot more than I could easily cater for, even if I was just making muffins. Sure, a fair proportion of those people probably came here as a result of a Google search for "amazing pictures of women's organisms", and won't necessarily hang around for long*, but still...
*That said, I recently noticed that I was getting regular visitors from a particular site, and when I clicked on the tracker link I discovered that I had been added to the blogroll of a collection of gay erotica. So perhaps at least someone had decided that what they'd accidentally found was of interest!
So a big thank you has to go out to the commenters on this site: your responses are the best thing about this place. Whether you're a regular like Pat, Mickey Mortimer, Mike Huben, Andreas Johansson, Kai Burington, the Watcher, Neil, Mike Keesey, Laurence Moran, Dartian, Sebastian Marquez, and many others, or whether you're a lurker, thank you for being here! (And if you've never commented before, feel free to say hello!) And a special thank you to someone who's never actually commented, but who I know reads this site sometimes: my partner Christopher, seen below in a rare photograph taken at al-Ajloun in Jordan.
On another leg of that same trip, two of the contacts that had derived from this site offered their gracious hospitality. Thank you to Mo Hassan who played the part of tour guide in the British Museum of Natural History. We talked about elephant tooth replacement, how Richard Owen deserved a bit more respect, and how the BMNH's Raphus are actually fakes made from geese (which is how they're able to have a specimen on display of a non-existent animal). Thank you also to Darren Naish and his wife Toni, who had us around for tea, where we talked about slater spiders, organising references, and a certain prominent palaeo-artist's then-recent comments on the concept of copyright.
And because, as long-term readers of this site may have noticed, I am never able to end a post appropriately, I will simply finish by saying again: thanks for reading, and hope to see you again!