A year ago today, after a combination of boredom, restlessness, and guilt for playing computer games all evening, I set up a blog about animals to read over coffee. Or whenever!

Although it’s been fun, at just 2,132 views, 1,081 visitors and 101 likes it hasn’t exactly been a roaring success (nor does it need to be), so I don’t feel in a position to offer blogging advice. So instead, here are my utterly self-indulgent highs and lows of the last year’s posts.

Most views: Caracal

“Caracal on Mars”, by alessandrocatta

You can’t go wrong with a beautiful golden cat, especially with a photo of it on another planet.

Most likes: It’s All Colours, Tents, and ‘Beer’ for the Kamehameha Butterfly

“Kamehameha butterfly on mamaki plant”, by Will Haynes / Hawaii DLNR-DOFAW

I strongly suspect this was due to the “beer” in the title. Then again what’s not to love about a) a gorgeous butterfly or b) Hawaii.

Most controversial: The Summer Romance of a Leaf-Cutter Bee

Well not really, but a shout-out to the US pest control website who (probably coincidentally) unfollowed me the day I posted about an insect pleading for its life.

My favourite post: Position: Forest Keeper. Candidate: Baird’s Tapir 

“Baird’s Tapir in the Rain – Photographed in the Northern Cloud forests of Costa Rica” by Mark Kostich

It was a close call between this one and An Interview with High Andean Heart-throb, Vicuña (vicugna) mensalis, but Baird’s tapir was the one where I decided to mess about with the format. Plus I can’t resist a tapir.

Most arduous post: Japanese Marten

Japanese marten, martes melampus

“Japanese marten”, by rockptarmigan

For some reason my brain preferred to melt down rather than sort out the abundance of info. This also made me fall behind, so until at least Amargasaurus, I was scrabbling to write posts the night before. Still, the marten’s cute, so all is forgiven.

My favourite artwork (by other people): Lightning Bird

“Impundulu”, by Kenya Marshall

I’ve found some amazing digital art while researching this blog, and I’d happily plaster all of them across my wall. However, Kenya Marshall’s “Impundulu”, with its incredible head-dress and glinting eye, probably sparked my attention the most!

My favourite drawing: Baird’s Tapir

This is the one I’m least ashamed of, and if I wasn’t too lazy to actually learn shading, skeletal structure, and other basic aspects of elementary artwork, there would be more.

My worst drawing: Xenotarsosaurus

This was godawful. For someone who loves dinosaurs, I have zero aptitude for drawing them, unless they look like a snake with legs. Sorry, Xeno! I promise I’ll try harder. Maybe (see above).

Other highs and lows

  • Stock photographers! Please label your animals correctly, or I will consume your soul like your website did my wallet.
  • Wow, the goblin shark has a sickly pink body, a ridiculous nose, and horrifying alien-esque retractable jaws. I think I’ve fallen in love with it.

  • Are there any animal species that aren’t in danger of habitat loss? It’s either being stripped away or scouted out.
  • Every animal has something awesome about it. Even the scorpion. In fact especially the scorpion.

What will the next year hold? Hopefully more interesting animal nuggets (no, not that kind), and some increasingly less-terrible drawings. Possibly. Regardless…

…thank you so much to my [checks list] 21 WordPress followers and 32 Facebook followers! May your numbers grow and your boredom shrink.