Eleven days, 91%, and a small nuthatch

Here we are, looking at the very last stage of this adventure, and I don't think I can say "Thank you," enough for all your support in both word and deed. But thank you, every one of you. 
Also, just for fun:

Meet Maggie

About this time last year, after the first twelve Big Old Garden stories were digitally published, I got the itch to write a Big Old Garden Christmas story, and I decided to introduce Maggie, a young nuthatch.
There are two kinds of nuthatches in western PA: the larger (but still little) white-breasted species, and the smaller red-breasted species. At the time, our bird feeder was often graced by the former, but never yet by the latter.

Once the story was ready to publish, my wife, Julie, and I reviewed a lot of reference photos for the cover art, and we couldn't shake the feeling that sweet little Maggie was a red-breasted nuthatch. So that's what Julie painted, putting her on the trunk of our tree-sized holly:

Maggie's story will now be included in the softcover printing of A Year in the Big Old garden, brought to life by the brilliant Joe Sutphin. And I'm still proud of "The Long Freeze" e-book, which all backers will receive as a digital reward.

But the best part for me?

Shortly after "The Long Freeze" was released, sometime during the twelve days of Christmas last year, a real-life red-breasted nuthatch came to our feeders for the first time, and stayed with us for most of the winter! How cool is that?


James D. Witmer