As you’ve probably guessed, 2017 closed with the map looking exactly as it did at the end of September. It wasn’t a bad year at all. I spotted plates from 45 different states. AWOL at the end were Alaska, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Mississippi, and the perennial holdout, North Dakota.
I heard secondhand reports of Nevada, Utah, and North Dakota (no kidding), but if I don’t see it, it don’t count.
At the West Tisbury post office a few weeks ago I was comparing notes with someone else who plays the game — in fact, it was her husband who got me started about 30 years ago. She’s been having friendly weekly competitions with friends: whoever spots the most in a week wins. I like this idea. It would make the later part of the year, when whole weeks and even months go by with no new sightings, more fun. The yearly tally would continue, of course, but each week would bring a new start.
Speaking of new starts, my 2018 map is now posted on the fridge, but the only states logged so far are Massachusetts (hard to miss because there are four of them in the driveway I share with my neighbors) and Pennsylvania (which isn’t all that common in the #2 spot but it’s no way as unusual as the Louisiana I spotted one year while on my morning walk). It’s been cold as hell lately — the kind of hell a snowball would have a very good chance in — and I haven’t been on the road much.