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Travel Logs:

2007 Scotland
2004 Spain
1996 Ireland
1992 Maui
1990 Portugal
1989 England
1983 France
1980 Big Bend
1979 Cozumel

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In Austin:
KXAN Weather
The Art of JU Salvant
Master Gohring's Tai Chi
Personal Tai Chi
The Fragrant Garden
Shari Elkins Hikes w Dogs Austin360 Movies


The Resident

He helps himself to figs and pears, opens the lid of the barbeque to look for bits of food, and washes his hands in Wily’s water bowl on the back porch. He even has his mail delivered here. It's mostly junk mail: coupons and fliers for white sales, addressed to "Resident."

Every night he climbs up into the peach tree to check the birdfeeder. If he finds sunflower seeds, he opens the feeder, eats a fistful of seeds and dumps the rest on the ground.

The skunks have figured this out. They come around afterwards and eat the seeds they find in the grass.

Skunks eating sunflower seeds

I didn't appreciate how much wilderness Wily held at bay all those years. She's too old now. She sleeps inside all night, and if she does go out, she's quick about it and doesn't get far from the bottom step. While I wait for her on the landing, I can see two skunks not 15 feet away. Wily doesn't know, and they don't care.

Are you going to feed him? Nancy wanted to know, when I told her about the Resident. I said, Absolutely not!

But then I made a bouillabaisse. When I had strained the stock I was left with six fat pink shrimp heads. I started to put them in the trash. It seemed such a shame. The Resident would love them. I asked Craig if he could have them and Craig said, Absolutely not! But when I asked him for the third time, he took them down to the southwest corner. In the morning, they were gone without a trace.

The Last Tomato


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The Resident The Year of the

The Year of the Night Animals
Night Animals
Night Animals by Day
Murder in the Bamboo Forest
Possum’s Tale
Death of a Possum
Remains of an Owl
Dark Adventures
Close to Home
The Resident
The Last Tomato
The Resident Revealed
Squirrel Business
Snakes and Frogs
Garter Snake
Mystery Bird
Sharp-Shinned Hawk
Hawk vs. Dove
Raccoon in the Garden
Midsummer Nights
Animals We Live With
Not Animals