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  • Writer's pictureJ. Darris Mitchell


ON Desk

It took far too much time, but I finally finished revising the Crane and the Wolf!

Tiffany, one of the members of my writing group is going to edit for me, so we’re working out the details of the best way to do that. I think she should sail out into the Atlantic ocean and edit using the guidelines of maritime but she seems to have other ideas. Once this book is edited, I’ll be publishing it, then you will be reading about A WEREWOLF WHO MUST HAVE CAKE.

I’m working on more episodes for a new podcast as well. It’s a lot of fun!

Personal Note

There is a city park near my house called Gustavo Garcia (GusGar, obvs) that I must have driven by fifty times without visiting. That changed in March, when I visited and spotted seventeen bird species there, one short of the total birds ever seen at the park. After walking the park, the fact that only 18 species had been spotted seemed a deficiency of the birding community, not the community of birds.

To remedy this shortcoming, I challenged a birder friend of mine to a gentlemanly competition. The winner is the birder who has counted more species at the park at the end of 2021. The prize: 1 (one) fancy bottle of beer or wine. For such low stakes, we’ve been taking it way too seriously. It’s been about a month, and together we’ve brought the total number of species seen at GusGar up to 68!

As of April 15th, I have personally seen 55 species (two down from cursed Erik and his stupid black throated green warbler that I’m totally not jealous of him spotting at this park that I FOUND at all). My dream is for one of us to find a bird rare enough to merit a Rare Bird Alert (RBA) for Travis County, and lure a string of other birders out to this hidden gem in the city!

Also: I SAW A SKUNK there!! Erik had seen it twice, and I had smelled it once, so I was most definitely on high alert. I had never seen a skunk in the wild before this, and I must say it was a thrilling experience. Nothing like a wobbling black and white carpet of stench to put the fear of nature in a man’s heart. It looked like the world’s most dangerous muppet. It was about as frightened of being eaten as you would expect something that smells like a pile of garbage to be.

What I’m trying to say is that it was a truly majestic creature.

Bird of the Week

Migration season has begun in central Texas. This last week at GusGar, I saw Nashville Warblers, a Summer Tanager, and a pair of Indigo Buntings (thanks to the keen eye of my darling wife). Yellow, red and blue, all singing and frolicking in a place they’ve likely visited year after year. It was a real pleasure to make their acquaintance.

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