Badger Power & Nevada Barr's "Borderline"

So a couple weeks back I was in the desert of West Texas near Big Bend National Park, staying at the house of park ranger Marcos Paredes, who was the model for one of Nevada Barr’s characters in her new novel, Borderline. She’s a best-selling writer who pens mysteries set in national parks. One of her early novels has the same title as Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s famous western, Track of the Cat. (Clark is also the author of The Ox-Bow Incident, made into a good movie with Henry Fonda. Track is a bit like a Western version of Eugene O’Neill’s A Long Day’s Journey Into Night.)
Marcos is a nice guy who reminds me of the retired air force dude on the old Northern Exposure TV show. He’s built a beautiful and beautifully remote adobe house in the desert (see picture below for his the horses in his ‘front yard’) with a great view of the Chisos Mountains off his gallery and balcony. He’s an avid reader, too: We talked about No Country for Old Men, which takes place in the West Texas desert (specifically a bit east-southeast of there), and I asked, Is it realistic? “Nope. No way,” he said. He said the drug traffic didn’t much come through the Big Bend area, although while I was staying there he did apprehend a fugitive who had engaged in a shootout with border guards a few weeks back. He’s a first-rate birder and we saw Audobon’s Warblers, Vermillion Flycatchers, and Ash-throated Flycatchers from his porch. But here’s his best story: While driving through the park recently he came upon a badger dragging a deer carcass across the road. He stopped to watch it, being fascinated, and the badger (which are short, stocky animals, like a cross between a wolverine and a raccoon) reared up on its hind legs and hissed at him, thinking he was trying to take the deer. He said the last he saw it the badger was dragging the deer over a fence.
Here’s a picture of the horses that came to visit us while we were dinosaur fossil hunting (he has some cool dinosaur fossils).

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