Magazine February 19, 2018, Issue

Black-and-White Visitor

(Digital Zoo/Getty Images)

The smell hits you as soon as you open the door: faint but sharp, and unpleasant. The closest equivalent is the chemical they put in propane, to aid in detecting leaks. But this is nature’s chemical, the odor of skunk.

Growing up in the suburbs I never saw a skunk on the loose. Raccoons, yes: They go anywhere, even Brooklyn. Their long-striped cousins are pickier. Now in the country, one (or a family of them) has picked my house. Their names are not on the mortgage or the tax map, but they are most definitely in residence.

Skunks live only in the

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




Popularity Contest In “Hearing the People” (January 22), a generally spot-on assessment of how Republicans should react to populism, Henry Olsen writes: “The combined might of the five core groups of ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ “And here to speak for the party of diversity, inclusion, women, people of color, and a bold embrace of the future is . . . some guy named ‘Kennedy.’” ‐ ...


THIS MILKY WAY This Milky Way, our galaxy, contains A massive hole of blackness at its core, Where any photon striking it remains In unreflected absence evermore, While we perch on a speck upon a ...