August 1, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

I sat a moment and perused the Banner Head on this week's
newsletter. August first. Summer has rounded the corner
and is headed toward Fall.

In some people's minds, Cloudcroft residents spend the summer
kissing up to tourists, shooting the breeze at the bar and the
post office and rocking on the deck.

It's a little more involved than that.

When I get up on a summer morning, I go to the kitchen and pour
a cup of coffee. (Peg gets up about an hour before I do. If Peg
started sleeping in, I would have to read the instructions on
the coffee maker.) Then I check the "to do" board on the
refrigerator. (One of those dry-erase things. Great invention.
I never liked chalkboards. When the chalk squeaked it gave me
an instant afro.)

The list of things to do doesn't seem to be getting any shorter.

We've been renovating the house. The project has been on-going
for over two years. It's almost done. Peg and I have done it
all by ourselves. Not because we're so good at it, but because
we're cheap. The folks at the building products stores in
Alamogordo know us by our first names and we get an occasional
free yardstick or nail apron.

Having 4 dogs is high maintenance. Pick up dog poo. Shots.
Settling disputes. Keeping them away from chewing up my new
yardstick or nail apron.

At least they don't ask for an allowance.

We have 18 functioning humming bird feeders.

That's Peggy's project. Many cups of sugar and several gallons
of water daily. No small chore.

I asked Peggy to cut down on the feeders, but it's like asking
Time/Life to cut back on their telephone pitches. In one ear
and out the other.

There are those that say it's not nice to domesticate the
birds, but Peggy knows it's an obligation and in our drier than
normal situation, the little hummer guys need the help. We've
passed up trips out of town because the birds have to be fed.
Peg keeps out feeders until long after the last birds have left
for the South in the fall. Last year we had an intellectually
challenged bird hanging around in early December. Peggy fed him
and invited him in for a Hot Toddie and a bowl of chili, but he

There's an out-of-town couple outside as I write this taking
pictures of the humming birds. They're happy. Peggy is happy.
The birds are happy.

I help with our community water system. This summer there have
been no major problems. It has been suggested I not write about
the water system less I jinx the whole thing and we have a major
break. Freedom of the press ends here, since I'll be one of the
guys that has to get down in the muddy hole with my shovel if
there's a leak.

Due to the ongoing drought situation, a few of our trees are
diseased. They have to be culled. We'll do that in the fall
after the summer people leave.

It's not just a matter of cutting them down. They have to be
limbed, cut up into logs and the logs have to be split. We're
looking at two or three weeks steady work this fall (with time
out for football on TV).

I've been answering e-mails today. One Newsletter reader said
"Boy, do YOU have it made."

He'll be the first guy I call when it's time to crawl into that
muddy hole and fix that leaky pipe.

Having said all that, it's a wonderful life.

Good-by, Bob, and thanks for the memories.

Don Vanlandingham

Not wet enough. Most Forest restrictions have been lifted,
though. It has been a week of cloudy skies, occasional brief
rains and seasonal temperatures.

Highs in the upper-70s. Lows in the mid-40s.
Kit Richards provides the following movie clip of a Ruffus
hummingbird chasing a Ruby Throat away from a feeder. (This
clip is 526,000 bytes in size.)


The 900-frames-per-second camera which took this clip was
used previously at the Sunspot observatory for the Adaptive
Optics program, and now is used to collect test data at
different sites for a new 4-meter solar telescope which is
in its development stage now. It hasn't been determined yet
where the new telescope will be built.

The clip was taken about 4:30pm, July 24th.

If you are interested in the Adaptive Optics program:



If you want info about the 4 meter solar telescope:


The "Safety Corridor" on Highway 82 between Cloudcroft and
Alamogordo is considered successful so far in attenuating the
accidents that have plagued that stretch for several years.

The Safety Corridor provides for double fines for speeding.

The steep grades and dramatic turns on that part of Highway 82
have contributed to a high rate of accidents.

The State decided to designate the area as a Safety Corridor in
the spring to try and alleviate the accident problem. The plan
is to maintain the "Safety Corridor" designation for two years
and the situation will be re-evaluated then.

Highway 82 between Cloudcroft and Alamogordo is especially
hazardous in the winter during snow and ice storms.
Step back in time in this wonderful 80-year-old home. The
Crofting Inn is truly a unique experience. All rooms have
private baths, cable TV, and coffee and tea service and
breakfast each morning. Other amenities include a game room with
pool table. The day room has a cozy fireplace and cable TV,
which you are invited to use as often as you desire.
Occasionally, we have home baked pies or cakes as a special
treat for our guests. For more information, call (888) 682-3601
(toll free), email lindalc@tularosa.net, or visit see the link
to our web site on the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com:


Another great day trip from Cloudcroft.


Q - We're concerned about travel because of the terrorist

A - In my opinion, you should be concerned and aware, but not

I am not privy to all the preparations and safeguards
established by local, county and state authorities, but I do
know they're taking the task seriously. It is made evident by
the increased presence of law enforcement on our roads and
highways in the Cloudcroft area in the past two years.

In my 3 years of producing this newsletter, I have gotten to
know some of the people involved in area law enforcement. It is
my opinion that there is no safer travel destination than the
mountains of New Mexico.

Again, the authorities here take their jobs very seriously.
August 1 -- Opening reception for the month-long exhibit
of paintings by Jack Schuller, ceramics by Susan Weir-Ancker,
and "Artful" model airplanes by Leif Ancker. Ruidoso Public
Library, 5-7 pm. Free and open to the public! The exhibit
runs from Aug 1 to Aug 30.

August 1-3 -- Oklahoma. Flickinger Center. Alamogordo.

August 2 -- National Kid's Day. Washington Park. Alamogordo.

August 2-3 -- Robin Hood Days. Timberon.

August 7-10 -- Gathering of Circles. www.gatheringofcircles.com.

August 9 -- Otero County Fair parade. Alamogordo.

August 13 -- Al Stine, a internationally known watercolor artist
from South Carolina, will be giving a watercolor demonstration
in the Old Red Brick School House, at 6:30 pm. He is one of the
artists who is giving workshops for the Cloudcroft Art Workshops
this summer. The public is welcome to come to the demonstration
by this outstanding artist.

August 13-16 -- Otero County Fair.

August 15 -- Cloudcroft Methodist Preschool registration,
9am-12pm. Ages 4 months-8 years. For more information, contact
Linda Linn (505) 682-2266 or (505) 682-2264.

August 16 -- Model rocket launch. Veteran's Memorial Park.

August 23 -- Larry Fox Memorial Fun Run. Alamogordo.

August 23 -- Tailgate Concert. Bayou Seco. Space Museum
parking lot.

August 30 -- Alamogordo Amateur Radio Club Hamfest.

August 30, Sept. 1 -- 13th annual Cottonwood Arts and Crafts
Festival. Alameda Park. Alamogordo.

August 30, 31, Sept. 1 -- Cloudcroft Labor Day Fiesta.

September 20 -- Lumber Jack Day. Zenith Park, Cloudcroft.

September 19-21 -- Healing Hearts.

September 21 -- Governor Johnson's Run/Walk. Cloudcroft.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links page.


Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

Wanted to give you a big "Thank You" for helping my calm
husband, Alan with the doors to our new mud room. (Hey, you
could do a whole story on mud rooms since most flat-landers
we talk to have no idea what they are!)

Anyway, as I have been married to Alan for almost 19 years,
I have to say you do have him pegged really good. He is really
that calm of a person. But I also have to tell you, we just
got back from a wonderful vacation at Disneyland and we all
talked about our favorite rides.

His and Grant's (8 yrs old) was a roller coaster and the name
of it was - CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN'. I just had to let you know
that he got all of his screamin' out on that ride! We decided 
to ditch the kids next year and go back on our 20th anniversary
and do some California Screamin' again. (Do you and Peggy
babysit?) Just kidding. 

Thanx again for all of your help, we are still looking for a
yard stick for you. 

Christie Givens 

Dear Newsletter:

Re RD and other publications which seem to be deteriorating --
it may be our age. I used to listen to an old retired
newspaperman in Missouri complain about the "children" who'd
succeeded him in reporting the news. I was younger and then
did not understand. Now I do!

Change can be hard, especially when what RD, Time and other
periodicals have changed from -- which first attracted us
(and set the standard) -- to what the "children" now in charge
think will attract their generation.

It is so in church. "Contemporary" worship is all the rage
now, whatever it is. Whatever is going on now is contemporary!
Just because something is new, and different, does not make it

It is certainly true re politics except that the more things
change, the more they seem to revert to the ugly and
extraneous. What some think is news is not accomplishments,
but controversies. I could go on and on but you do such a
good job of writing I'll simply compliment you and let you
take it from here.

Bob Gartman,

Dear Newsletter:

You are not alone, I feel the same way about RD and I will not
renew this year. In my opinion they have already gone off the
deep end and I just don't enjoy it any more. I have not even
looked at the last 6 issues, and I heartily agree that TV is
getting to the point where it ain't worth watching.

I sure wish we were in Cloudcroft now as this good ole July in
Texas weather is about to get to me. 

Virgil Finney
Fort Worth

Dear Newsletter:

I noted with interest your response to the question about
biting bugs in the Sacramento Mountains. It is true that
mosquitoes tend to stay at the lower altitudes with the
scorpions, black widows and centipedes, but high in the
Sacramentos I have made intimate acquaintance with a little
fellow called the cienega fly. That little, gray, delta-winged
devil will suck a pint of blood before quick and he doesn't
mind biting hard when he does it. At least he doesn't leave
a red bump that itches for a week afterward.

This summer while vacationing in the Okeefenokee Swamp, we met
his more thirsty, more aggressive, more populous cousin called
the yellow fly. The red-headed buggers would swarm at twilight.
At least they are slow and easy to hit, but the blood splatters
are kind of gross.

To the flatlander who asked the question, I recommend staying
away from the Sacramentos. Houston is nice this time of year.
Really. Oh, don't go near Cloudcroft, you wouldn't like it.
Cool air, trees, birds, wildlife, all kinds of nasty stuff.
Besides, if you stay home, that gives me all the more room when
I come to visit the tall pines.

Ed Buckner
Wishin' I was back home

Dear Newsletter:

You're not alone. "Cool", "Groovy" -- there have been some
strange words, but nothing drives me up the wall like "SWEET."

I'm a Southwest watercolorist and if one more person tells me
my paintings are sweet..they'll have it...over the head frame
and all!

We've lived in Hay Canyon for 13 years now without TV. The
only time we missed it was during the war...but TV goes on and
on no matter if there is anything to report or not! Radio gets
to the point, tells you all the important facts and it's over

Hang in there we love the newsletters, good and bad moods!

Cyndy Nesbit
Sacramento, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Well, we are back, back to the 100 degree weather around
Lubbock, TX.

We spent three and a half days camping between Sunspot and
Timberon. Short, maybe, but it was worth every minute of it!
The kids were not happy about the waterfall being all dried up,
or the fact we didn't have a campfire. They enjoyed themselves
anyway, and can't wait to get back.

We watched a skunk wondering around the campsite after dark,
then pointed out his little paw prints in the dirt the next
morning. Hiked up and down and around, it was so relaxing.

Butterflies were everywhere, too. Totally awesome! I was real
concerned about the trees being diseased. There were a lot of
them that had been cut down and some that were still hanging
in there, but not looking too good.

What is going on? On the way from Cloudcroft to Ruidoso, the
scars of the fire were only too real. Things are growing back,
but the hurt is still there, everyone is in my prayers. 

Thanks, enjoy your heaven on earth! 

near Lubbock, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the newsletter. Things are never as good as the

Sayings like "Sweet" and "Groovy" are fads that soon pass and
replaced by others that drive us crazy. Liars will be around
for ever, once they are found out their credibility is shot.

Tom Barnett
Boyd, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

This week's newsletter shows just how far we've all come since
9-11. We've all woven our lives back into a comfy fabric where
our elected leaders break down on cue for calling out the
Congressional Police, popular music acts have crap-slinging
episodes concerning dumb off-hand remarks about our President
versus "boot-in-your-butt" lines in song lyrics, and on and on
and on.

Leaving Cloudcroft last week for the 1200 mile sojourn home,
I was shown the finger no less than three times on the highway
because I made someone come off the cruise control, all because
I couldn't pass the guy in from of me fast enough for them. The
first time was on Hwy 82, barely 10 miles out of Cloudcroft!

Why has 9-11 become ancient history for almost everyone
already? And I'm just as guilty.

Dick Day
Biloxi/High Nogal

PS. Most of my testiness is due to having to leave Cloudcroft
after a bare ten days there...Hi, Janice.

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Copyright © 2003 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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