August 13, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

It's still warm here, but there's an anticipation of fall.

I put on my work clothes and went out to do my chores this
morning. I jumped on my ATV and started down the hill to my
first chore (running the weed eater...utilizing my 5 years of
higher education) and had to double back and put on a
sweatshirt. It was in the low 60s, but when you're doing 15
miles an hour on a vehicle with no wind screen, the wind chill
bites a little. Besides, I'm a bit of a sissy.

Later I was in the pickup and I heard on the radio that the
first football games had been scheduled for TV broadcast. Seems
like a decade since I last saw a good football game.

I ran into Allen in the village yesterday. He and his wife Carol
own a bar and restaurant here. He had some bad news for me.

His son John called. I remember John when he was in high school
here in Cloudcroft. John has since graduated from college and
has been working in the hospitality field (hotel management) in

Allen had a sad look on his face when he told me...

"John's moving to Austin. Going to work for a new resort hotel
...and he's buying season tickets for University of Texas
football games."

Allen and I have been friends since Peggy and I moved to
Cloudcroft 10 years ago. Besides being fellow villagers we
have something else in common...we're both from Lubbock and
we're both huge Texas Tech Red Raider fans. I agreed with
Allen. John's actions were tantamount to jumping ship.

For those of you that don't know...The University of Texas and
Texas Tech get along like water and motor oil.

Cloudcroft is a potpourri of people. People from all over have
discovered this village and have decided to make it their home.

There are us Texans who have a hard time dropping our lineage
(and our allegiances to Texas college football teams). There are
the Californians that are into arts and play their guitars on
the boardwalk and in Zenith Park and speak in low and mellow
tones. There are a few from the Northeast who complain about
the hot 75 degree summer afternoons.

Then there are the natives. Those people that were born and
raised in Cloudcroft. They're mostly very friendly, but
sometimes you get the feeling they wouldn't mind if the rest of
us just went away.

What makes Cloudcroft unique as a community is that just about
all of us chose to live here. We weren't forced into this
existence because we were transferred here by the company we
work for or any other similar happenstance. As a matter of 
fact, many of us left behind more lucrative lifestyles where 
we came from just so we could live here.

Fool hardy? I suppose. We, as a group, may not be the sharpest
knives in the drawer, but you don't see many of us moving away.

Don Vanlandingham

A dry week. 0.35 inches of rain Thursday (8-5), otherwise no 
new precip.

Low during the reporting period 47 degrees Tuesday morning 
(8-10) 6am. High during the same period 78 degrees Sunday noon

For up to the minute Cloudcroft weather, available 24-7, go to
Cloudcroft.com. It's free.
Dear Newsletter:

Here are a couple pictures from our picnic "Blue Moon" night
at White Sands. Maggie, now 6 months, is in the first picture.



Kit Richards


For a schedule of coming Blue Moon events, see:


Ode to Ed in KS, formerly of NM
There’s a saying that wanders about on the wind:
"Wasn’t born here but got here as a fast as I could."
In times past you would find us in Texas – a blend,
But more recently ‘rived in New Mexico’s woods.
The hubby was born Arizonan; however,
The wife was a Texan with borders in mind.
After thirty-odd years, we adopted the weather
In the high Sacramento mountains – sublime!
(Just between you and me and the fencepost ... and such,
I’d prefer to keep quiet ‘bout the place we found here.
Don’t want to get crowded by people too much.
Just kick back, relax and watch the elk and the deer.)
No longer bothered by rushin’ around –
That’s typical news ‘midst the cities below.
No longer concerned ‘bout fightin’ the crowds.
We’re just strollin’ along with the days as they flow.
If I sound like my theme is a bit too much gloat,
Or the rhyme that I reel kinda lays it "on thick,"
I don’t mean to offend or try to "get your goat."
I’m just so glad to be here – "out in the sticks!"
‘night ya’ll!
CC resident, formerly of FWTX
Elections were held for Otero County Electric's Board of
Directors Saturday. Elected by the members were Randy Rabon,
Fred Hansen, Mike Mills and Cody Harwell. Other members of the
board are Preston Stone (president), Bill Bird, Jackie 
Blaylock, Bill Stephenson, Gary Wood and Charles Mulcock.

The home office of Otero County Electric is based in 

See their website at: http://ocec-inc.com/

Escape the summer heat while relaxing in our beautiful 15-acre
park located at an elevation of 7,300 feet in the pine trees of
the Sacramento Mountains. Our park entrance is at mile marker 
30 on HWY 82 east of Cloudcroft. For information or 
reservations, call us toll free at 1-888-203-0767 or e-mail

For maps and other information, see the link to our web site on
the Camping/RV page of Cloudcroft.com:


In Portales.


Q - You had a letter in your last newsletter stating feeding
hummingbirds could eventually kill them. Is this true?

A - Hummingbirds, like the rest of us, develop habits. If they
get used to feeding on an artificial feeder and that feeder
suddenly runs dry or disappears, it leaves the birds with the
chore of finding a new food source, but according to an expert
we talked to, they are normally resourceful enough to do so.

However, it is suggested that if you are just visiting for a
few days it's not advisable to put out a feeder that won't be
available to the birds for the entire season.

It is important that you don't make the juice too sweet. We've
been told the recommended recipe is one third sugar and two
thirds water. Some people add red food coloring which is all
right but it doesn't really attract birds.

We put out feeders, but we maintain them from the beginning of
the season until the last birds migrate in late September.
August 13 -- Cloudcroft Methodist Preschool registration.
9am -12pm. Cloudcroft Methodist Church.

September 1 -- High Noon book club. 12pm. In the library. Bring
your lunch and join us in discussing THE RED TENT by Anita

September 3 -- Cloudcroft Labor Day Fiesta

September 4 -- James Canyon Auction & BBQ. Party Barn in
Cloud Country Club (Highway 82 near mile marker 27). Dinner
begins a 5pm, Auction at 7pm, and dance at 9pm.

September 11 -- White Sands Star Party.

September 18 -- Lumberjack day. Cloudcroft.

September 18, 19 -- Run to the Aspens Car Show. Cloudcroft.

September 18, 19 -- White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational.
7am both days.

September 19 -- Gary Johnson’s Cloudcroft Run. World’s highest
certified 10k run. For more information call 505-687-2133.

September 25 -- Mountain Garden Club Style Show.

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest. Cloudcroft. Aspencade tours.

November 27 -- Beginning of Christmas in Cloudcroft and Santa

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month,
5:30-7pm, in the Old Red Brick School House.

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 button.


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.
Dear Newsletter:

Regarding your sentences: "The vet was within his legal rights
to require a warrant for the information the officer wanted.
An arrest was not called for."
The State has false arrest statutes, and the Federal Government
has 43 US Code 1983, both of which can be very costly to an
Officer AND his Agency. 
When in doubt, get a warrant, is always a good rule for an
Officer to follow.
Joe Cerrato, Captain - TTPD (ret.)
Texarkana, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Don, read your Aug. 6 newsletter about the vet and his 
problems with Fish & Game with great interest. 

I'm in basic agreement with your assessment of the situation.
I would have taken the deer to a vet as well and the F and G
officer most likely overreacted and can use some additional

However, when it comes to F&G officers carrying firearms, I
suggest you do some research and see how many F&G officers
are killed annually in the line of duty by poachers and other
malcontents. Especially drug related types. 

Try: http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#leoka 
Jim Nelson
Boerne, TX

Dear Newsletter:

33 years of experience as a city police officer taught me the
difference between the 'letter of the law' and the 'spirit of
the law' and, the use of common sense to determine when to
use each.

Tom Tannehill
Timberon, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Really enjoyed your article about the faun and the
veterinarian, partly because it reminded me of a similar
incident that happened to a friend who used to do volunteer
work with me.
She lives on a farm outside of town...one day she found a faun
with an injured leg laying in her pasture. Since it was
during hunting season she naturally assumed the mother deer
had fallen victim to a hunting rifle so she took the faun
home with her (it appeared almost newborn and was small enough
for her to carry) she mended its leg, and kept it until it was
healed and seemed old enough to be on its own. 

At that time she released it back into the wild. Somehow 
(probably through the courtesy of a nosey neighbor) the fish
and game people got wind of the fact that she had been
harboring a wild animal in her home (yes, she kept it inside
her house) and came calling to try to slap her with a heavy

She eventually had to hire a lawyer and go to court in order
to have the whole mess resolved. Fortunately she was absolved
of any blame in the end but the fact remained that she had to
shoulder the expense of legal representation and the 
embarrassment of a court hearing.
Fish and game folks are in the same genre as security guards.
I think they are all police wannabes. Give them a gun and they
think they suddenly become Super Hero Crime Fighters.
Phyllis Kindred
Shreveport, La.

Dear Newsletter:

Love your newsletter. We are coming, at long last to your
village, and we were wondering if there is a special cafe
that we could go to hear local folks and enjoy our stay.

The bear stories are great and the deer ones remind me of
the time a deer followed me home! Little did I know that it
was really a pet, had gotten out and the mother had been
killed. I was quick to get the local vet to find a home for
the little one!
H. B. Newell
Conroe, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

My parents moved to Piney Woods (just down the mountain from
Cloudcroft) about 15 years ago, and when I discovered your
newsletter I was thrilled to be able to get some local news
and weather for their area. I enjoy it tremendously. I read
it extra carefully in the weeks leading up to my visits.

I noticed the letter from Bob Genung from the UK who was
looking for some "dark sky" property. I was just back there
2 weeks ago and at that time there were 2 properties in Piney
Woods that both had their own observatories. One of them
belongs to a friend of my fathers and I understand from him
that it is quite impressive.

Linda Brent
San Diego, CA

Dear Newsletter:

I received a blank page, information must have been lost in 
transmission. Please re-send. 

Thank you,
Cheryl A. Proffer-Albritton

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Dear Newsletter:

I'm an 18 year military man, an enlisted man, and a 
"ground-pounder". In my career I've been through and in both
Desert Shield and Desert Storm, the conflicts in Mogadishu, 
Bosnia, Afghanistan, and now again in Iraq. 

I love my country and I also love my home state of Texas. But
I also love New Mexico, particularly the Sacramento Mountains
area. In fact, my wife and I plan on retiring there. What you
wrote (Mr. Fillmore saved N.M. from a fate worse than 
death-being part of Texas) was a little hateful don't you
think?! With all the hatred in the world (and I've probably
seen more eye-to-eye hatred than you will in your lifetime) 
was it really necessary for you to add on to it? 

How 'bout we try to keep the peace where we can?! Outwardly 
and in our hearts. God Bless you and yours, sir.
Ray S. Ortega 

Dear Newsletter:

Don, I too have a bear story. 

I have a cabin near the village and have had corn out for the
deer. It was discovered by a large bear that I'm sure was a
male. Since I couldn't empty the feeder, all I could do was
watch for the bear at dawn and dusk, until the corn was gone.

I borrowed a camera to get a picture, but when the bear came in
the last morning that I was there, my little 4 pound dog ran
it up the mountain. It could have turned and eaten her up! She
also has "treed" an elk behind my cabin. It was reared up
eating the bark and she ran it off, too.

I will NOT be guilty of putting out the corn until I'm sure
the bears have gone into hibernation...which is WHEN, do you

Anyway, my grandsons have something to talk about and remember
Cloudcroft by.
Thanks for all your newsletters.

Central Texas

Dear Newsletter:

The recent letter from Sherry in Weatherford troubled me. 
While her message of not feeding wild animals was well stated,
she seemed to contradict herself many times by telling stories
about the treats she leaves for the animals in hopes of having
the opportunity to view them, and possibly catch a great photo
of the sightings. 

She sounds like someone who really loves animals, and therefore
I hope she takes her own advice and stops leaving corn and
seeds out for the deer and bears. This can lead to many 
problems in the future. Not only will this bring them closer
to civilization and endanger them during hunting seasons, but
it can also lead to problems when the animals become reliant
on her food during dry/difficult seasons. 

Cloud Country is somewhat secluded, but these animals wonder
nearer to the highway when beckoned, which can lead to more

There are also serious dangers involved with disease and 
attacks. (Her story reminded me of an incident in which a bear
attacked a tourist as he snapped a picture of a cub.) As a
lifetime resident of Cloudcroft, I can tell you many tragic
stories regarding wild animals being fed by tourists and

Setting out food for deer, raccoons, bears and other wild
animals is setting up an inevitable trap to their demise. Being
that close to nature is thrilling, exciting and very surreal,
I know. However, to ensure that these animals will be there for
her grandchildren to someday enjoy seeing a deer passing
through your subdivision, it is my plea that she stick to
giving the dog a treat, and allow the wild animals to remain
wild. Thank you, Sherry for your advice to others.

Sandra McBrayer
Cloudcroft, NM/Temporarily a resident of Lubbock, TX
(But NEVER a Texan!)

Dear Newsletter:

I want to weigh in on the hummingbird feed-or-not-to-feed 
question. I have heard Ornithologists speak on this subject
and what they say is in line with what we do and what our good
friends do.

We live in pinyon-juniper woodlands at about 7200 feet east
of the Sandia Mountains in north-central NM. We put out our
feeders as soon as we see the first "scout" hummingbirds
arrive, which are usually black-chinned or broadtailed hummers.

For us, this is either the last week of March or the first week
of April. More individuals and families begin to arrive after

All arrivals are fatigued from their long migrations out of 
Mexico and can really use the supplemental nectar. We leave the
feeders up, and are very vigilant about keeping the feeders 
filled, until after we think we've seen the last stragglers 
leave for their migrations in the fall -- this is usually the
first week or two of October for us. 

The little guys "tank up" on nectar before their big trip. At
the hummingbird lectures I have attended, the speakers even
suggested using a stronger 3:1 water:sugar (cups) solution in
the first week or two of sightings in the spring, moving to
the more typical 4:1 solution for the season, and then 
returning to 3:1 in the last 2 weeks of hummer activity in the
fall, in order to give the tiny birds a stronger feed when it
is most needed.

Hummingbirds always feed on a mix of nectar sources, darting
from our hummer-friendly flowers and shrubs, into the pinyons
for a drink of sap, and back up to our hanging feeders again. 
They have no problems mixing it up.

Furthermore, it's remarkable how both individuals and families
of hummers find us every year. They don't lose their abilities
to find their native food supplies. And as I said, the
supplemental nectar is very helpful to them in times of need.
I'm sure the little guys are very grateful to receive it.

Lyn Canham
Sandia Park, NM

Dear Newsletter:

I don't agree with the letter regarding hummingbirds. They are
migratory creatures who follow the wildflowers northward in the
Spring and Summer and return to warmer climes in the winter.

Southwesterners can see up to fourteen species of hummingbirds.
Only the Ruby-Throated is commonly seen in the eastern part of
the country.

Hummingbirds eat insects and the nectar of flowers. In this
regard they serve a dual beneficial purpose, pest control and
pollination. During dry years, such as those we are 
experiencing now, flowers are few and feeders can supplement
nectar resources. 

The hummingbird's energy expenditure is prodigious. They need
quick energy, in the form of natural or processed sugars, to
sustain their metabolism.

The Rufous is territorial due to its long migratory pattern.
It protects its food sources and is aggressive when 'its' 
feeder is approached by another hummingbird. Other hummingbirds
are less discriminatory. They will eat at any feeder available.
I have seen them take flower nectar, they seem to like 
petunias, and then 'top off' at the feeder. They are not 
endangered when a feeder is taken down or unfilled for a
prolonged period. They simply move on to greener pastures, so
to speak.

Another myth is that if feeders are left out too long 
hummingbirds won't leave in time to avoid cold weather and 
will die. Those birds which are unable to make the return trip
usually die here. The migratory imperative is too strong to
entice hummingbirds to winter over.

Every source I've seen recommends using 1 part sugar to 4 parts
water as a nectar mix. Avoid honey which has enzymes that can
kill the birds. Also avoid using red food coloring, which may
be deleterious to them.

I live next door to Sherry, the Bear Lady from Weatherford, 
Texas. Enclosed is a photo of the persistent cub Sherry 
mentions in her email.

Joe Boyle
Mayhill NM


Dear Newsletter:

Several years ago, we lived in Hurst, Texas. One year it
seemed that fleas were everywhere. Our male dog had a good
crop of fleas, off and on, despite everything we could do.

I came home from work one day, my wife, Pat, and my son Mark
had the little dog down of the floor trying to catch fleas
off of his belly.

Pat wanted me to come over and get a tick off of the dog. I
walked over, they had a pair of tweezers trying to get the

After I looked at the situation, I told them he had one on
the other side just like it. It was the male dog's breast.
They never really develop, just look like a black dot.

I think the little fellow was glad I intervened. He was so
happy to be released.

Lanty Wylie

Dear Newsletter:

I really liked your story on dogs & their relationships with

PEOPLE should have to qualify for the dog licenses by proving
that they are fit to have a dog! 

My daughter & I adopted a Chihuahua/Pit Bull mix four years
ago & looking back, we should have been suspicious when one
of the ladies from the Humane Society ran out to the car &
thanked us profusely for adopting the little critter! 

We named him Binkie & soon found out what a terror he was - and
still is. Any nasty, annoying or disgusting thing you can
imagine a dog doing has been done by Binkie. He violently 
hates Elvis, attacked a friend of mine stopping by on the way
to an Elvis impersonator contest on the Riverwalk. 

He also goes ballistic when Elvis comes on the television. He
steals things at random & stashes them under my daughter's bed
& gets in the garbage to eat the ends off of used Q-tips. 

Our other adopted dog is a Red Healer mix & is a model dog. We
still treat Binky as one of the family & give him treats for
not getting "goodies" out if the cat litter box. He guards the
house & serves as our security alarm and keeps me company when
no one else is around. He's our own black sheep of the family.
Skip Love,
San Antonio, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

It is not just Fish and Game Officers that need to be better
trained. I had to practically give my home and my business 
away and leave my beautiful mountain because I met and 
eventually dated a person in Ruidoso that was a member of 
Search and Rescue, the Sheriff's Posey and a security guard at
the race track. 

We had dated for two years when he started showing his badge
every time someone aggravated him. Eventually he started 
pulling his gun as well. He even showed up at a funeral with
his gun and a sword, after impersonating the Sheriff and 
telling the father not to show up or he would have him arrested.

When I tried to get away him, I was harassed and threatened 
bodily harm and also that he would destroy my home and 
business. Law enforcement told me to record his calls and keep
the paper threats, but he found out and my house was broken 
into, vandalized and I was robbed of more than $20,000 worth
of personal items along with the recordings and paper threats.

I could not get any help from the real law enforcers even 
though I did everything that they told me to do, so when this
person approached me again - he physically hurt me, I pressed
charges and got a restraining order against him. That only made
him more angry and he threatened again to get even with me. 

I was so afraid that I did not even go back up the mountain - 
instead I got the court order, he was slapped on the hand and
I ran, having to leave everything I loved behind.
I have been hiding ever since, that was 6 years ago. I still 
can not go back to Ruidoso for fear that I will be seen and it
will start all over again. He had no "real" authority, but he
was issued a badge, access to police scanners and information,
and a gun - I feel that because he was "one of the boys" he was
allowed to get away with everything he did, -- I was ran out 
of town out of fear - while the others just looked the other 
way. No one wanted to get involved.
Not all Law Enforcement officers act this way - most take their
jobs very seriously, are very caring individuals and are 
nothing like this person. But it only takes one bad 
"want-to-be" to ruin the persona of many good and dedicated
Still in hiding 

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Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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