Page 4-The Artesia (NM) Daily Press-October 14, 2007-Sec. B Eddy County Extension Notes By Woods Houghton Designer, author and sewing expert will show more than 30 styles of handbags made from leather, linen, silk chiffon and tapestry fabrics PORTALES — Information on making handbags, fabric yo-yo’s and staining furniture will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at noon on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. Designer, author and sewing expert, Stephanie Kimura will show more than 30 stylish handbags of every size and shape, made from leather, linen, silk, chiffon and even tapestry fabrics. Each is embellished in its own unique way to create designer bags with style. Her company is Kimura Patterns in Jensen Beach, Fla. Pat de Santis is a sewing expert with Wrights in West Warren, Mass., and she will show how to make fabric yoyos with a circle cutting tool. As she explains, “what’s old is now new again,” and with new sewing notions on the market, the process is much easier and faster. Lynn Hack-Gerhart will show how to apply stains on furniture to create beautiful designs. She’ll also talk about opaque versus translucent stains and explain how to choose or match a color. She represents QRB Industries in Creative Living Houston, Texas. Information on sewing as a home business, birthday party planning and preparing recipes ahead of time will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, and at noon on Thursday, Oct. 18. Mary Roehr, sewing instructor and author, will discuss how to make sewing a profitable home business. She’ll talk about alterations, home decor, custom sewing, embroidery and other areas of sewing. Her company is Mary Roehr Books and Video in Sedona, Ariz. Lisa Reid will talk about making low-cost birthday party favors and decorations that will be a hit at anyone’s party — and won’t break the pocketbook. She publishes a consumer newsletter called PurseStrings and lives in Santa Fe. Cookbook author, Sue Vaughn will demonstrate some quick and easy to prepare sandwiches that are also nutritious and can be prepared ahead of time. Her company is Jan-Su Publications, and she lives in Lamesa, Texas. B. J.’S BEAN/CORN CASSEROLE 1 (16 ounces) can Frenchstyle green beans 1 (16 ounces) can shoe-peg corn 1 (16 ounces) can cream of celery soup 1/2 cup sour cream 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese 1/2 cup finely chopped onion 1 stick butter or margarine, melted 1 roll Ritz Crackers, crushed Almonds, slivered Mix green beans and corn and place in a buttered casserole dish. Mix together soup, sour cream, cheddar cheese and onion and spread over vegetables. Drizzle melted butter over mixture and top with Ritz Crackers. Sprinkle with almonds and bake at 350° F. for 45 minutes. Serves 4 to 6 people. STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS Bats: These flying mammals eat insects, not trick-or-treaters Halloween is a good time to remind wildlife observers of important bat contributions, and to debunk the myths and legends that have stalked the misunderstood night-flying creatures for thousands of years. Despite scary campfire stories and the hype and hysteria of Hollywood films, bats are not blind, airborne rodents that mysteriously morph into bloodsucking vampires. Instead, they are the world’s only flying mammals. They possess keen echolocation skills that enable them to use sound to hunt for insects. In the process, they perform astonishing mid-air maneuvers. These mammals also stand out for their cleanliness and devotion to their young ones. Bat mothers are able to locate their own pups in a large cave filled with thousands or even millions of other bats, simply by searching for their babies’ unique cries and smells, wildlife experts say. According to Dr. Jon Boren, New Mexico extension wildlife specialist, “Bats are unique and interesting animals; they also are some of the most misunderstood mammals in New Mexico because of fear and misconceptions associated with them.” “Bats have had bad PR, just like spiders and sharks. You just say the word and people think automatically, ‘Those are bad animals,’” said Kirk Navo, a bat specialist at the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW). “But bats are beneficial animals. They have key roles in the world’s ecosystems. People shouldn’t fear these animals.” In fact, bats around the globe play an elemental role in controlling pests, pollinating plants and dispersing seeds. Bats that eat nectar and pollen are said to be the only source of reproduction for many of the world’s night-blooming flowers. Mosquitoes, which can carry deadly diseases such as the West Nile virus, are among bats’ favorite treats along with moths that are responsible for crop losses in agriculture. Bats can consume up to half their body weight in insects every night. A large colony can consume thousands of pounds each night according to Dr. Boren. Here are just a few more amazing bat facts: — Only three of the world’s 1,000 bat species are vampire bats that drink the blood of other animals, and these rare species live in isolated parts of Central and South America. — According to Bat Conservation International Inc., the world’s smallest mammal is Thailand’s bumblebee bat, which weighs less than a penny. — At the other end of the spectrum are giant Indonesian bats that have 6-foot wingspans, according to the Austin, Texas-based BCI. A negative image often associated with bats is that of the sick, rabid animal that poses a threat to human health. Navo and others dispute that image, saying most bats in the wild are free of rabies and other sicknesses. However, Navo underscored the importance of reminding people that bats, like other mammals, can and sometimes do carry the rabies virus. In fact, incidents of people being bitten by rabid bats are very low. In most cases, someone finds a sick bat, touches it, gets bitten, and must then undergo rabies treatment. As with other sick, or odd behaving wildlife, “People should just leave them alone and not handle them,” Boren said. Together with other preventive measures, farmers and ranchers depend on bats to help control insects that can damage valuable crops and — in the case of mosquitoes — spread disease to livestock and humans. Meanwhile, bat guano or bat droppings, is considered a valuable plant fertilizer. Scientists also believe the bacteria in guano may be an effective tool for cleaning industrial waste in lakes and streams. Some experts believe entire ecosystems might collapse if bats were to go extinct. Sadly, bats are in decline in the United States for many of the same reasons other species are faltering. More than half of the country’s 44 bat species are considered in decline or are already listed for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Wildlife experts say ignorance about bats and their habitats has contributed to their demise. Human interference, including wanton destruction of bat colonies, has led to some species being listed for protection. Navo said increased cave recreation also has had negative impacts on bat colonies. In one example, recreational cavers might disturb a colony of hibernating bats during winter explorations. Once disturbed, these hibernating bats are forced to burn up valuable fat supplies they were relying on to survive though the rest of winter. In Eastern United States, bats tend to congregate in large colonies, so damage to one cave can wipe out millions of bats. In New Mexico and the rest of the West, bats roost and hibernate in caves, old mine shafts and cracks and crevices in rock cliffs. Mexican freetailed bats are the most common bat in Eddy County. They are migrating from the northern parts, and have turned up in schools and other buildings around the state, while en route to warmer climes to the south. Because so many natural bat habitats are in decline, wildlife biologists believe it is important to preserve some abandoned mine openings for bats. To conserve bat roosts, the DOW sponsors a program, the “Bats/Inactive Mines Project,” aimed at installing special bat gates at the openings of abandoned mines. The gates are designed to allow bats to fly in and out of the mineshafts while shutting them off to humans. Many mines have been closed by using explosive to seal off the shafts to keep people from entering an unsafe area. This unfortunately also keeps bats out. So far, program volunteers have visited 4,000 abandoned mines around Colorado and installed some 350 bat gates. Navo, who founded the project and remains its lead researcher, said at least half of all the mines surveyed showed some evidence of bat use. In southern Colorado, the San Luis Valley’s Orient Mine is home to the largest all-male colony of Brazilian free-tailed bats in the United States. “A guy’s gotta hang out somewhere,” Navo quipped. A number of farmers have built bat houses to keep this valuable insect eater close by. Eddy County Extension Service, New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. All programs are available to everyone regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. New Mexico State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Eddy County Government Cooperating. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Woods E. Houghton is an Eddy County Extension agent/agriculture, 1304 West Stevens, Carlsbad, NM 88220. E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (575)887-6595 Fax: (575)8873795.) 2 whole chicken breasts 1/4 cup margarine Chopped chives Dash of oregano Slices of Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese 2/3 cup white wine Pound chicken breasts between waxed paper sheets until thin. Combine margarine, chives and oregano. Spread mixture on chicken. Then place a slice of cheese on top of each chicken breast. Roll and secure with a toothpick. Roll chicken in flour, then dip in beaten egg. Roll in bread crumbs. (At this point you can refrigerate up to a day in advance.) Bake in 375° F oven for 15 minutes. Pour 2/3 cup white wine over chicken and bake 25 minutes longer. EDITOR’S NOTE: “Creative Living” is produced and hosted by Sheryl Borden. The show is carried by more than 118 PBS stations in the United States, Canada, Guam and Puerto Rico and is distributed by Westlin in, Albuquerque). LYSO begins season LUBBOCK — The Lubbock Youth Symphony Orchestra (LYSO) begins its 20th season with its fall concert at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14, in the Civic Center Theatre. The LYSO The Lubbock Youth Symphony Orchestra is a program of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra and is supported by the Lubbock Symphony Guild. Among the program’s highlights will be Behnam Arzaghi, violin, performing Kabalevsky’s Concerto in C Major with the LYSO Symphony Orchestra. Behnam, age 13, is the son of Mehdi and Lillian Arzaghi. Inspired by his sister Safa’s Suzuki lessons, he began playing the violin at age six as part of the Suzuki program and is currently enrolled in the Strad class. Behnam has been a member of LYSO since age nine and has served as concertmaster of all three LYSO orchestras. He also served as concertmaster of the 2006-2007 Middle School All Region Orchestra and the Texas Tech Band/Orchestra Camp (BOC) Symphony Orchestra. Behnam won the 2007 Texas Tech BOC Concerto competition and performed as a soloist with the Festival Orchestra. He is currently studying with Stephanie Ezerman and Kirsten Yon. At the Oct. 14 concert, the LYSO Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Wood, will also perform Toccata and Fugue in C major by J.S. Bach, orchestrated by Leo Weiner, Blue Tango by Leroy Anderson and the Egmont Overture by Beethoven. Proper site preparation and irrigation will reduce sucker production Q. I planted a local, native locust tree in the park, the kind with the large thorns and it has just gotten totally out of control. It has sprouted out all over. I cannot control it. We will just be chopping the dozen or so new sprouts that are about four feet high now because I have not had time to get to them. My question is, am I going to have to remove the parent tree altogether or is there some way to prevent this tree from sending out runners all over the place and making new trees? It is a nightmare and I do so love these trees because of the wonderful aromatic blossoms in the spring but I just cannot deal with this situation any more. Is there a type of locust that does not spread like that? I have noticed other types in various places. What kind of tree would you suggest to take its place? It has to be a shade tree for folks sitting on the bancos underneath. A. I am not sure which plant you are referring to as “native locust.” I am assuming the tree is a black locust tree or the smaller New Mexico locust. These trees are common in New Mexico. The New Mexico locust spreads prolifically by suckers (sprouts that develop from the roots). It has fragrant pink flowers in the spring. The black locust makes a larger tree with dark bark and clusters of fragrant white flowers in the spring. It also produces suckers, but not as prolifically as the New Mexico locust. The Yard and Garden By Dr. Curtis Smith Idaho locust grows in New Mexico; it has pink flowers but grows in tree form. It is supposed to produce even fewer suckers than the black locust, but may produce some. Another “locust tree” used in New Mexico is the honeylocust. This is a very different tree. It has a thin, light tan bark, many small leaflets and flowers that are not noticeable except for their fragrance in the spring. They can produce large three-parted spines and large flat, black pods. Some cultivars of honeylocust trees are less likely to produce pods, but they may produce suckers. Once again, they are less prolific sucker producers than the black locust. If you grow them under stress, they will produce more suckers. Proper site preparation and irrigation will reduce sucker production. Q. How can I get gamma grass to grow and spread faster? A. Are you asking about gamma grass, or grama grass? Gamma grass is a pasture grass used in some parts of New Mexico. It is not native and requires high fertility and irrigation. It is not appropriate for landscape use. I suspect you meant grama grass. Grama grass is a bunch grass. That means it does not spread by runners (blue grama). Black grama may spread by short runners. Neither spread as readily by runners as buffalo grass. Mowing or grazing causes tillers (branches) to form at the base of each grass clump. This causes each clump to become bigger and is the way to cause grama grass to fill in the area. Otherwise, allow the grass to produce mature seeds. As these seeds to fall to the ground new grass plants grow to fill areas without grass. For more gardening information, visit the NMSU Extension publication’s Web site at http://www.cahe. nmsu.edu/pubs/_h. (EDITOR’S NOTE: Send your gardening questions to Yard and Garden, Attn: Dr. Curtis Smith, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, 9301 Indian School Road, NE, Suite 112, Albuquerque, N.M. 87112. Curtis W. Smith, Ph.D., is an extension horticulture specialist with New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.) Annual Oktoberfest highlight of Ruidoso fall season RUIDOSO — The Sacramento Mountains of southern New Mexico will soon come alive with golden aspen leaves, cooler nights, warm days and, yes, Polka music, when Ruidoso’s traditional German festival — the 26th annual Oktoberfest — flows into the Ruidoso Convention Center Oct. 19-20. “The Ruidoso Oktoberfest has become a tradition in our community, and it’s a great way to celebrate the changing of the seasons,” said organizer Mark Doth. “This year we’re bringing in two young musicians from Piesendorf, Austria to help us celebrate. Known in their country as the “Walcherbach Buam,” Daniel and Gunther Holler, ages 13 and 15, have been entertaining Austrians for several years. Several years ago, their older brother, Seppi, thrilled the crowds at the Ruidoso Oktoberfest with his amazing musical skills.” The Albuquerque bands Swingshift and Die Polka Schlingel will also join in the fun; authentic folk dance troupes will entertain the crowds when the live bands take a break; and the large German dance troupe from Fort Bliss — a real crowd pleaser last year — will be returning again this year. “This unique offering gives New Mexicans and their visitors the opportunity to explore one of the state’s most scenic areas, and at the same time, share in a family experience sure to be treasured,” said Michael Cerletti, secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department. The world’s first Oktoberfest was held in 1810 as a wedding celebration for Bavaria’s King Ludwig I and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. It didn’t take long for the fun loving Bavarians to replace the horse races, agricultural shows and other distractions with a focus on great beer, music, dancing and food. In the same tradition, Ruidoso’s Oktoberfest has become a much-anticipated annual celebration. A favorite of the kids, the “Kinderhall,” offers games, prizes, and pumpkin painting. Arts and crafts booths will feature some terrific local and regional talents, while others will offer imported German beer and authentic German food. The Ruidoso Oktoberfest is produced by Special Events Resource Group, a non-profit corporation formed with the purpose of providing funds to benefit recognized charities and fund education scholarships for the youth of Lincoln County. Since its inception in 1999, the group has contributed more than $120,000 to Lincoln County charities Tickets for adults are $7 per day or $12 for two days; $3 each day for ages 13-17; and free for ages 12 and younger Event hours are 5-11 p.m. Oct. 19 and noon to 11 p.m. Oct. 20. For more information, call (575)-257-6171 or toll free 877-877-9322 or visit http://www.trekwest.com/okto berfest. Entertainment Schedule Friday, Oct. 19 5-6:45 p.m. — Swingshift 6:45-7:10 p.m. — Rio Grande Taler Schuhplattler (dance troupe) 7:10-8:55 p.m. — Die Walcherbach Baum 8:55-9:20 p.m. — Helenic Dancers (dance troupe) 9:20-11 p.m. — Die Polka Schlingel Saturday, Oct. 20 Noon-1:30 p.m. — Die Polka Schlingel 1:30-1:50 p.m. — Ft. Bliss Schuhplatter (dance troupe) 1:50-3:20 p.m. — Die Walcherbach Buam 3:20-3:40 p.m. — Rio Grande Taler Schuhplatter (dance troupe) 3:40-5:10 p.m. — Swingshift 5:10-5:30 p.m. — Helenic Dancers (dance troupe) 5:30-7 p.m. — Die Polka Schlingel 7-7:20 p.m. Ft. Bliss Schuhplatter (dance troupe) 7:20-8:50 p.m. — Die Walcherbach Buam 8:50-9:10 p.m. — Helenic Dancers (dance troupe) 9:10-10 p.m. — Swingshift 10-10:20 p.m. — Ft. Bliss Schuhplatter (dance troupe) 10:20-11 p.m. — Swingshift Just for Kids • Pumpkin Painting: Open to grades kindergarten through sixth. Painting open to the first 100 entrants. Pick up pumpkins in the Kinderhall area. Games and crafts are available in the Kinderhall area.