The Ridges Landowners Association Newsletter

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The Ridges Landowners Association Newsletter Powered By Docstoc
					                                              The Ridges
                Landowners Association
Number 27                                                                                                                          Winter 2003
 In an effort to keep all landowners in The Ridges informed of the status of the development of the community and issues that may affect you, we are
                            distributing this quarterly newsletter. We hope that you enjoy this periodic update and find it useful.

   Board News                                                                   system, but the new owners do within the 5 year
                                                                                grace period, then you should get the $1291 rebate.
   The Ridges board of directors held its first meeting
   of 2003 on Wednesday the 8th of January. All                                                            Contributed by Dave Kingston
   elected members were present. New positions on                               A Timely Reminder
   the board were elected as follows:
                                                                                The yearly assessment of $300 per lot is due on or
   Steven Cary                    Treasurer
                                                                                before January 31, 2003. It should be sent to
   Dave Kingston                  President
   Michel Marx                    Vice President &                              Carolyn Cochran at the address in the
                                  Chairman of the                               preceding article.
                                  Architectural Comm.                                                      Contributed by Dave Kingston
   Carlos Trucco                  Secretary
   Olin Van Dyck                  Roads                                         Plague Found Nearby
   Michel Marx submitted the following names to be                              Fleas from mice and a wood rat near the home of an
   members of the Architectural Committee for the                               Eldorado couple who contacted human plague also
   year 2003.                                                                   tested positive for plague. The tests were conducted
                                                                                by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
   Michel Marx (Chairman)
                                                                                (CDC), Division of Vector-Borne Infectious
   Gerry Fornell
                                                                                Diseases, at their laboratories in Fort Collins,
   Victor Hesch
                                                                                Colorado last year.
   Henry Lanman
   Ron Loch                                                                     The husband and wife were both hospitalized in
                                                                                November 2003 in New York City where they had
   The Ridges board voted to accept these members as
                                                                                traveled. The man was confirmed to have plague and
   proposed. In addition, the board voted to have
                                                                                the woman had a positive preliminary test and was
   Michel Marx serve a three year term (2003-2005) as
                                                                                considered a probable case pending confirmatory
   chairman of the Architectural Committee.
                              Contributed by Dave Kingston
                                                                                “There were positive fleas from mice caught in a
                                                                                landscaped area next to the patients’ home and also
   Address Change/Rebate                                                        positive fleas from a mouse and a wood rat in an area
                                                                                about 2 miles from their home where they had hiked
   Notice to anyone selling their property and moving                           about a week before their onset of illness,” said Dr.
   away from The Ridges: You should leave a                                     Paul Ettestad, State Public Health Veterinarian. “It
   forwarding address with Carolyn Cochran, The                                 may not be possible to pinpoint which of these two
   Ridges Landowners’ Association, Inc., Post Office                            areas was their exact exposure. Molecular
   Box 787, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-0787. If                                 fingerprinting of the plague bacteria taken from a
   you move and did not hook up to the natural gas                              blood culture from the husband has been closely
                                                                                linked to a plague culture taken from wood rat fleas
collected from near the patients’ home back in July.          septicemic plague, meaning the bacteria spread
This is convincing proof that the patients acquired           through the blood system and then affected nearly
plague around their home in New Mexico,” said Dr.             every system in the body. He is still recovering.
Ettestad.                                                     Treatment for this type of plague is much more
                                                              difficult. – Ed.
Plague, a bacterial disease of rodents, is generally
transmitted to humans through the bites of infected           285 Coalition
fleas but can also be transmitted by direct contact
with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and        Two items presented at the January 15, 2003
pets. Most people become ill two to seven days after          meeting of the Coalition may be of interest:
being infected with the plague bacteria. Plague               There was an election of officers of the Coalition
symptoms in humans include fever, painful swollen             for 2003:
lymph nodes in the groin, armpit or neck areas,
chills, and sometimes headache, vomiting, and                 Chairperson           Kathy Pilnock (Lamy)
diarrhea. Dogs and cats can also get plague by being          Treasurer             Irwin Neulight (Alteza)
allowed to hunt rabbits and rodents. Cats are more            Co-secretaries        Frances Lumbers (Dos
likely than dogs to become severely ill from plague                                 Griegos) and Hazel Campbell
and usually develop fever, stop eating, become                                      (Belicia)
lethargic and may have swollen lymph nodes (usually           Mailings              Lois Lockwood (Old Road
in the neck area). With prompt diagnosis and                                        Ranch)
appropriate antibiotic treatment, the fatality rate in        Syd Lumbers of Dos Griegos, a geologist by
people and pets can be greatly reduced.                       training, is the newly elected member of the
To prevent further cases of plague, the Department of         Eldorado Area Water and Sanitation Board. He
Health recommends:                                            reported to the meeting that local developers have
                                                              initiated a lawsuit to prevent the condemnation
•   Avoid sick or dead rodents                                proceeding from going forward. Further he
•   Teach children not to play near rodent nests or           announced that the Board is sponsoring a meeting
    burrows                                                   on January 21 concerning septic systems. Fact
                                                              sheets re the January 21 meeting are available at the
•   Treat pets regularly with an effective flea product       Eldorado Supermarket.
•   Hunters and trappers should wear rubber gloves                                     Contributed by Mary Gill
    when handling dead animals                                     The Ridges Representative to the 285 Coalition
•   Clean up areas near the house where rodents               While spring may seem slow in coming, and we do
    could live                                                have a couple more months of official winter, it is
                                                              still not too early to remind everyone who drives in
•   Prevent pets from roaming and hunting whenever            The Ridges to obey the speed limit (in case there is
    possible                                                  any doubt, it is STILL 25 mph!). With the mild
•   People with sick outdoor pets, particularly cats,         weather more people can be seen walking or riding
    should have those animals examined promptly by            bicycles. While there are rules of the road for all,
    a veterinarian.                                           exceeding the speed limit can have several
                                                              repercussions. Just an increase of 5 mph (from 25
•   Killing rodents outside around the home is not            to 30 mph) can result in a 300% increase in the
    recommended as their fleas may then jump onto             probability of a pedestrian fatality.
    people or pets. Mice inside the home should be
    trapped up with snap traps that are placed on             In addition to the safety factor, the greater speed
    newspaper sprinkled with flea powder. Trapped             results in more wash boarding of the roads. We
    mice should be sprayed with disinfectant and put          have just had base course placed on some of our
    in a trash bag.                                           gravel roads, and the beneficial effects of that will
                                                              soon be negated by those of us who speed. – Ed.
From the New Mexico Department of Health,
thanks to Tom Seamster                                        Success with Bluebirds
An update on the couple who contacted plague last             Encouraged by Dave Kingston’s newsletter articles,
November, according to The New Mexican, January               we decided to put up a bluebird house last spring.
17, 2003: the wife is out of the hospital after a stay
of only two weeks. Her husband developed
Little did we know what a serious commitment this  get the picture. So I decided to become a
would become!                                               citizen scientist and monitor the box according to
                                                            their directions.
I started by searching the Internet for information.
My search led to two excellent sites: The Cornell           I am happy to say that we had two successful
Laboratory         of         Ornithology         at        nesting attempts, resulting in new generations of and the North American                Western Bluebirds.
Bluebird         Society         (NABS)           at
                                                            We can’t wait for spring. Between the two, I
learned more than I ever thought possible about                                         Contributed by Jane Burns
                                                            More Information on the Beetle
Don’t imagine that you can put up just any old
birdhouse anywhere on your property. Bluebirds are
very specific in their nesting preferences. The best        Excerpts from a letter from Debra Reid-Allen,
boxes are NABS-approved. You can find directions            USDAFS to Tom Seamster:
for building a house via either web site, buy one
                                                            “… The beetle attacking the piñon in northern New
from a store such as Wild Birds Unlimited, or order
                                                            Mexico is Ips confusus, an insect which is host-
one from one of many web sites selling bird-related
                                                            specific to piñon.
items. We looked out on March 15, saw 3 Western
Bluebirds at our birdbath, and decided to buy a box.        “I am also assuming, based on the infestations I
                                                            have seen in northern NM this summer, that your
Next we considered placement. Each bluebird pair
                                                            subdivision is surrounded by many acres of infested
needs about a football-field’s worth of open space.
                                                            piñons which will continue to provide a reservoir of
Luckily, we have a large open area on our property,
                                                            beetles, regardless of what you do on your property.
so out we went. The house must be safe from
                                                            Cutting and removing or solarizing is an effective
predators such as snakes or cats, so we opted for
                                                            treatment for currently infested material, when that
slippery metal electrical conduit as a mounting post.
                                                            material could provide a significant source of bark
The opening in the house must be at least 5 feet off
                                                            beetle brood. Fresh pine chips or green firewood
the ground, both to discourage predators and as a
                                                            can also attract Ips beetles to green standing trees.
matter of bluebird preference. And the opening
should face away from the prevailing winds.                 “Under normal moisture regimes, Ips beetle
                                                            outbreaks are usually associated with trees
After satisfying all these requirements, we went
                                                            weakened by construction-damage or with slash
inside and began watching the box to see what
                                                            from thinning treatments being left on-site. The
would happen. Within a day or two we had both
                                                            drought has caused a different scenario, making
Western and Mountain Bluebirds checking it out.
                                                            vast acreages of trees vulnerable to bark beetles. If
Within a week a pair of Western Bluebirds had
                                                            red-topped, dead trees are a safety hazard, I would
claimed it.
                                                            invest in their removal. As far as beetle
My work was just beginning. As you drove by this            management goes, I stand by my statement,
summer, you may have wondered what the heck                 "Removing such ‘vacated’ trees has no impact on
that woman was doing, teetering on a stepladder,            the beetle population". Keep in mind that these trees
peering into a birdhouse, or spraying something on          are victims of both drought and bark beetles. To
the mounting pole. Well, the spray was silicone to          save any uninfested trees, you must address both. I
make the pole even more slippery. And the peering           regret I cannot be more encouraging. Many of the
was a very important component of bluebird                  younger trees we see dying were established during
hosting: monitoring the box.                                several decades of wetter than usual conditions and
                                                            our current densities are just not sustainable under
Our native bluebird populations have been
                                                            the present moisture regime.
decimated by invasive non-natives such as House
Sparrows and European Starlings. There is great             “… I have sprayed the handful of piñons on my
interest in encouraging the recovery of native birds,       own property near my home and continue to
so the good folks at Cornell have created The               provide them with some supplemental water.”
Birdhouse Network to collect data about bluebirds
and other species. They want to know how many               What’s Growing in The Ridges?
eggs are in each clutch, what color they are, when          Winterfat   (Ceratoides    lanata; goosefoot-
they hatch, how many hatch, when the baby birds             chenopodiaceae):This silver white, wooly or
downy seed head graces our fall landscape, fruiting           While it thrives on 8-15 inches of rain a year, it will
in late August and in September, to remain so easily          survive on as little as 4 inches of annual rainfall. It
visible throughout the cold season. You can easily            grows fastest when its roots are not bound by
spot this 1-2 foot high plant in your yard and along          potting.
the roadside by its white color, which contrasts
sharply with the yellow blossom of snakeweed, and
the darkness of many other plants that have retired
to do their winter introspection (root growth). The
underlying leaves are blue green in color.

                                                                                   Winter Fat
                                                              The plume-like seed heads, preserved by spraying
                                                              with hair lacquer, are used in dry floral
                                                              arrangements. Livestock and wildlife enjoy feasting
                                                              on the seed heads, which seem to have no gustatory
                                                              appeal to us humans.
                                                              Propagation by seeding is reportedly easy,
                                                              spreading the seeds directly into containers or
                                                              outdoor beds. The seeds are tiny, number 90,000
                                                              per pound, and, if harvested, should be stored in a
                                                              freezer until spring sowing. Nursery varieties are
                     Winter Fat                               inferior to those growing in nature. Watering is
Winterfat is found throughout the west, from                  essential when propagation, but once established
Canada to Mexico, in areas that lie up to 10,000 feet         the plants do well on rainfall.
in elevation. It seems to grow anywhere, adaptable              Text freely adapted from Judith Phillips’ Southwestern
to most soils from clay to sand or gravel, as long as                   Landscaping with Native Plants by Ray Olson;
the soil is alkaline and moderately well drained.                                              photos by Jack LaRowe
While it thrives on 8-15 inches of rain a year, it will
survive on as little as 4 inches of annual rainfall. It       Three blue jays, no Blue Jays
grows fastest when its roots are not bound by                 The normal jay residents or visitors to The Ridges
potting.                                                      do not include Blue Jays The Blue Jay is a more
Winterfat is found throughout the west, from                  eastern resident. Jays common to The Ridges while
Canada to Mexico, in areas that lie up to 10,000 feet         blue in color are more western varieties. Those
in elevation. It seems to grow anywhere, adaptable            likely to be seen here are the Scrub Jay, The Piñon
to most soils from clay to sand or gravel, as long as         Jay and the Steller’s Jay.
the soil is alkaline and moderately well drained.             All, along with other jays, magpies, crows and
While it thrives on 8-15 inches of rain a year, it will       ravens are members of family Corvidae. Of these,
survive on as little as 4 inches of annual rainfall. It       the Steller’s Jay (C. Cyanocitta stelleri) is the most
grows fastest when its roots are not bound by                 closely related to the eastern Blue Jay as both are
potting.                                                      “Crested Jays” (genus Cyanocitta). The Steller’s
Winterfat is found throughout the west, from                  Jay is a mostly winter visitor to The Ridges (at least
Canada to Mexico, in areas that lie up to 10,000 feet         since the fires of a couple of years ago) and is easily
in elevation. It seems to grow anywhere, adaptable            recognizable due to the large black hood and long
to most soils from clay to sand or gravel, as long as         black crest.
the soil is alkaline and moderately well drained.
The Western Scrub Jay (C. Aphelocoma                           predator with both warning calls and by actually
californica) and Piñon Jays (C. Gymnorhinus                                                              2
                                                               physically harassing the enemy in the air.
cyanocephalus) are year round residents. They are a
little harder to differentiate since both are basically        An additional trait aiding survival is that first or
blue, have no crest and are about the same size.               second year adults will assist their parents in raising
                                                               the next nesting. With three (and sometimes more)
The Scrub and Piñon Jays can be told apart by these            helping to feed the nestlings, the survival rate is
characteristics:                                                                  2
                                                               greatly increased.
1. The Scrub Jay has a noticeable gray cape. The               1
Piñon Jays are more uniform blue-gray.                             Sibley, David Allen, “The Sibley Guide to Birds,”
                                                                      Albert A Knopf, New York, 2000
2. The Scrub Jay (and Steller’s) is normally seen in
a family group of two to six members, the Piñon                    Sibley, David Allen, et al, “The Sibley Guide to
Jays are normally seen in nomadic flocks of dozens                    Bird Life and Behavior,” Albert A Knopf, New
to hundreds. I once saw a flock of over two hundred                   York, 2002
attack our backyard feeder while renting in                                             Contributed by Jack LaRowe
                                                               March 18th: Piñon Debris Pickup
3. The Scrub Jays have an occasional squawking
call similar to the Blue Jays in the East. The Piñon           On the last page of the minutes of the October 17,
Jays constantly call in the air and on the ground.             2002 annual meeting, it was announced that each
                                                               landowner bears the responsibility of removal of
All the jays are omnivorous but mainly subsist on              dead trees from his/her lot, should that be the wish
seeds and nuts. Particularly in wintertime, a suet or          of the landowner. It is also the responsibility of the
peanut butter block is appreciated. Some of their              landowner to contact a tree-cutting service to do the
feeding habits that are most annoying to those who             cutting, etc. As an alternative to the landowner
feed are:                                                      hauling the material away or paying someone to do
                                                               it, there will be a pickup of piñon debris ONLY on
1. All will scratch through mixed food to get at the
                                                               March 18, 2003. You should have any piñon debris
preferred larger seeds. Sunflower seeds are great but
peanuts are REALLY great. I am convinced that the              you wish to be hauled away at the roadside on that
Scrub Jays can hear an unshelled peanut drop from as far       date, off the roadway and away from your drive.
as Pecos. This scratching will clean out a feeder very         Consult the minutes of the annual meeting for
quickly leaving a mess on the ground for the                   further information.
smaller ground grazers (and mice, etc.) to clean up.                                  Contributed by Dave Kingston
This can be slowed down by the use of wire cages
                                                               Tree Cutting Crew
around hanging feeders and use of a wire mesh
insert to slow down their scratching in platform               The Ridges residents Tina and Henry Lanman,
feeders.                                                       Karen Embertson and Michael Moore are offering
                                                               their services for $20/hour to residents who would
2. All will fill their crop quickly and then fly off to
                                                               like to have their dead piñon cut and hauled to the
cache the food for later use. So long as feeders are
                                                               road, available for pick-up arranged by Dave
available, they will not, generally, actually use the
                                                               Kingston on March 18th.
                                                               Cutting of trunk and/or branches into firewood
3. They feed in families (or huge social clouds in
                                                               lengths is optional. Trees with any moisture may
the case of the Piñon Jays) that will keep other,
                                                               still harbor bugs/eggs/larvae and prior to use should
smaller birds away and quickly clean out a feeder.
                                                               be solarized (wrapped in heavy clear plastic with
Males and females are not differentiated in all three          edges buried and cooked for 3 months [cold
species. Juveniles (into fall of the year of hatching)         winter], 6 weeks [warm winter], 3 weeks
tend to be slightly less well marked, but only                 [summer]), as advised by the County Extension
slightly.                                                      Office. Trees that are dead dry are likely bug-free
                                                               and the wood need not be solarized.
Like the Corvidae cousins crows and ravens, they
are smart birds. They can seemingly remember                   Plastic sheeting and bags for small branches may be
hundreds of seed caches. They defend against                   provided by homeowner or purchased from crew.
predators by “mobbing” where several will harass a             Any wood at the roadside is free to be taken prior to
Contact Tina or Henry ( at               otherwise write it out for her. She regrets she
466-4591 to schedule a weekday cutting, Karen at              cannot and will not be responsible for any dictated
466-2486 for cutting on weekends.                             items.
                   Contributed by Karen Embertson             Welcome to new neighbors Michel and Lauren
                                                              McMinn (lot 34, 118 Principe de Paz) and Ted and
Our Neighbors                                                 Bebe Schooley (lot 64, 33 Pan de Vida).
This is a column for and about you, the residents, in         And welcome also to a tiny arrival at the home of
The Ridges. We are fortunate to have so many                  Akhil Das and Sangeeta Prasad (lot 85, 124
people living here who have lived other places,               Principe de Paz): a baby girl, named Kiertan Das
have all kinds of interesting occupations and                 Prasad, born September 20, 2002. Congratulations
avocations, and not just a few opinions about                 to the proud parents.
anything and everything, … !
                                                              On Thursday the 9th of January 2003 Bob Kearey
If you have any knowledge of people who should be             (lot 35, 1 Agua Viviendo) had a heart attack and
mentioned, please let the editor know. It is perfectly        passed away. The Ridges Landowners Association
acceptable for you to tell her about something                extend their condolences to his wife Marilyn and
you’re doing or have done…but please e-mail or                the rest of the family. – Ed.

     The Board of Directors and the Association officers are listed for your information.
                   Please feel free to call for assistance or information.
NAME                             OFFICE                  TELEPHONE           COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN

Dave Kingston                    President               505-466-4078
Michel Marx                      Vice President          505-466-9038        Architectural Control Committee

Steve Cary                       Treasurer               505-466-6360

Carlos Trucco                    Secretary               505-466-4306

Olin Van Dyck                    Member                  505-466-2492        Roads

                                                                      Newsletter by: Marilyn LaRowe 466-1864,