The Sandoval Signpost

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Sandoval Signpost -  Mother and baby bear treed in Placitas orchard

Mother and baby bear treed in Placitas orchard

Bears in Placitas

Jackie Ericksen

Here are a couple of pictures of the bears who got into trouble last month.

It is so unfortunate they happened on Fritz's goats. I'm sure the bears were only looking for apples, and discovered the goats. The mother bear was a “very” nonaggressive bear. These pictures were taken at my house.

The bears had consumed most of my pears, which grow in the arroyo, and had returned for the rest. My smaller dog (who looks a little like Benjie) had no trouble treeing them and holding them at bay.

After I took pictures and put the dogs in the house, the mother calmly came down, gathered her adorable baby, and headed for the wild while my neighbor and I stood and watched. If only they had kept going.

She had apparently been around here for a while, but stayed away from the house and my animals. Where she visited us was indistinguishable from wilderness to someone who can't read.

[Editor’s note: The New Mexico Game and Fish Department and the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Department were called out by residents to take care of the situation. Upon arrival, they considered the mother bear a threat and shot her dead. The baby was relocated.]


New Mexico ranks high in bat population

Although the Talking Talons bat species inventory program, conducted at three selected New Mexico State Parks, has now concluded, bat conservation issues at this nonprofit environmental-education and youth-development organization continue to be a hot topic.

Last summer’s inventory used mist nets and the AnaBat II acoustic survey technology that plots recorded bat calls on a laptop computer. “Though not 100 percent reliable, the AnaBat II allows for a completely non-invasive method of surveying our flying mammalian friends of the night,” says Daniel Abram, Talking Talons Youth Leadership executive director.

The insectivorous bats of North America emit high frequency (ultrasonic to humans) sounds that assist them in interpreting their world and enable them to hunt during the hours of darkness. Many bats can detect the echo of their call bounced off objects as small as a gnat. By analysis of the echoes from repeated calls, bats are able to navigate through the night and catch insect prey of a variety of types. Most bats hunt on the wing, but some, like the pallid bat, are “gleaners,” snatching larger insects and other invertebrates from the ground, leaves, branches, and rocks. When bats close in on their prey, they require maximum information about “where that bug is going” in order to catch it. In the last moments of the hunt, the bats are echolocating very rapidly. Some bats may emit over a hundred calls per second and analyze the returning echoes. This is known as the “feeding buzz,” which can readily be seen at dusk, in bats flying overhead, as sudden and seemingly sporadic directional changes. The buzz can also be heard by means of bat detectors, which may be acquired fairly inexpensively through the Bat Conservation International catalog (

Artistic interpretation of the prevalence, biology, habitat, and conservation needs of the bats in New Mexico, specifically those found in the state parks surveyed to date, is currently being developed by Talking Talons. The finished product is available in interpretive/ranger stations in New Mexico State Parks.

New Mexico can boast the occurrence of twenty-seven of the forty-five North American bat species, ranking the state third in North America for bat diversity (second only to Texas and Arizona). For more information about Talking Talons, its programs, and opportunities for involvement in conservation projects, or if you have encountered an injured bird of prey or bat, call 281-1133.


High Desert Farmers Market closes for the season

The High Desert Farmers Market enjoyed a successful summer in spite of the drought, and customers were pleased with the diversity of produce. The market closed on October 25, having provided fall staples such as apples, corn, winter squash, pumpkins, bolito, and pinto beans.

High Desert founder Ida Talalla thanked the community for its support and said, "Close to 50 percent of the vendors at the market are from Sandoval County, especially the Middle Rio Grande corridor. As such, much of the food sold has ben gleaned that day and brought to market within a half hour of travel time. You can not beat a farmers’ market for fresh! Your dollars do not go to Chile or Australia, but to local growers who maintain the agricultural tradition of the corridor—its open space, aquifer replenishment, flora, fauna, and riparian views that we cherish. We are much more than just a market."

The market participants look forward to its grand reopening next year.


Dorothy Cave will speak on code talkers

Dorothy Cave, a prolific author whose many publications center on the history of New Mexicans in World War II, will speak on November 19 at the Corrales Historical Society Lecture Series. Her topic is one that has recently won national attention: the important role played during World War II by the Navajo code talkers. Ms. Cave holds an MA in history and is the author of the award-winning book Beyond Courage: One Regiment Against Japan, 1941-1945, about the New Mexican heroes of Bataan. Her lecture, “The Unbroken Code: Navajo Code Talkers at War,” will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Old San Ysidro Church, Old Church Road, Corrales. There is no charge for admission. Refreshments will be served following the program.


Slide show, arts-and-crafts sale at historical society

At its next meeting, on Sunday, November 3, at 3:00 p.m., the Sandoval County Historical Society will host a slide show on old buildings in Bernalillo and Algodones presented by Justin Rinaldi.

In conjunction with this program, the society will sponsor an exhibit of members’ work for sale. On display will be painting, photography, crafts, embroidery, pottery, tiles, santos, stationery, and cards. The opening reception will be at 2:00 p.m. on November 3, and the exhibit will be open Sundays from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. until December 8.

Among the artists will be:

  • Rosemary Alberts
  • Shelby Jersig
  • Gloria Billis
  • Ken Kloeppel
  • Vicki Klemz
  • Rita Last
  • Martha Liebert
  • Tim Lucero
  • Dyanne Strongbow
  • Penne Melton
  • Jewel Paschke
  • Gayle Prinkey
  • Gabe Sahd
  • Elaine Slusher
  • Nan Stackhouse
  • Roy Skeens
  • Kelly Rutherford
  • Roberta Wellems

The program and exhibit will be open to the public at the Sandoval County Historical Society Museum on Edmonds Road just west of the Coronado Monument. There is no charge. For additional information, call Martha Liebert at 867-2755.


Don’t let Casa San Ysidro close

The Casa San Ysidro Compadres invite you to celebrate at a special fundraiser in support of the historic Gutiérrez-Minge House in Corrales—Casa San Ysidro. On January 1, 2003, this historic building, part of the Albuquerque Museum, is scheduled to be closed down due to city budget cuts. As a solution, a festive dinner-dance, set in a Dia de los Muertos’ theme, will be held on Friday, November 1, at 6:30 p.m., at the Old Convent in Bernalillo. A silent and live auction, music, libations, fortune telling, and other delights are planned for the evening. Tickets are $125. All proceeds from this event will be used to fund Casa’s new budget.

If you are unable to attend, please consider making a donation to the AMF/Save Casa Fund. For tickets, further information, or to make a donation, please call 842-0111 or mail to: The Albuquerque Museum Foundation, P. O. Box 7006, Albuquerque, NM 87194.






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