If You Feed Them, They Will Come

Sept. 25, 2021, SANTA FE, NM — How can time fly and stand still at the same time?

It seems my summer in Santa Fe just started, but in actuality I’ve been here almost four months and will return to Dallas in a week.

It’s obvious to blog readers that I haven’t spent my time writing new posts. I apologize to those of you who commented that you wanted to read more about my summer here, even though I’m not writing from the deck of a cruise ship. I wish I could say I’ve been too busy to write, but that’s not exactly true. I’ll try to make up for it with a few last blog posts.

I came to Santa Fe in July 2020 to escape the Texas summer heat and to hunker down during the pandemic. This year I came a month earlier, returning to the same condo with its extraordinary views and company of birds, hummingbirds and other wildlife.

The hummingbirds were slow to arrive, but they are still lingering. I imagine this mid-September week of morning temperatures in the 40s will be sending them on their way south to Mexico soon. I’ve just bought my last large bag of birdseed from Wild Birds Unlimited, and hope that the finches, towhees, scrub jays and other birds will find new sources after I’ve left.

The squirrels will survive, I’m sure. They have loved the suet I put out in an effort to attract new bird species. When the suet is gone, they climb the wire fence to make themselves at home in the bird feeders. The babies even peek in my sliding door. My next-door neighbor Janet is not amused, as they have eaten many of her annual flowers and dug up the fabric under her mulch.

I’m not sure why I have enjoyed their antics here, as they terrorized my sister and I at her house in Dallas last spring. They found their way in through the chimney and set up a racetrack between the floors. The final straw for me was when they chewed through the wiring harness of my car parked in the driveway. About $3,000 later we were finally rid of them and had repaired the damage.

Among the other wildlife this summer have been coyotes who occasionally wake me up with the yelps of their pups in the arroyo. Sadly, a mother bear was killed recently on a nearby roadway. The next morning while walking I passed three game wardens on the hunt for her two cubs, which were sighted on the hill behind our condos. I heard they found one and placed it with a sanctuary. No news yet about the other.