We’re so lucky to live in SMVE where we’re surrounded by open space and can enjoy the diversity of the flora and fauna of the Sonoran Desert. While one member of that fauna, our native white-throated woodrat (aka packrat) can be a nuisance, they serve a purpose in the food chain as prey species for bobcats, coyotes, snakes, hawks and owls.
What function do bobcats serve in our community?
Bobcats, like other predatory wildlife, exist to preserve the balance of nature. Wild animals help keep rodent populations such as packrats in check. Communities that attempt to eradicate predators often see an increase in the rodent population, as well as rodent-borne diseases.
What do bobcats eat?
Bobcats eat mostly rodents such as packrats, rabbits, squirrels and less often birds. They’re unlikely to make a meal of your pet because bobcats, like domestic cats, are usually afraid of dogs.
Never trap and relocate bobcats!
If only the mother is trapped and removed, the young will die. If the entire bobcat family is trapped and relocated, often the young are too small to travel with the mother and are left behind to die.
Predator species, such as the bobcat, establish and defend a territory. A female’s territory may be as large as five square miles and females never share a territory with each other. Male territories tend to overlap and may be as large as 25-30 square miles. When a bobcat is relocated to an established territory, the defending bobcat will attack potentially killing, injuring, or driving the relocated bobcat from its new territory. An injured bobcat may not survive because survival depends upon the ability to hunt, capture and kill prey.
How can you protect pets from bobcats and discourage them and other wildlife from coming into your yard?
- Bobcats are no threat to humans; they are easily scared away by yelling, clapping your hands, or throwing small rocks at them.
- Don’t leave pets unattended outdoors.
- Don’t leave pet food or water outside and remove other food sources, such as fallen fruit.
- Clean up brushy areas or wood piles and eliminate thick undergrowth in landscaped areas.
- Always walk your dog on a leash and don’t let it wander close to thick brush.
- Never encourage or allow your pet to interact with wildlife.
- Never feed wildlife except birds. And never put poison out for any animal or reptile.
- If you feed birds, ensure there is no overflowing bird seed on the ground to attract rodents at night.
What if a bobcat has kittens in your yard or on your roof?
Bobcat moms, just like other moms, seek a place safe from predators such as coyotes to have and raise their young. Should that safe place happen to be on your property, they will move on as soon as the young are old enough to travel as a family.
If you don’t leave pets unattended outdoors and the bobcat’s not making a nuisance of itself, why not just reach for your binoculars or camera and enjoy the show? Here at SMVE our goal is to live in harmony with the birds and wildlife around us. Remember, they were here before we moved into their territory.
I realize many people are afraid of snakes; however, they play an important role in our desert ecosystem. One of the main entrees in a snake’s diet is rodents, such as our native white-throated woodrat (aka packrat). When snakes are killed, or removed from SMVE, the packrat population increases. This in turn costs homeowners and our HOA more money for packrat removal. Besides, trying to kill rattlesnakes actually puts you at greater risk than does leaving them alone. Homeowners and renters should tell their landscapers not to kill or injure snakes. Any snake removed from your property must be placed in SMVE common land, such as the wash behind your home.
When snakes are killed, or removed from SMVE, the packrat population increases.
While we do have rattlesnakes in our area, the most common being the Western Diamondback, we have other non-venomous snakes as well such as the Gopher (aka Bull) Snake and the Common Kingsnake.
Snakes are amazingly adept at climbing over our brick walls and sometimes appear in our yards or on patios in search of prey. Don’t panic! Snakes will usually move on if left alone. Do not attempt to pick up a snake. If you have a pet, keep it inside if a rattlesnake is in the yard. Learn how to recognize a rattler and distinguish it from a harmless gopher snake. Go to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum website and enter “snakes” in the Search box for useful information.
Even rattlesnakes are unlikely to strike a human unless they feel threatened. They perceive people as predators, not prey, and prefer to avoid us if given the chance.
Other tips for avoiding adverse rattlesnake interactions:
- Never reach under a bush, into your irrigation control box, or any outdoor dark space without getting a good look first. Use a tool or pole to look under bushes.
- Always take a flashlight or use the flashlight on your phone when walking outside in the dark; often snakes wander onto our roads for warmth at night.
- Don’t walk in the desert barefoot or in open-toed shoes.
- Keep your yard free of brush or rock piles and dense vegetation low to the ground.
- Don’t leave pets unattended in your yard. If you do, consider snake avoidance training for your dog.
- If you hear a rattle, the snake is warning you of its presence. STOP and locate the snake so you can avoid it.
- Never pick up a dead rattlesnake with your hands. It may not be dead, and even if it is, it may still bite (reflexively) and envenomate.
- Snakes can be active in winter if temperatures reach 70 degrees.
If you need a snake removed from your property, call or text SMVE residents Ted Forsberg at 520-203-6153 or Granny Grant at 301-641-5666 or email email@example.com.
We will respond as soon as possible and move the snake to a safe location away from your yard.
In 1952 the Gila monster became the first venomous animal in North America to be afforded legal protection; it is therefore illegal to collect, kill, or sell them in Arizona.
If you cannot reach either of us and are a Rural /Metro Fire subscriber, call and they will remove the snake for free, but insist that the snake is not harmed and is relocated on SMVE land.
BRING YOUR OWN BEVERAGE and a BRUNCH APPETIZER TO SHARE
Saturday, January 14, 2017
10 a.m. – Noon
All SMVE Residents Welcome (Homeowners & Tenants)
Celebrate the New Year and winter Snowbird Season in the neighborhood … join us for BYOB and brunch appetizer at the clubhouse on Saturday, January 14 from 10:00 a.m. – noon. We’ll be enjoying our popular new format as far as seating and eating. This will be the same as the previous two events. Hopefully, weather permitting, we’ll be able to spill out to the Ramada too. We will also have the coffee ready; bring your favorite brunch appetizers to share, and your beverage of choice. Now all we need is for you to join us to help bring in the new year! Looking forward to seeing you.
You are welcome to bring your own drinks. SMVE policy allows alcohol in the clubhouse and under the ramada, but not in the pool areas (per insurance and liability requirements). Thank you for not bringing glass as it is not allowed in the pool area.
You bring: your beverage of choice and a brunch appetizer to share
We provide: coffee, paper cups, napkins, etc.
For questions please contact: Jane Spalding at (520) 615-5036.
- No significant security issues occurred recently. Board member Joe Steiner reminded us of importance of keeping our street light lit.
- Palm trees will be trimmed and two will be removed at south pool on December 26th. Tennis players should use caution if accessing the restrooms at south pool during this work.
- Alert homeowner Andy Sherman reported the sole irrigation leak in the past month. This was particularly appreciated as it was in a spot that did not leak onto road and therefore would not have been obvious to spot.
- Approximately 134 homeowners have responded and have been included in homeowner directory which is now available online at SMVE.org (You must be logged in to access the directory). Approximately 70 homeowners have not responded. The online directory will be updated periodically as additions or changes occur.
- Crack sealing of roads occurred Sunday Dec 19th with a piece of Via Sempreverde to be completed this week.
- Treasurer Larry Spencer reported operating expenses are still running below budget. He reported that approximately 132 homeowners have already paid their first half 2017 dues. Larry continues to investigate liability insurance and a knowledgeable homeowner, Andy Sherman, has volunteered to provide some expertise in this area.
- New Finance Committee member Tammy Eversole completed a review of the HOA’s financial processes and submitted a report of results. Tammy has volunteered to reconcile accounts to statements to provide additional separation of duties.
- Phil Mowbray was named Associate Director. He will be running for full Board Member position during the February Election.
- The Nominating Committee is still seeking volunteers for board and committee positions. Contact Kathy Mitton if you have any interest.
We wish you happy holidays! Stay tuned for the first Board meeting of 2017 on January 16, 2017!✉ by Kathy Mitton, SMVE Secretary
SMVE sends homeowners two different types of email:
- “SMVE News Alerts” for items of immediate interest (e.g. notice of road construction, a special event, or newsletter availability). These occur a few times a year. Alerts are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org and are sent to the email address you specified on the Homeowner Information Sheet you filled out when you purchased your home.
- “Website update emails” are sent each day our website is updated with a new article if you have subscribed to updates (we do encourage you to subscribe). These emails are sent from email@example.com and sent to the address you specified when you subscribed to the website email update service.
Steps to Take if Not Receiving These Emails
1. Check your spam filter. If you are not receiving one or both of these types of email, check that they have not been caught by a spam filter or placed in a spam or quarantine folder. Each email provider has its own spam detection tools and many tailor their spam filter to reflect your own email use. Spam filters can change from one day to the next, so receiving one alert does not guarantee the next one will not be treated as spam.
2. Mark SMVE as a “safe sender.” Most email providers allow you to specify certain email addresses as “safe senders” so that email from that address will (almost) never be placed in your spam folder. To maximize the chance that SMVE News Alerts and website update emails will be delivered successfully, please add firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to your safe senders list.
Add both “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com” to your safe senders list to ensure you receive these emails.
The method of identifying a safe sender varies with the email provider. If you use gmail, you need to create two new contacts, with “firstname.lastname@example.org” and “email@example.com” as their email addresses. For other email providers, please see How to add email to safe senders list. This page has detailed instructions for most common email services such as gmail.com, aol.com, msn.com, outlook.com, yahoo.com, etc.
3. Check with the . We can check that we have your correct email address(es) in our database for SMVE News Alerts and whether emails have been sent normally. You may give us several email addresses if you want alerts sent to several addresses.
We can also check the mailing list for website updates and determine whether you have successfully subscribed to the list. If you want website update emails sent to several addresses, just subscribe with each address.
Please contact me if you have any problems receiving SMVE emails. I’ll be happy to work with you to try to resolve the problem.