• The Mesilla Valley Audubon Society hosts free beginning bird walks at Tellbrook Park on the third Wednesday of each month, guided by a member of the Mesilla Valley Audubon Society. Observe the ever-changing bird life that lives and visits here. The birding will be done from the paved path that winds through the park; however, if there is interest, they may also make a short (optional) excursion into the surrounding desert.
Meet at 7:45 a.m. at the entrance to Tellbrook Park at 4290 E. Winchester Rd. in the Las Alturas area. Bird walks will last about an hour. These walks are appropriate for beginners. You do not need prior experience to enjoy it. Although not necessary, a pair of binoculars will greatly improve how well you see the birds. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring drinking water. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
• Over 1,500 books crowding the storeroom at the Branigan Library have got to go. And it’s a buyers’ market for residents to take advantage of a book sale at the library from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Tuesday, December 13.
The “clearance” sale, sponsored by the Friends of Branigan Library, will be held in the Roadrunner room (upstairs), and books will be sold for just $1 each. The event is also supported by Network Volunteers.
The Friends organization looks forward to continuing support by providing new opportunities and services as the Branigan Library moves through the 21st Century. The Friends consist of over 100 members, including individuals, families and businesses. For more information about becoming a Branigan Library Friend or giving to the library, visit their website, libraryfriendslc.org.
• The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum has several special events this month:
December 8, 7 p.m.: Stories of Holidays Past: Preparing for Christmas in New Mexico
The museum’s annual December living history event offers visitors a retrospective view of New Mexico history during the Christmas season. The audience will enjoy several different holiday vignettes in the museum’s theater with characters from various time periods in our state’s history. Admission is free.
December 10, 9 a.m. to noon: Campfire Christmas Cookies
Enjoy this hands-on, interactive program where you are invited to make and bake cookies using 1800s cooking tools and recipes. The camp cook, Dave, with assistance from volunteers, Evelyn and Nancy, will be on hand to help folks with mixing batters and doughs, and showing how to use the old cast-iron, wafer-iron and Plett Pan to make some delicious treats. Children are welcome to join in the fun and share a cup of hot chocolate around the campfire. This activity is free with regular paid museum admission.
December 17, 9 a.m. to noon: Weaving for Children
Children and (grand)parents are invited to learn to weave using a paper loom. Yarn and a loom will be provided. Participants will learn how to weave a plain pattern to create a small woven creation they can take home. This activity is suited for children age five and up. Free with regular paid museum admission, and no registration required.
For more information, call 522-4100 or go to nmfarmandranchmuseum.org. The museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road.
• This year’s Christmas Bird Count (CBC) will be conducted Saturday, December 17, from sunrise to sunset. After the count, participants are invited to enjoy dinner (on their own) at Dion’s Restaurant at 3950 E. Lohman Ave. from 7 to 9 that evening.
If you would like to bird in the CBC and need a team to bird with, please contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 528-8696.
The pre-CBC meeting will be held Wednesday, December 14, at 7 p.m. at the Southwest Environmental Center office at 275 N. Main St. (on the downtown mall). Presentations will be made concerning local bird ID and logistics for the CBC. Also, team leaders and their members will have an opportunity to get together to finalize plans for the count day.
• Desert Writers, a program open to Doña Ana County writers age 55 and older, meets Wednesday mornings from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Munson Senior Center, 975 S. Mesquite Street. They are seeking new members who write fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Each week authors share work in progress, followed by comments from writer mentors and other group members, who include both published and unpublished writers. Visitors are always welcome. There is no cost to participate. For more information, contact: email@example.com.
• The Las Cruces Ukes, a community group of ukulele enthusiasts, invites ukulele players of any skill level to their Thursday practices. A “strum for fun” session takes place from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m. and the performance group prepares for upcoming performances from 6:30 – 8 p.m. There is no charge to be part of the group. Practices in December will take place at Golden Mesa, 151 N. Roadrunner Parkway, in the activity room. The group will meet in a new location starting in January. More information at lascrucesukes.blogspot.com or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Breast Cancer Support Group of the Community Foundation meets the fourth Saturday of each month from 10 – 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Medical Center Annex Building, 2450 S. Telshor, located on the west side of the main entrance (look for signage). Each month’s speaker and topic varies. Meetings are free, no registration is required, and they are open to all who are interested in health and wellness. For more information, call 524-4373.
• The Cruces Apple User Group (CAUG group) will meet at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 10, at the NMSU Barnes and Noble Bookstore, 1400 University Avenue (corner of University and Jordan). The meeting is on the second floor near the Apple Store. This month’s agenda includes a “What’s New With Apple” discussion and a general help/tech support session.
CAUG welcomes anyone interested in learning and sharing information about their Apple products. If you have questions or you’re looking to talk with other Mac users, please come. CAUG meets on the second Saturday of each month.
Presentations and tutorials are part of the group’s activities. Additional information at cauglc.org. and/or contact Louise Foster at email@example.com.
• The Doña Ana Archaeological Society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 13, at the Good Samaritan Auditorium, 3011 Buena Vida Circle. Society member LeRoy Unglaub will give a presentation “Rubbing Rocks and Rock Art.” Many rock art sites in this region have boulders and rock faces that have highly polished surfaces. He will present evidence that these features, called rubbing rocks, were made by large animals and prehistoric megafauna such as mammoths. Photographs showing how to identify rubbing rocks, examples of rubbing rocks and their associated rock art at a number of sites, and any correlation between the rock art and the rubbing rocks will be presented. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, call 524-9497.
• The Parks & Recreation Department will conduct the third annual “Chilly Dash and Splash” on Saturday, December 17, at Frenger Pool, 800 Parkview Dr.
The 5K run, 3.2 miles, around Frenger Park will begin at 9 a.m. followed by a polar plunge-style dive into the cold waters of Frenger pool at 11 a.m. This year’s event will include a Holiday Fun Bike Ride. Guests are invited to bring their decorated bicycles and ride a predetermined distance around Frenger Park, 800 Parkview Dr.
Registration will be through December 16 at the Regional Aquatic Center, 1401 E. Hadley Ave., during normal operating hours, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Late entries will be taken from 7 – 8 a.m. the day of the event, Dec. 17, at Frenger Pool.
First 50 entries receive a free event T-shirt the day of the event. Early registration fees: Run and Plunge, $20. Run only, $15. Plunge only, $5. Holiday Fun Bike Ride, $15. Late registration fees: Run and Plunge, $25. Run only, $20. Plunge only, $10. Holiday Fun Bike Ride, $20.
For more information contact the Las Cruces Regional Aquatic Center at 541-2782.
• The New Mexico State University Library has released a 2017 calendar, “Visions of New Mexico.” The calendar’s theme showcases archival and contemporary photographs of various landscapes from the Land of Enchantment. The calendar’s theme is unique in that traditional archival photographs from the library’s Archives and Special Collections Department are still featured, while contemporary photographs featured were submitted and donated by community members.
Calendars are currently being sold for $10 and are available on the second floor of NMSU’s Zuhl Library, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. or in the Caroline E. Straus Research Room on the fourth floor of Branson Library. For more information or to place an order, contact Erica Bautista at 646-1508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Popular vocal group Remember Then will headline a benefit performance on Sunday, January 29, 2017 at the Rio Grande Theater at 2 p.m. Sponsored by the Las Cruces American Association of University Women (AAUW), the production titled “One for the Girls” will support scholarships and programs for local young women. Two groups from Michele’s Dance Academy, the Las Cruces Chamber Ballet and Showstoppers, will complete the program. All tickets for the show are $20 and are available online at riograndetheatre.com or by calling the box office of the Rio Grande Theatre.
Individual and business sponsors are also sought to support the program that will help fund projects including AAUW’s annual Girls Can! career day, now in its 23rd year showing sixth-grade girls of Doña Ana County possibilities for a bright future. Funds will also go toward AAUW’s Tech Trek NM, a week-long collegiate program giving eighth grade girls hands-on experience in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. To find out more about becoming a sponsor for “One for the Girls,” contact Beverly Chambers at email@example.com.
• Project Save a Kitten is preparing for its March 2017 fundraiser. This year’s “cat-chy” event will be a jewelry sale. Many of us have lovely jewelry pieces that we never wear — this is an opportunity to donate them for a good cause. They also would like donations of jewelry boxes, small decorative items, lace and linens, and other small treasures.
If you have items to donate, contact them for pick up or drop off at Better Life Pet Foods at 365 Avenida de Mesilla through February. If you don’t have any treasures to donate, but still want to help, they will accept cash for the kitty as well.
To donate or for more information, contact Jackye at Project Save a Kitten at 323-0903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Las Cruces Ukes, a non-profit organization, will host the Las Cruces UkeFest May 19 – 21, 2017. The festival will include professional instructors including Jim Beloff, author of the Daily Ukulele and many other music books; Heidi Swedberg, an indemand instructor and performer; Daniel Ward, who will teach techniques that will help your fingers fly on the fretboard; and Danielle Ate the Sandwich, a indyfolk performer/instructor from Colorado. The festival will take place at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum, kicking off with a concert Friday evening, workshops all day Saturday and Sunday morning, and a jam session Saturday evening at their host hotel, the Hilton Garden Inn.
The Friday evening concert will include a few songs by the Las Cruces Ukes and then highlight the instructor/performers, including Jim Beloff ’s wife and co-author, Liz. The Saturday and Sunday workshops will provide attendees the opportunity to learn skills at a variety of levels, from beginner to more advanced. The Saturday evening jam session, under the guidance of Jim Beloff, will be a fun way for everyone to play songs together.
Loaner ukuleles will be available for those who are just beginning their ukulele journey.
More information about the festival can be found at lascrucesukes.blogspot.com and the event Facebook page, facebook.com/lascrucesukefest.
• Sculptor Brian Fallstead offers classes in ceramic sculpture and fused glass at his studio. Sessions are seven weeks long, but students may start any time. There is availability in the Tuesday morning class, which is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. More information by calling 644-6534.