On top of that, deer strip everything, fences and cages notwithstanding. When I chased this deer away and examined the poor mulberry tree that has been struggling for many years, unlike those in the sandy soil at CMO that are huge, I see the deer chewed the twigs right off, even as far as 6 inches inside the cage. Alpine is overrun with deer. If you want a million bucks, this is the place for you.
Don't even get me started on the fire ants. And goat-heads that are so big they go right through the soles of my shoes.
CMO certainly isn't without its challenges, but the deer don't bother it (except in the record drought of 2011), no fire ants or goat-heads. And when the tanks don't leak, an awesome habitat with interesting and rare birds, butterflies, and dragonflies, is an exciting reality.
I can only survive Alpine because I have the oasis to go to for recharging my batteries. The first thing that I notice when I get there is the quiet. The magical quiet liberates my soul to breathe. It energizes my creativity. No stifling barking of dogs, nor oppressive trains with whistles screaming, night and day...... even now as I write this.
But I'm not complaining. I get a four-day vacation every week. Few people are so lucky. Meanwhile, I try to make the best of my time in town.