Thursday, June 13, 2024

To The Bat Bridge, Robin


"Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb."

So, the Mexican Free-tailed bat is finally back! I think of them as a summertime adventure, but technically they are definitely a springtime visitor as well. We came across them, for the first time, late last summer. It was all quite by accident, which is the best way to experience any adventure for the first time, and it was delightful but unfortunately they were only a few weeks from returning on their migratory path. I only got to see them a handful of times. It was disappointing, but I resolved to be ready for their return. So, I spent my free time this past year, learning about them and prepping for their return. Things like what to look for, listen for, and oh, hey, what's that smell? If don't hear anything in particular, but you know for sure that bats are located in a certain area, the smell of ammonia is a big clue that they are nearby. Most folks probably wouldn't like the smell, but to be honest, I love it! It's certainly distinctive. It's a little like bat pee mixed with bat sweat. That sounds terrible, I know, but to me all it means is, Honey, I'm home.
98% of my experience with the bats is amazing. I get to learn about lighting with my camera. I get to learn facts about bats that I never knew before, for instance did you know they are amazing pollinators? They are as beneficial as the honeybees are. The sunsets I get to see are truly awesome, and the people you meet who share that passion with you have always been really fun to talk to. No politics. No suspicious heaviness in the air, just a couple people enjoying a part of nature that is, by erroneous popular belief, misunderstood. All in all it's very rewarding, except for the fact that I am ultra allergic to one of my bat friends favorite meals, mosquitos. I am sitting here right now with my feet swollen twice their normal size, large welts, and deep painful red "burn" rash from the bites. I left home without spraying my clothes with deet, or putting my boots on. What a mistake. Had I learned nothing from the summer of 2023?
I am going to let my feet heal, then I am going back to the bridge, probably sometime later this week, or early next week. I love my bats, and no one is going to keep me from studying them. They clean up the mosquitos and other pests, and pollinate beautiful night flowering plants, HELL, I wish I could own a bat of my very own! Or a colony of bats, yes, I would definitely own a whole colony of them if I could!


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