July 19, 2008
Originally PUBLISHED March 6,2005
I read THIS POST and it triggered a lot of memories. I've never had a "bat box" (In fact, I've never HEARD of one before) but I would have put up a dozen when I had my mini-farm, if they attracted bats. But I had a barn and so did almost everybody else, so bats had plenty of "boxes" to rest in.
Bats always swarmed the skies just after sundown in the summer. I sat on my back deck and watched them hunt. They are amazingly good at finding and eating mosquitos in the dark. They've also got moves in the air that no fighter pilot could ever duplicate.
Once, Jennifer and I were drinking wine on the deck and I was watching the bats perform. It was quite a show. Must have been at least 50 of them flying around at the time. "What kind of birds are those?" she asked.
"Those aren't birds," I replied. "Those are bats." She ran back into the house, terrified that one would fly into her hair.
I always liked bats, but occasionally one would fly down the chimney and end up in the house. (How the hell do those blind bastards DO that? They can't see what they're doing but they damn sure WILL fly down a chimney.) Total panic ensued among the wimmen and children until I could either catch or kill the damned thing. I always tried to catch them and turn them loose again.
I caught one in a beach towel one night and spread it out for Samantha and Quinton to see. Have you ever studied a bat up close? It's a mouse with wings. A fucking flying rodent and ugly as hell. Among choruses of "KILL IT, Daddy!!! KILL IT!!" I took the bat out on the deck and threw it up in the air. It flew away.
I was proud of myself, both for the biology lesson I gave my children and for my bat-kindness. I hope that one ate a ton of mosquitoes.
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