Bookplates, Bats, and Bovines. Oh My.

When I spied this vintage bookplate, my frugal side reminded me I really don’t need another owl image.  The little bat in the corner, however, proved too much to resist and  I now have an addition to my owl collection.

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Are you afraid of bats? I hope not. Living in the country, we’ve come to admire the bat and to thank him for the mostly mosquito-free evenings we enjoy on the porch while he darts about industriously.

When I shared my excitement over the new picture with my friend, Pix, she pointed me to a video which reminds us that mothering can manifest itself in miraculous ways.

And on this Mother’s Day, may I share with you a favorite poem? Interesting to note the author is a man. So much for men not getting it, because of course they do as Wendell Berry shows us.

Poem: “Her First Calf,” by Wendell Berry, from Collected Poems (North Point Press).
Her fate seizes her and brings her
down. She is heavy with it. It
wrings her. The great weight
is heaved out of her. It eases.
She moves into what she has become,
sure in her fate now
as a fish free in the current.
She turns to the calf who has broken
out of the womb’s water and its veil.
He breathes. She licks his wet hair.
He gathers his legs under him
and rises. He stands, and his legs
wobble. After the months
of his pursuit of her, now
they meet face to face.
From the beginnings of the world
his arrival and her welcome
have been prepared. They have always
known each other.

And why not use the cow as a thinly veiled excuse to present Max, defeated again in his attempts to rile up the bovines-next-door. Their indifference to his antics serves as a source of great frustration to the little Westie-boy.

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Poor Max. We’ll take a walk and see if Prada the mule wants to play.

I hope all you mothers out there have exactly the day you most desire.

Barbara

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About Silver in the Barn

Life in a 1915 farmhouse in Central Virginia. Blogging about whatever happens to catch my fancy - sometimes nonsense, occasionally not.
This entry was posted in Art, Random Ruminations and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

130 Responses to Bookplates, Bats, and Bovines. Oh My.

  1. John says:

    We had plenty of bats in the house back in Michigan, usually they would wake us up at night while sleeping as they circled the room. My wife would freak out as I got out of bed to knock the bat to the floor then set it outside, hopefully to fly away as they gobble up those nasty skeeters. It doesn’t take much to gently stop the little critter…

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  2. Bats!Tell me!
    In the last house in France we used to tell visitors to open their windows but close the shutters on hot summer nights….
    Inevitably they left the shutters open.

    Accordingly, in the early hours the household would be roused by the eldritch screeches of those heading for a midnight pee encountering bats in the stairwell on their way to the loo.

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    • Great story but I am ever so much more fascinated by “eldritch.” A wonderful word which I’m happy you’ve revived for a spin about the blogosphere this morning, Helen. It deserves a little showtime. I am picturing you and husband giggling together….”must be the bats!”

      Liked by 1 person

      • As far as I was concerned, bats – as residents- ranked well before visitors.

        They hibernated behind the shutters on the windows on the front of the house – so couldn’t close the shutters in the winter – and seemed to inhabit the roof area in summer…at dusk,sitting out on the terrace by the river you could see them streaming out into the evening skies.

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      • Dusk is our prime bat watching time too. We usually take Max for a spin around the field in the evenings and when we round the corner nearest the house, that’s where we typically see them. I’m not sure where they live but have you seen they sell bat houses now? Tucked behind a French shutter somehow has more class.

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  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I worked in a movie theater many years ago when I was a high school student. It was one of those single-cinema theaters. One night a bat got into the theater and was flying around during the movie. You can imagine the pandemonium.

    Happy Mother’s Day!

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  4. Thom Hickey says:

    Thanks Barbara. I’ve always been in favour of bats – something about their quietness. Loved the Wendell Berry poem – he says important things so often. Regards thom.

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  5. Max looks a bit miffed.He does so his best.

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  6. ritaroberts says:

    Well I have to apologize Barbara I do not like Bats. Love your post and the Poem, and of course Max, who looks as if he has been up to some mischief and that means fun for him. I save most your pics of your Westies and put them on my laptop . I then interchange them with pics of my Ben whom we lost last year as you know. Hope that’s O.K. with you.

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    • Of course it’s okay with me that you have my Berkley and Max on your laptop. In fact, it makes me very happy imagining them brightening up a Crete day for you, Rita. It’s even okay that you don’t like bats. But you should peek a minute or two at the video. It would make you much less scared of them. I hope you have a marvelous day.

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      • ritaroberts says:

        Thank you Barbara. I tried the video but it would not work for me. I guess its because we are in different countries. I have had this problem before which is disappointing but can’t be helped. I hope you had a wonderful weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry too, Rita. It’s happened to me with videos that some of my australian friends post so I understand. I have had a wonderful weekend and hope you have too. See you next time. Enjoyed your post about the flowers on the tomb.

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  7. I didn’t know bats ate mosquitoes. Always good to learn something on my blog travels 🙂

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  8. KerryCan says:

    You do make the most interesting and unexpected connections in your musings! I didn’t know the Berry poem–it’s beautiful. I like that it focuses on an animal instead of trying to make similar points about humans–that would make it treacly, I think. Max looks sad. Shall I send him a cat to chase?

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    • Just follow the bouncing ball, Kerry, eventually it ends up somewhere somewhat logical, I hope. I’m so glad you like the Berry poem. I first heard it read on the radio in the deep, smoky tones of a cowboy. I pictured a Marlboro Man type. And I was sort of verklempt while driving. Max was MAD! Actually, I’ve always sort of wanted a cat but they say Westies don’t do well with them. And you know who says NO. Sigh.

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  9. “they have always known each other”…just beautiful ! Thanks, Barbara, enjoy your day. ❤ Van
    p.s. I didn't open the bat video.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bat and I have worked out a solution – he stays outside where he belongs, and we’ll be fine. He knows what I’m like when he breaks the rules. Not pretty. (Imagine 2 AM extermination efforts: towel on head, broom in hand, and, um, buck naked.)

    The bookplate is cool, but I have to ask, why the bat? Do owls eat ’em?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the artist saw an empty corner and was inspired to add a little something batty. Doubtful that owls could catch a bat, I think. As to your 2 A.M. forays with Little Dracula, it’s hard enough to get a bird out of the house in one piece, I do understand the need for the broom. The towel on head seems unnecessary though.

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  11. carolwallace says:

    Oh shoot. You made me cry before breakfast. But in a good way! Happy Mother’s Day, dear Barbara. This is just lovely.

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  12. Jodi says:

    Wow. The poem. Beautiful and powerful. What an interesting and unexpected twist to thinking of motherhood in your post cutie! The bat video gave me a new perspective too. Hugs to you today Momma! Xxoo

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  13. I’m going to take a wild guess and say yours will probably be the only blog post of the day celebrating mothers that includes bats and cows! What a random collection of things to tie together, Barbara, but I love it! I think I should probably send our little dog down to play with Max!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. dorothy says:

    I loved the bat video as it brought to light how we all like to be cuddled, fed, rocked and loved. Happy Mother’s Day to a special ..very special friend.

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  15. nrhatch says:

    Bats + Cows + Poetry = Perfect Mother’s Day Fare!

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  16. Good Morning Barbara! The Wendell Berry poem is so sweet. I am a lover of Mama cows. Love their big brown eyes and you know they really love their babies. Calves are on the ground all around us… living country! Lil’ Drac is a lucky little bat to have landed on your blog for a Mom’s Day sample of mothering… 🙂 Enjoy this day today Barbara, I am thinking about you.

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    • Thank you so much for referring me to the video, Pix. It really made my day. Don’t you just love that there is a bat rescue organization? These people warm my heart. My iris are popping like corn outside these past couple of days. We may hit ninety soon. Summer’s coming.

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      • shoreacres says:

        Surely you know what I just learned today: that iris-the-flower was named after Iris-the-Greek goddess of the rainbow. That’s how the iris became part of our eye, too.

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  17. dorannrule says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to you too Barbara! And your addition to the owl collection is delightful. How frustrating for sweet Max though. Surely there must be some living thing he can scare. 🙂

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    • Hi Dor. Poor Max. He really is taunted by so many of the wild creatures here. I guess the groundhog is afraid of him but the feeling is mutual. On the rare occasions there is a stand-off between the two, I have to go out (or BH does actually) and break things up. Even the deer aren’t afraid of him anymore.

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  18. Beautiful book plate. I can see why it would be irresistible. We used to have rabid bats in our building and they would swoop over the swimming pool during the day while we were swimming. Yep, still a bit traumatized! Happy Mothers Day Barbara!

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  19. Gennie says:

    What a beautiful poem. I love it! Thanks for sharing!

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  20. I think I am in love with Max. I am a big dog lover, mainly because I am owned by tow giants, but Max stole my heart with his pictures :-). What an adorable video, thank you for sharing.

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  21. tildy1 says:

    That was such a sweet video!

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  22. reocochran says:

    The best thing about having a book plate, Barb, is that it doesn’t take up too much room! I have a miniature collection, which I push things around in this little glass case, to fit extra special things. I also have a flat collection of things which are collectible things (in my mind) and your book plate would fit right in! I love bats, feel sad that people gave them a disease in the U.S. and have heard maybe into Canada, called “white nose syndrome.” It is believed to have been taken into a cave by humans.
    I enjoyed the special poem, which does say something so tender in it, his arrival and her welcome “They have always known each other.” Love this, Barb. Motherhood, adoptive parents, mentors, teachers and others who ‘were meant to know each other,’ can feel embraced by this message. Good old frustrated Maxie always brings a smile or chuckle. Thanks for your supportive message on my post, hoping you have had a wonderful day and on to a special week ahead, Barb.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t know about this “white nose syndrome.” Doesn’t it seem sometimes that we are all dangling my a thread in terms of survival? One species affecting another – I’m thinking specifically of the bee colony collapse and the plight of the monarchs and now this with the bats. I’m so glad you enjoyed the poem. I don’t know why the fact that a man wrote it is so special to me, but it is. We tend to lump all men into categories which writers such as Berry prove time and time again is a big mistake. Hope your day is a good one and no further crimes are perpetrated against the Bumblebee. That really makes me mad.

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    • Outlier Babe says:

      We who blog are readers, and readers always bump into the oddest coincidences, don’t we? I went looking for an image for a blog post, wound up on a medical site in India–one for people, not bats–and bumped into this.

      Possible good news not only for bats, for for we cave-loving humans, for when I visited caves in my cross-country trip of 2012, I wound up getting my one pair of shoes, and feet, soaked: Visitors had to place shoes in antiseptic baths before entering the whitenose-free caves.

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      • Oh, I do so hope that this work will lead to a solution for this awful disease. We who read blogs are constantly learning from one another, are we not? Which is really what keeps me on the blogosphere more than anything else.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. joannesisco says:

    A typical Barbara post where the comments are as much fun to read as the post itself 🙂
    I’m with Torrie on the uniqueness of bats, cows and owls with Mother’s Day.

    I’ve managed to make it this far in life without ever encountering a bat. I’m rather hoping we can keep that kind of respectful distance from one another well into the distant future as well 🙂

    Happy Mother’s Day, my friend ❤

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    • I’ll put the word out amongst my li’l Dracs to stay clear of the Canadian! They’ll understand. Assuming today is Mother’s Day up there, I hope your day was as special as can be.

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      • joannesisco says:

        Thank you for corralling the cooperation of the Bat World. I deeply respect anything that keeps the insect world at bay … especially if said insect are prone to bite me 🙂

        Mother’s Day was lovely … but I always need a rest day after all the boys have been here 😉
        Hope you had a perfect kind of day too!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. dogear6 says:

    I enjoyed the bat video! We’ve seen the bats again this year. I’m surprised they’re still in Short Pump with all that construction happening that keeps going farther and farther west of the mall. One year, they won’t be back. Not yet though. We see them around dusk, flying over the yard.

    Nancy

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    • Hi Nancy, I’m surprised they’re still in Short Pump too. It’s incredible how much building is going on there still. I’m grateful for 288 which gets me up there fairly quickly and into the thick of things. Hope your new grandbaby is doing well?

      Liked by 1 person

  25. markbialczak says:

    I love your new mural. The way you phrase it, bats are heroes for sure on your spread, Barbara. Poor Maxie, left to hope for the affection of a mule. 😦

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  26. Oh Max, don’t look so unhappy! Go give Mom a big wet doggie kiss and wish her a Happy Mom’s day. Then track some of that red dirt on to the carpets – Moms like that a lot.

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    • Always the instigator, Tom, always. That red clay is the bane of this gardener’s existence, I’ll tell you. It’s taken me several years to get the soil to a point it won’t smother a plant.

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  27. bkpyett says:

    Beautiful photos Barbara, especially making Max looking so big with the little cows in the back ground. Such green grass!! Love the bookplate too!

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  28. bkpyett says:

    Barbara, have just watched the adorable video, thank you!

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  29. kristieinbc says:

    I have to admit to being afraid of bats. It goes back to my childhood. A boy on a neighbouring farm was playing near the creek with his siblings. They found a sick bat and he picked it up. It bit him, which meant he had to go through that horrible series of rabies shots.

    Poor Max. Oh well, that Westie spirit means he won’t give up. 🙂

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    • Hi Kristie, I know you are owned by a Westie too and totally understand Max’s frustration. I worry he is lonely without Berkley, but that may be me just imagining things. A lady came over to prune the other day and she had an eight-month old Yorkie. Oh my, you can imagine the eighty-mile-an-hour circling of my garden. Then they both collapsed in panting little heaps.
      Sorry about that little boy and the bat. I understand the series of shots is a little better now but was truly awful back in the day.

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  30. Oh, I wish I’d known you collect owl stuff. I spotted a vintage owl cigar box at a flea market on Saturday. I am not one to collect cigar boxes. But the owl art was lovely, albeit the owl was smoking a cigar. Drats, I should have purchased it. For $1. One dollar. Had I known…. But my thought was this: I don’t need more stuff.

    Sorry, I don’t like bats. I understand their purpose and value. But bats inside a house or apartment are not conducive to making me love them.

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    • A cigar-smoking owl??? How fabulous. OK, I’ll try to console myself with thoughts of……….ummm, no luck so far. LOL!!!
      BH has chastised me more than once about my sloppy habit of leaving doors open which has resulted in a bird or two getting in but never yet a bat. I need to get better at this very basic habit.

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      • If I happen to see that owl cigar box again (and it’s possible this same vendor could return to the next market in the fall), I’ll buy it for you. Now if only I could remember the vendor.

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      • I’m still trying to picture the cigar-smoking owl. I’m sure he is immensely charming and I would happily add him to my collection. We could use a little owl whimsy round here. Thanks, Audrey!!

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  31. Grace says:

    Bats! Ha! Through the years they have paid a number of visits to our home. 😊 I loved this poem, it was perfect for Mother’s Day. I hope you had a lovely weekend, Barbara!

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  32. Phil Taylor says:

    Love the picture of Max. You really captured the sense of defeat as he trudges home. Is he named after the dog in How The Grinch Stole Christmas?

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  33. fatericsmum says:

    Oh, that poem is lovely, Barbara — thank you! Cows are the most wonderful, loving mothers! Our youngest heifer (well, apart from the yearlings who are still too young to know about bulls) gave birth about four days ago. Holly is not the brightest spark in the fire, but she’s a sweet and gentle girl and very affectionate. We were a bit worried about whether she’d cope with a calf of her own – especially since winter has arrived about six weeks early! — but her own mother Tulip, who herself has a two week old calf, has been teaching Holly how to look after her baby. When Harold cries, both mother and grandmother come rushing over to make sure he’s alright …

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    • Harold! I do so admire the names bestowed upon your bovine family. Even though there is a herd of cattle in the pasture just in back of my house right now (they are not always here,) I see very little of their interactions and almost none with the calves. By the time we see the calves they’re bigger and able to run around taunting Max. I love the image of Tulip and Holly rushing over to see how little Harold is.

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      • fatericsmum says:

        He’s a remarkably bold little boy — I’m not sure where he got the brains from, but certainly not from his sweet but rather vague mother …

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      • Perhaps vagueness skips a generation in cows. Watch out for Harold’s off-spring. I almost said “kids” but realized we’re talking cows here.

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      • fatericsmum says:

        Sadly, Harold’s story didn’t end well, Barbara. It turns out he wasn’t suckling his mother at all 😦

        We tried to hand feed him, but he couldn’t (or wouldn’t) suckle the bottle either. The poor little boy only lived five days — we were devastated!

        We think now, with the benefit of hindsight and our experienced neighbour’s advice, that we should never have bred his poor little simple mother. She was a runt herself and, it appears, produced a calf who didn’t have the will to live — at least in terms of what really matters to a calf, i.e. suckling.

        That’s actually another reason I haven’t been posting for a while — we’ve both been very depressed …

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      • Oh no, Paula. How absolutely tragic. It seems you must have the heart of a lion to survive the tragedies of ranch life. It must have been awful to watch him wither away. I know there are all kinds of logical reasons to convince yourself these things happen for the best, but still agony to go through at the moment. Thanks for letting me know. Poor Harold. Poor You.

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      • fatericsmum says:

        One of the worst things is feeling it must somehow have been our fault, Barbara. Our more experienced neighbours reassure us that ‘these things just happen’ but it’s hard to be objective …

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      • Of course you feel that way, Paula. What feeling person wouldn’t? I can’t imagine looking into his eyes and then later saying hey-ho, c’est la vie, oh well, what’s next? How we mourn for our animals and have a hard time coming to terms with their loss.

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      • fatericsmum says:

        That’s so true, Barbara. One of the trickiest parts about learning to be a farmer in later life (as opposed to growing up on a farm) is to acquiring the necessary balance between compassion and survival. I’m not sure I’ve got the hang of that, yet …

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  34. Chloris says:

    A great post, I wonder what sort of bats you have? We have mostly little Pipistrelles. I love owls too. I just discovered your blog via a comment you left on Woodlandgnome’ s blog about your new rose St. Swithun. It is a great choice, always very healthy and florifous.
    I enjoyed reading your blog, you have a new follower!

    Like

    • I don’t know what sort of bats we have. They are a soft brown color and are not big at all. Goodness, we seem to have much in common. Owls, bats, and roses! What a combination platter! Thank you for reading and commenting. I very much look forward to heading over to read your blog, Chloris, just not today as I have an entire group of garden club ladies coming for a program at my place tonight so am getting things in order. Meanwhile the storm clouds are gathering and the wind is picking up. Isn’t it always the way?

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  35. vannillarock says:

    That was a absolutely beautiful video.
    I hope you had a lovely mothers’ day- like many things our MD is on a different day.

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    • Thank you, Anne, much appreciated it. I’m so glad you took the time out of your busy Guernsey day to watch it. I saw the photos coming through yesterday from the celebrations in Guernsey. I simply must get there someday.

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  36. A lovely post. There is nothing better than sitting outside on a summer evening and realising that the specs darting about are the first bats.

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  37. shoreacres says:

    One of the largest colonies of Mexican freetail bats is just outside San Antonio. It’s near a place called Garden Ridge, which you can see here, with the red arrow pointing to it. When the bats are in residence (they’re migratory), you can watch them emerge from the cave on radar. There are so many that it’s quite a sight.

    I first spotted them during our terrible Bastrop fire in 2011. I was watching the smoke plumes on radar, and thought I’d seen another hot spot flare up. Not so. It was the bats. As soon as the weather clears and I know for certain what time they’re leaving the cave (it’s quite regular) I’ll let you know, so you can watch them, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Outlier Babe says:

    I was always very fond of bats as a child, and one of my biggest thrills was that as I was walking in the woods one late afternoon headed home for dinner, one brushed my arm swooping out to start its evening swooping.

    I will rewatch that video more than once. Always liking bats, and being crazy for miniatures, too, as a child, that teeny-tiny bat was just too much. And that bats rock themselves!

    At first I smiled, but then thought it was possibly sad, as well. Such a social animal, to be raised alone, with no bats by its side. It must have been very lonely. No wonder it had to rock so.

    Do you know the Roethke poem The Bat? I like this line:
    “His fingers make a hat about his head”
    and the final lines:

    “For something is amiss or out of place
    When mice with wings can wear a human face.”

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    • Outlier Babe says:

      I just saw an over-abundance of swooping up there, but bats are like that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m laughing at this. How many times have I submitted a comment and thought DRAT!, I used that particular word once too often. Many times, Babe, many. I wish we could edit our comments. I left one yesterday wherein the word “let’s” was used. The horror! How did a superfluous apostrophe appear? I look like a ma-roon, as Bugs Bunny would say.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        I have a worse-r one ( 😉 ): Apostrophe-s for plurals, in my own “writing”! How can this happen?! After years of wondering how this horror came to overtake us, I now have the answer: It is the result of a real-world physical virus that affects the language processing center of the brain, turning it to Stupid. It enters one’s system via a visual pathway: The more of the diseased usage one sees, the more the virus replicates in the brain, until Stupid dominates.

        Beware, Barbara.

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      • But so few of us seem to think spelling matters anymore. I see it all the time – ravings like “language is in a constant state of flux” and so forth. Yes, I realize that, BUT I am so weary of being stopped short in my reading by hideous errors which jolt me back into an awareness of the real world. Of course, I own “Eats, Shoots & Leaves,” so what can one expect?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        That book is so funny! And left behind in The Place Which Shall Not Be Named In Polite Company.

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      • Outlier Babe says:

        And yes–I believe that all the folk who say the rules are unimportant are unfluent readers with likely low levels of comprehension.

        Soapboxing, but if we had universal preschool with baby-reading videos shown in them, all would be automatically fluent readers and this problem would be almost-automatically solved.

        And then Amazon would stop refusing to market self-published books that have too many hyphenated compound words in them because the hyphens “interfere with readability”! Can you BELIEVE it?

        The number of times I’ve been pulled out of a sentence and had to re-read it because a MISSING hyphen legitimately caused confusion. Gol-darned Amazon ignoramuses.

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      • Which is exactly why I retreat into the wonderful world of Wodehouse and the like. There I find such skillful and intelligent celebration of our language that I just rejoice at the power of the perfectly chosen word. Carrie Rubin wrote recently of being chastised by a beta-reviewer (whatever that is) for using “big” words. What are we, second-graders? She had used the word “fugue.” Now I don’t know in what context she used it, but what does that matter? I despise the general dumbing-down of everything including the very idea of “interfering with readability” when you know that they are catering only to the ma-roons who form their buying public. Blast! That’s why we find better writers here on the blogosphere than we do in print.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        What does “fugue” mean, again? I forget.
        😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Babe, sometimes our thought processes scare me a bit in their similarity. When I saw the rocking bat all I could think of are those dreadful videos you see of orphaned children rocking themselves to and fro in their cribs. Reading too much into it? Let’s hope so.
      I did not know the Roethke poem but do now, and for that I thank you abundantly. I am so pleased that there are a number of us out there who are not unreasonably terrified of bats and could even be said to rather like the little guys.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        Oh! But I cannot believe I had entirely forgotten about THIS recent FP post (even though I’d commented on it [Duh–if I’d read it, of course I’D commented on it– 🙄 ) which can make one feel rather the opposite, for a moment at least, when one gets to the video within the post. I read the post ’cause his are always good, and if I had nothing to do but read everything interesting, I’d read all his posts.

        Like

      • Aw, geez, the poor little sea lion pup. I remind myself once again that this is nature at work and even vampire bats deserve a square meal now and then.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        Yes. And there is, i suppose, some symbiotic relationship. I didn’t google, but just as with malaria and sickle cell (interesting, that one) blood-let animals may have survival advantages for some illnesses–who knows?

        This was extra-creepty, though: When I commented on the post, I didn’t point out an apparent discrepancy between what the post claimed and the video appeared to indicate: The post says the bite is painless. Did you not also see that sea lion react strongly to that nasty snap, and the little bat being very much prepared for that type of reaction? Ouch!

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      • I did see that and thought the EXACT SAME THING. Perhaps the author of that ridiculous statement should submit his own arm to the test? Yah, I thought not.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        As usual, a catching-up “You’re welcome”! I honestly know very little poetry, but that one is from the gift that has kept on giving, and so I will finally give away my secret to you: Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle–A small, thin paperback of poems so worth owning. A schoolteacher gave us our copies, and my original is falling apart from treasured re-readings.

        Like

      • Thank you, Babe. I wonder how many I shall already know and love. I’m going to search it out shortly. Do you enjoy Auden? He is one of my favorites.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Outlier Babe says:

        Yes. But I haven’t regularly read poetry for years and years. And now have my books no more, except a couple. I moved all my poetry books with me to F#cking Florida©, then left them and many, many beloved books behind due to the 3x higher costs moving t’other direction (who knew?).
        😥

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      • Hmmmm, interesting. I’ve just ordered the book from Amazon. Interesting that in the used category, the descriptions of book conditions are mostly “good” to “average.” That tells you a lot. Those books evidently got read, Babe! I’m looking forward to its (NO APOSTROPHE) appearance soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  39. Behind the Story says:

    I wonder why bats have come to symbolize something evil or frightening. The little guy in the video seems quite sweet. We had lots of fruit bats flying around our yard at night in Vanuatu. Dark shadows swooshing past. I guess that’s why they seem scarey–they fly at night. They’re on the menu in Vanuatu (mostly in French restaurants), and I did have a taste once at a party.

    The photo of Max is gorgeous, both Max and the background.

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    • I blame it all on Bram Stoker! Although I haven’t studied up on bat lore and symbolism, so for all I know it could be an ancient thing. I guess anything swooshing by in the dark is bound to awaken our primal fears on some level. Are you sure those were bats on the menu? Perhaps an error in translation? No, probably not. I do like how so many foreign lands seem to have a French restaurant, no matter how remote. When we travel to Taiwan, I always perk up when the question of gong out for Thai arises. By the way, I’ve yet to visit Thailand but the Thai food in Taiwan is incredibly good. So different than the standard fare here.

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  40. Behind the Story says:

    Oh, my! I’ll bet Thai food is good in Taiwan. They have to compete with all that excellent Taiwanese food.
    Yes, they definitely serve fruit bats, at least at one French restaurant. Also at hotel banquets for the tourists. They call them flying foxes. The local people eat them too.

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  41. Dear Barbara,

    I too am fond of owls, though I don’t have a collection of them. The one owl I do have is actually a life-sized crow decoy that lives in my studio. Since it was a dull grey, I gessoed it and painted it white, and I think it looks quite majestic.

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    • Oh, I bet it does. My collection of owl images is a fairly recent one, Mark. What I am most intrigued by is just how frequently the owl appears in the art of ancient cultures. Future blog post brewing…. Thanks for stopping by, Mark, always nice to see you here.

      Like

  42. What a lovely poem! And I also love the bat in the corner, too. 😉

    Like

  43. Sandra says:

    It takes forever to download pictures on my patchy and unreliable mobile internet connection Barbara, so excuse me for not commenting recently. In a freak excess of reliability though, it offered me half a glimpse of the owl book-plate Well worth the wait! And I love the exasperation in every bone of Max’s body! I’ll catch you on and off along the waterways until the end of next month, take care.

    Like

  44. Phil Taylor says:

    You should post pictures of your owl collection. I’d love to see them. Do you have an owl room?

    Like

  45. cat9984 says:

    Favorite bat story: my husband and son were out of town. We live in an old house, so we have bats in the attic. And mothballs in one of the closets. Somehow, several bats got into the mothballs. They ended up dazed and dizzy. One ended up in my bed. I guess he got cold because he snuggled into my hair. Needless to say, I took him outside to the fresh air.

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