Going Batty

Two weeks ago in Montana, we were lucky enough to have a campsite right on Flathead Lake. We had our own private beach. Not only was the state park considerate enough to supply the usual picnic table and fire pit, our site also had a wooden bench next to the water. Every night we sat and watched a beautiful sunset — and the first night, marveled at how many birds were still flying around at dusk. In fact, the darker it got, the more birds there were. It turns out they were bats, multitudes of bats, swooping and darting gracefully over the lake in front of us. They were small, about the size of a wren — and I was grateful for their renowned sonar ability, because a few came so close I could feel the wind from their wings when they cruised past. If you don’t like bats, this probably isn’t a pleasant scenario, but I love them — and our dog was as mesmerized by the show as I was. I held a bat once, many years ago when it came down the chimney at my brother’s house. It was soft and warm and furry and had — I thought — an adorable face. People like to denigrate them by referring to them as nothing more than rats that fly, but one bat can eat up to 8,000 mosquitos a night and you don’t have to like them to appreciate that. Think of them as night birds.

 

Picture credit: Image by Angeles Balaguer from Pixabay

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