Oh, summer is almost here. At least last week it was. I could feel it in the clouds that didn’t sprinkle that much rain on our heads, and I could see it in the bats that fly over our heads at night. Yes, the bats are back.
Our little bats hibernate over the winter. Come mosquito season, they emerge and start feasting. As someone who mosquitoes really love, I am thankful for the bats.
Bat watching also makes a fabulous evening activity. Head to any pond or other area of still water where you might find a few mosquitoes, and if it even has a few trees it will quite possibly host bats.
The basics of bat watching are very simple. Wear warm clothes and bring a warm drink if the night warrants it. Warm milk is our drink of choice. Wait until it is just about dusk, then go to your designated bat-watching area. Sit down, and watch the sky. Sometimes they’ll dart over your head, sometimes they’ll be far off in the distance. It makes me happy every time I see one.
And no, they won’t get in your hair. Although they often dive close to look for the mosquitoes that are coming to get me, since the bats have such fabulous powers of echolocation, they know that I’m not a giant mosquito, and they have no inclination to get in my hair or eat me.
Watching bats is a good way to hone your tracking skills. It’s also a wonderful way to bond with your kids. On a quiet evening, sit and watch the sky, looking for the silent animals that do so much good in your neighborhood. We go bat watching as often as we can, and I hope that it’s an activity that my daughter will remember. Perhaps she will even do it with her own children.
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