Just a few words about the picture included with this article: Joy Killough from Round Rock, Texas and Garrison, Delaney and Heather Engstrom from Fredericksburg, Texas are enjoying the fruits of their labors. This area was cleared and the bench sat in place for those persons that make the trip to The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve and realize that their "git up" just "isn’t gonna" get them up the trail to the seating area. Prior to Friday evening, June 04, those persons would have to sit in their vehicle in the parking area with the sun just pounding down on them. Thanks to these volunteers and Mr. Oliver Grote, we now have a wonderful and COMFORTABLE sitting area to wait for the winged creatures to emerge. The bench is located just a few feet from the parking area and in the shade of an oak tree but facing the direction of the bat cave. Without all of the hard work from this team of volunteers, it would still be a while in coming, but as you can see, it is ready for your visit!
We also had a visit from a young three-year-old lady on Sunday evening. Escorted down the trail by her grandparents, this little gal brightened up the whole evening. She let us know that she was "kinda" scared of the bats because she had never been to the cave before. She was from Round Rock, Texas. We had a great time talking about the bats and how they can get sick sometimes so you would NEVER, NEVER touch a bat! I also talked about how I was the "batgranny", and all kinds of other trivia about bats. It was getting dark before the bats made their emergence, and after they had come out for a while, Clara (this bright, sweet little 3 year-old girl ) looked over at her grandpa and really let him have it. He had put his hand in the air and told her he was going to see if he could get a bat to land on his hand. She belted out in stern boldness, "You NEVER touch a bat"!!! And some say young people can’t understand....WRONG!! I think grandpa got a lesson he won’t soon forget.
She also gave an added dimension to the trek back up the hill to the parking area. I was in the lead, while she, her grandparents and other visitors followed. All of a sudden I hear from behind me a voice with certain determination saying, "Wait up, GRANNY!" I thought Clara was talking to her grandmother and turned to find out that it was ME that she was referring to. She remembered that I was the BATGRANNY! I was thrilled to know that she not only remembered what I had said, but was told that she was going to tell her family at home in Round Rock and also her little three-year-old friend named Jeffery. The icing on the cake was the soft, sweet, "I love you", spoken to her grandpa as they walked hand in hand up the trail and his tender, "I love you too." Bats will flitter around in Clara’s dreams for years to come, not as spooky monsters trying to suck her blood, but as soft, kind protectors of the night. She will also think about her little bat, "Clara", that was given her name after she realized all of the important things that bats do for her and her family.
Memories.......made at the greatest little eight acres on this planet....brought to you in living color...vivid enough to last a lifetime...or two!! To all who have visited this tiny little corner of Mason, Texas, we at the Nature Conservancy say, "Thank you...and ya’ll come again, ya hear!"
For more info, call the bathotline at:325-347-5970....See ya at the cave!!!