If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, is it a duck? Not in this case!! Two weeks ago I put a picture in this column of a bee on a flower. Some readers actually brought to my attention that instead of it being a honey bee, it was instead, a done fly. What? That is exactly what I thought until I did further research and checked with the bug folks at The Texas Nature Conservancy and sure enough, it was and is a drone fly! Because of the extremely crisp and up-close picture that my daughter, Jana, took at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve it was proven to be Mr. Drone Fly himself. A very clever deception....and indeed that is what this guy intended all along.
Do you remember watching "Mission Impossible" and seeing all of the ways this team had to mask their identities? For the drone fly, this is his intent....not to uncover secret plots or free some doer of injustice, merely to eat and not be eaten. His "disguise" is brilliant since he has no stinger to ward off would-be bug eaters. This way he can flit from one flower blossom to the next extracting its wonderful nectar and just plain enjoying life. Problem here....I didn’t even know that there was such a thing as a "drone fly" until I had put into question this little bug’s real identity. Talk about identity theft!!
I really don’t feel all that bad for not seeing through the drone fly’s clever disguise though. The once-planet Pluto pulled off a master impersonation for hundreds of years and it wasn’t until another fantastic photo came along that it spoiled the whole thing....
What else is there on this tremendous little eight acres of The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve that awaits being identified? I did find some REALLY large footprints recently. I held my breath thinking that maybe, just maybe Mr. Sasquatch himself (commonly known as Bigfoot) was lurking in the shadows somewhere close by. Being the master tracker that I am, I quickly followed these humongous impressions in the dirt and came upon something that would make a person’s heart skip a beat!....There, on the trail, bigger than life was....one of our wonderful volunteers!! The scene I saw has been played out many times by these delightful persons.....weedeating the trails! This I believe is as tremendous a sight as actually finding the elusive Bigfoot himself!
If you want to come out and "bee" entertained by bugs, beasts or bats, join us at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. Admission is $5.00 for persons six years of age and older. Call the bat hotline for more details at 325-347-5970. When you come, please don’t let it out that Mr. D. Fly is really not a bee. We wouldn’t want to blow his cover, now would we?
By the way, it is still too dark when the bats leave for the evening for a good picture, so I am including another one taken at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. This one is a dragonfly.... I think! See ya at the cave!!