Bunnies and butterflies, falcons and bats....these are a few of the things that make this place "ALL THAT"! I am not a poet, but wonderful things happen to the mind and heart when you have experienced an evening at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve.
On the trail up to the sitting area there are endless possibilities of encountering sights, smells, or sounds that you would never have thought possible. But, once you have gotten to the seating area then you no longer have a possibility of experiencing tremendous new experiences, it is guaranteed! No matter how often you have been a guest at this marvelous presentation, it is never the same.
Dragonflies flit here and then quickly back. They are brilliant royal blue, scarlet, soft beige, aqua, and different shades of green. Like gems glittering in the last light of the day, these bold little insects entertain all in a most spectacular way right in the mouth of the cave.
As dusk reaches its hand out over the Preserve, a tiny body blasts out of the mouth of the cave. Alone but determined, this little bat heads out into the softly lit sky. As she makes one, two and then the third rotation, she suddenly sets her course for the open stage set before her. As she turns herself to the south, she flies quickly past a persimmon tree at the far edge of the clearing. Without warning or empathy, a Peregrine Falcon has the fragile mammal in its talons. She has lost the battle and the war with one fell swoop. One life lost, one spared the agony of starvation. No one observing this emotional defeat can be happy for the victor, but no one can dole out blame or disgust either. It is as it should be and that is enough. Faces turn aside and hold their breath as other dark little bodies fill the air. The show must continue.....
A small head and then body emerges from a hole in the edge of the cave as people quietly exclaim the presence of a young raccoon. She pops back into the hole and shyly peeks out into the crowd above. I call softly to her and she once again emerges, climbs the wall just two feet from me, glances around and then heads out over the top of the cliff wall. She was fearless. She knew that those who watched her wished her no harm. That realization alone was comfort. She will be back. She too knows the source of her rounded little belly.
Heading back up the trail for the night, along the paths that are clearly defined, was young rabbit after young rabbit. This has been a good year for our dear little Blinkey Bunny. She had been proudly sitting in the middle of the trail with one of her young offspring when we had first gotten to the Preserve. Most of the visitors had witnessed first -hand the calm and trusting rabbit family along the trail to the cave.
The gate is closing, the lock clicked into place and the night is but a glowing memory. A memory that only The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve could make possible. A memory that will be shared time after time for lifetimes to come. It is as it should be and that is enough.....