As a young girl I was a Girl Scout. My scout leader, Della Moneyhon, was diligent about teaching all her young ladies the basic technique of being prepared. I always felt like I was prepared. I was prepared to make a s’more on an open fire; prepared to start a fire with a piece of glass and some leaves; prepared to get water from a cactus leaf; prepared to face life head on.
At The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve this last week we had several scenarios that showed preparedness. On Thursday we had a couple out from Harper enjoying another year added to Shirlene’s life. Her husband, Richard Cowie, let me know that this was something that they had wanted to do for years. Since it was a special evening they really wanted to add spice and come for the visit. After the emergence they expressed their sincere thanks to the Eckert Family for the wonderful donation of the cave to The Nature Conservancy.
On Friday night we had the Waters family from Fredericksburg and Lindale, Texas (see photo). The two young ones, Erin and Kyle, named a bat after seeing her up close and personal. They chose the name, Rosie. Erin told me that she was coming next year so that she could name Rosie’s baby. I asked her what she would name it and in a very prepared way she answered, "Little Rosie". I can’t wait to see them again next season.
Saturday proved a little more trying on the nerves. Rain was all around the cave from about 4 P.M. It was such a hard call. Would the rain cause the river to get up and be a danger to all those wanting to come? I waited until the very last second to call it "closed for the evening". I don’t know how bad the rain got, but when I put the sign up at 6 P.M. it was pouring. I was prepared to do what I had to do to insure that no one came to any danger. It was in no way a pleasant task breaking that news to those that traveled so far to see the bats perform. I do believe that Della would have been proud of the decision that I made.
I dislike having to turn people away from seeing this magnificent sight, but sometimes this proves to be the case. I hope those that traveled so far will appreciate the difficulty that weather causes me at times. I also hope that they will return at a different time to see the most awesome spectacle on this planet....the emergence of The Eckert James River Bat Cave bats!!
Please, if you are planning a trip out to the cave, call the bat hotline and check for weather conditions, and current emergence time. You may call 325-347-5970 for details. Prepare yourself for the time of your life!! See ya at the cave.........