On opening day of the season, Thursday, May 16th, I got to the cave a little early to do some last minute touch ups. I was moving a few rocks out of the parking area when a van drove up. I walked over to greet the visitors and watched as little person after little person emerged from the vehicle, each with a smile as wide as Texas and a sweet hello to me.
All in all, there were thirteen children and three adults. The children were all quite young. It turned out that one of these adults was their mother. She had taken on the task and privilege of adopting 13 of the friendliest and most well behaved children that I have ever met. Some were from Africa and some from Asia. They were homeschooled and The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve was part of their curriculum.
I was totally impressed and excited to be able to share this wonderful experience with so delightful a group. We went on to the seating area and before too long another group showed up. I knew these were coming because I received a call on the bat hotline (325-347-5970) that gave me the heads up earlier in the week. Loren Ammerman is a teacher from San Angelo and she brings her new students every year. From young homeschoolers to college students they were there to learn about bats.
What better way to be educated than to witness it firsthand. Someone did get a group photo but I haven’t received it yet. I will try to get it for next week’s article so that you can appreciate the big grins on all of these faces. The bats truly entertained them in the most stately fashion. This time of the year the emergences are usually not until right at nine o’clock. Sometimes they don’t show up until after dark...BUT...show up they did. It was at 8:38 P.M. , but it was enough time before dark to impress the socks off of this group. It showed on their glowing faces how much they appreciated the bats. Loren also presented me with an autographed copy of her new book, BATS OF TEXAS. This was VERY unexpected but very much appreciated! We look forward to her classes continuing to visit for many, many years to come.
Come on out, Thursday-Sunday evening to visit the Preserve. I open the gate at 6 P.M. each of those evenings. You may want to call the bat hotline (325-347-5970) for the current emergence time on the day of your visit since this changes throughout the season. See ya at the cave....