I found out this week just how important it is to some people to see the emergence of The Eckert James River Bat Cave bats. One young man gave up a party at the pool with his relatives….and this was as the Texas heat blasted out sizzling encores. Another family called the bat hotline (325-347-5970) to discover that the bats were not coming out late in the evening but were actually emerging at 6:01 p.m.
When this family realized that they had to bootscoot to get there on time they brilliantly used the hot Texas sun in their favor. Grandmother had whipped up some homemade noodles and after the alert that they had to go right away she put the noodles outside to finish the needed task of drying. They arrived on time to see the greatest natural event in modern history and left excited that their tummies would be filled with the delicious creation of a loving grandmother.
I do have to answer a question that has been brought up twice this week: Are bats rodents? Encarta Dictionary answers: “rodent-a small gnawing mammal-a small animal of an order with large gnawing incisor teeth that continue growing throughout the animal’s life, e.g. a mouse, rat, squirrel, or marmot. Rodents make up more than a third of all living mammal species and are adapted to all terrestrial habitats.” Now that that has been cleared up, the bats forgive all who mistook them for a rat or mouse.
Insects, and especially the corn ear worm moth which a bat consumes up to forty a night, may disagree. Yes, they may believe that the bats are gnawing on them, but in reality they are pretty much swallowed whole. There have been no escapees to get the truth out!! That is wonderful for all of the farmers out there in farming land. Just remember, if you must call them “rodents”, do it with a smile and great appreciation for all that they do on these hot Texas nights!
As The Nature Conservancy continues their efforts in education to beget preservation, we know that you will enjoy and appreciate these great but tiny mammals of The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. You may have to come on an empty stomach, but it will be worth the effort to see these magnificent creatures fill the night sky trying to fill their stomachs in a spectacle that makes memories that last a lifetime. See you at the cave!!