Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 • Posted September 2, 2009

“Around the corner and down the street there lives a dog with great big feet.” This is a line of a book that Mrs. Windecker used to read to our class to show us different parts of sentence structure. I loved her class. She took the time to explain everything and I have very fond memories of that. I didn’t start out liking English class, but it grew on me more and more as I learned.

“Around the corner and down the street there live a lot of bats with little tiny feet.” I think that Mrs. Windecker would be proud of me. I also teach, but with a variety of students from all over the world and they are all ages. Mrs. Windecker taught with books, the chalkboard, and a variety of wonderful examples. I teach information that I have gathered from books, reports, the great outdoors, and a huge variety of living examples.

My “class” sits on wooden benches like the early classrooms of Texas. In front of the “class” is a drama in real life that “reads” like no book written by man. Every creature, every movement, every brush with death, every soaring display, every tooth, claw, fang, beak, and talon teach in a very dramatic way. Not one single person leaves “The Classroom” of The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve without having learned something. In fact The Nature Conservancy believes in education in a very, very large way! “Education begets preservation.” This was something that I heard in a talk a year or so ago, and I truly stand by its message.

The greatest part of being “the teacher” is that I am constantly taught by my students and by my “classroom”. I have been taught that names are very important. That is why young ones this week named their bats. Mickey King named his bat, “Stinky”; the Snodgrass twins, Hannah and Hadley named theirs, “Flower” and “Purple Flower”; Callista Kramer named her bat after her cousin Kymberlyn; and we as a united group named a tiny young bat only a few weeks old after someone even younger who visited with his parents. Gray Ranft probably was not old enough to remember what happened that Friday evening on August 28, 2009 at The Eckert James River Bat Cave, but I know without hesitation that he will grow up to love animals and especially bats because he heard, smelled, felt and shared the excitement of The Greatest Classroom on this planet, The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve!!

You may be older than five weeks, and maybe even younger than ninety-two, but there is always something for you to learn at a place “around the corner and down the street…..”. Call the bat hotline for more information at 325-347-5970. Class dismissed…

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