With storm clouds brewing heavily in the northwest I doubted that I would be able to open on Sunday evening. We had already been closed on Thursday night because of heavy rainfall right over the cave and close lying areas. It was almost 8:30 p.m. when I headed down to close since no one had shown up. The weather was extremely unsettled.
As soon as I closed and locked the gate and drove less than a quarter of a mile there was a vehicle meeting me so I pulled over to make sure that they were not on the way to The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve...they were. The couple had two small children with them and when I told them that I had detected lightning heading toward the cave, they decided to come at another time. As we pulled further down the street I was approached by another vehicle....a passenger van full of persons wanting to see the emergence. It wasn’t going to be easy for some of them to return, so I told them that we could watch from the parking area until the storm came over. Having come from Canada, New York, Boston, Houston, Dallas, Ecuador, and Taiwan it made my heart heavy that they would not get to see a sight that most persons will never in their lives witness.
We waited for about 20 minutes in the parking area and I gave an educational presentation so that there would be no wasted time. It looked as though the storm had stalled so we quickly made our way to the seating area. The bats were coming out in full force. It was totally breathtaking to see the faces of all of these visitors viewing this magnificent display in the air right before us. One visitor exclaimed that it looked like a most beautiful ballet. Truly, this was a memory...signed, sealed and delivered!!
As soon as we got back to the parking lot we looked up to see that the lightning had once again started dancing in the sky close to the cave. We were thankful that it had stalled long enough to witness this most delightful event!!
This closed the week’s events with a feeling of accomplishment and excitement. We were delighted that on Friday evening Adriana Eckert and close friend, Enrique Camargo (see photo) joined us at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. The Eckert in Eckert James River Bat Cave comes from Adriana’s late husband’s family. Richard Eckert and his family donated the cave to the Nature Conservancy in 1990. The Nature Conservancy is celebrating its 20th season as stewards of this tremendous property on the James River.
Just a word about a three year old young gentleman who came with his dad to pick up his uncle’s wallet that he lost on Saturday night at the Preserve.....he certainly was a gentleman. Even a dear little bunny who happened to be eating at the parking area sat quietly while this youngster got a very, very up-close and personal view of him. Softly and quietly with tiny steps this sweet young man made his way up to this bunny and they shared a few minutes of time building a lasting friendship and a happy base for the dreams that would build in his head as he drifted off to sleep. For you, young man, our little bunny will proudly bear your name. He will from this day on be referred to as Mr. Royce. No longer a bunny will he be...no, he is now a memory!!
Come to visit....come to smile...come to smell...come to hear....come to see...just come!! Call 325-347-5970 for other information. See ya at the cave!!