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Bat Cave News
2008 Bat Cave Steward
Wednesday, June 4, 2008 • Posted June 4, 2008

I was taking pictures at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve the other night when my camera ran out of battery power. I reached into the pocket of my camera case and pulled out a little plastic covered battery pack. As I was removing the plastic I noticed the word “Energizer” written on it. So, the new batteries energized the camera back to life, and I was able to continue to shoot pictures.

It wasn’t until about half-way through the emergence that I suddenly realized how energized that I had become. I knew it wasn’t the battery or the camera because I had replaced batteries many times before and had never felt this way.

Being the sleuth that I am, I let my mind wander on this wonderful feeling. I was exhausted when I started out to the cave that afternoon at 5:15 p.m. It was hot…no, hotter than hot. It registered on the thermometer at 98.9 degrees. Since the AC in my bat mobile is experiencing difficulty at the moment, it was probably about 149 degrees inside. Being hot and sweaty, the dust coming in the open windows agitated me all the more. With what little makeup I had on sliding down my face and dripping off of my chin I sure-footedly made the climb up from the parking area to the cave with my camera in hand. Needless to say, I was ANYTHING but energized!

I worked for awhile on trimming some limbs and did a little weed eating. Ok, now I was two more steps away from that word on the battery pack. I went to rest at the sitting area and wait for visitors. It was then that I spotted her. It was the Texas Whip snake that had entertained the crowd so many times during the last three years. I took my camera out of its bag and carefully focused the shot. Miss Hiss, as we have warmly dubbed the seven foot reptile, was hamming it up. She lifted her head up as if she knew that I had a camera aiming right at her. Perfect…I pressed the button which should have caused a reaction which somehow gives way to a picture on the little screen, but nothing happened. I looked a little closer, ok, a lot closer since I wasn’t wearing glasses, and noticed that it had a little battery image flashing on the screen. I quickly pulled out the plastic covered battery case and inserted the new batteries into the camera. When I looked up to take the shot… she was gone! I wonder if I had not taken the time to read the word “Energizer” on the package if I would have gotten that shot.

So much for private detective work. I was mumbling to myself when visitors began to arrive at the cave. The timing was absolutely perfect. It made me stop thinking about that lost shot and put me back into a clearer frame of mind. A little while later I was giving an educational presentation when one of the visitors, mouth wide open, finger pointing, was trying to get out the word “snake.”

Yes, Miss Hiss was back. She has always proved to be a camera hog and loves all of the attention that she can get. But, not only was Miss Hiss back, but she was quickly joined by Sir Hiss, her crawling companion. I reached down for my camera, hand shaking, heart beating, and zoomed in for the shot. Perfection!

After about five minutes of excitement presented by the reptilians, I again proceeded with my talk. Not having said more than about ten words, the same young man stared blankly and lifted the same hand to point across the cave once more. I knew that the Hiss couple were not in that area, so I turned to look at the place he was pointing. Wow! A huge black coach whip was heading down the ledge and resembled a slinky. He kept coming and coming and coming. It was awesome to say the least! My hand was as shaky as a paint mixer as I took the shot. I didn’t even bother to focus. My camera was having the night of its life! As I turned to take another shot, a raccoon ambled through the brush and into the cave opening. Camera still in hand, I was trying to line up the shot when my camera lens picked up something moving in the top of the frame. It was a five foot rattlesnake! My heart by then was walking all over itself.

It was at that point that our bat ladies began their nightly drama. The emergence was splendid. Huge vortex, wide ribbon, and predators in abundance! I then realized that something had happened. I was so full of energy and excitement, that my heart was beating right out of my chest.!!

If your heart needs an active workout, forget the heat, the dust, and the sweat pouring down your face. I actually believe that is what sets the pace for the evening ahead. You don’t have to go to a gym to workout, all you have to do is join me at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. You will have your heart pumping like it has never done before…you will be ENERGIZED!! If you are one of those who need the ambiance of your local gym to put you through your paces then you are indeed very fortunate. Our cave smells very much like a gym!!

If you need more info on this fabulous offer, call 325-347-5970. We can now refer to the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve as the “RECHARGE ZONE”. See ya there!!

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