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Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 • Posted May 18, 2011

Have you ever had one of those moments that you know will end up on the memory list in your mind? I mean one of those like an unexpected hug from your grandson while the two of you are sitting outside eating an ice cream cone, the wind blowing softly and the sun just warm enough to cause the ice cream to begin to melt. He delays the eating of the ice cream to give you that hug, knowing that each lick that is hesitated will end up on the ground. The hug is like the softly blowing wind, it just comes out of nowhere and gives you comfort. THAT is the kind of memory that I call a soft memory. At the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve this week, I experienced one of such moments. As we drove up the road to the parking area I glanced out of the window and noticed a tiny cottontail sitting right next to the road. I don’t know how I saw it, it blended perfectly with the surrounding foliage. It sat like it wasn’t seen even though the pickup was literally inches from it. Jana, my faithful sidekick and volunteer had her camera and was out of the door to try to get a quick shot. She didn’t have to be quick, because this youngster just sat where he was. She positioned herself less than two feet from this little cutie and got some great shots. It was a true “Disney” moment. It was surreal and breathtaking! I realized that this tiny, trusting creature was living the concept of what The Nature Conservancy is all about...preservation of creatures great and small that share this earth with us.Thursday, our first night open for the season, brought 34 persons to the Preserve. A group of college students from San Angelo State were on a learning tour about bats. The bats were in wonderful form and I am sure the students learned a lot from these delightful little mammals. We also had a five year old young lady, Callista Kramer, who came with her grandparents (James and Suzy Kramer from Bellville, Texas). She named the first bat named this year. She presented her little friend with the name, “Rosie”. Callista, who resides in Conroe, Texas will have wonderful memories for many years to come thanks to Rosie and her flying friends, and the love of special grandparents!! The photo included with this story was taken by Callista’s grandmother, Suzy. The picture is Callista, Rosie (in my gloved hand), and myself, Vicki Ritter. Rosie has just received her name and is smiling in grand approval.If you would like to come and visit The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve, please call the bat hotline for current emergence times. Admission to the Preserve is $5.00 for persons 6 years of age and older. Please be at the Preserve no later than 7:15 P.M. to keep from disturbing the bats on their flight out. See you at the cave!!

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