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Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 • Posted June 15, 2011

The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve is located deep in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. It is wild and rugged. It is invigorating and awe-inspiring. If someone were to compare it to other preserves based on size, it would seem small and unimportant. For anyone who has had the privilege of setting foot on this unique acreage, it boasts of events and sights that set any human heart into a memory making mode. The excited beats of the heart signal to the brain that there is indeed something to hold in the storage area for generations to come....filed under “AWESOME”.Many memories were made this week. In the photo attached to this story from Left to Right: Charlie Garner from Potomac, MD; Bill Bode from Bethesda, MD; and Billy Bode from our dear Mason, Texas, are posing in front of The Eckert James River Bat Cave awaiting the emergence of our tiny mammal friends. Yes, Bill is Billy’s grandson. Billy and Bill are introducing Charlie to Texas.....and this is truly the way to make an impression!Billy Bode told us of one of his adventures at the cave over 60 years ago. He brought his family, including his oldest son, still in diapers, out to enjoy the emergence of the lady bats. Back in the day, visitors would drive from the back side of the preserve all of the way up to the cave opening. Here is where the “rugged” kicks in. When they had enjoyed this spectacular event and started to leave, Bill realized that he had damaged the oil pan on his car. As he described it, at that time that part of the county was very, very uninhabited. They ended up sleeping there that night and the next morning they were awakened by the sound of rushing water. This was his first experience with the sound of the early morning return of the bats. This story wasn’t told out of horror, but with the biggest smile I have seen in quite some time. Welcome to Texas Mr. Charlie Garner! Welcome to memory lane....welcome to what Mason, Texas holds in constant appreciation!!Other memories made this week were couples celebrating their wedding anniversaries. There is no other place on this planet that bodes harmony and peace quite like The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. Larry and Dian Willmann from Hilda,Texas, celebrated 43 years together and chose The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve as the place to do this. Jann and Clay Collins from Austin, Texas looked back tenderly on 26 wonderful years together as they enjoyed the emergence of the bats.Congratulations to both couples !!We also had a delightful young man visit us on a very special day in his life. Young Michael D. Peck from Mason picked the emergence of the bats as his special treat to remember where he was on the night that he turned six years old. We look forward to Michael bringing his grandchildren out for such memories in the years ahead.For Bryan, Eddie, Sam, Larry, Charlie, Edwin and Donovan, here is the answer to the question: Some free-tailed bats mate multiple times, moving from mate to mate. (Gannon et al., 2005; Keeley and Keeley, 2004; Krutzsch, Fleming, and Crichton, 2002; Wilkins, 1989)....thanks for asking...now I also know the answer......If you want answers or are just in for a memory making trip, you must visit The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. The Nature Conservancy strives to maintain balance and harmony for all of the little critters that call this special preserve HOME. Home is where the heart is...and again, it is deep in the middle of Texas in a little place known as The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve! Don’t forget that Saturday, June 18th is Early Morning Return of the Bats at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. Call the bat hotline for other information at: 325-347-5970. See ya at the cave!!

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