Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, July 20, 2011 • Posted July 20, 2011

“For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that we use it so little.”- Rachel Carson At The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve this past week, visitors used this sense more than they probably wanted to and will long remember their visit to this wonderful eight acres of pristine Texas hill country. With the high temperatures and dry conditions, the smell that the bats pushed out of the cave gave assurances that there were indeed large numbers of these tiny mammals in this hole that houses millions of tiny Mexican Free-tail bats as they give birth and raise their young.Eyes were in heavy competition again the nose when the bats began their nightly emergence. Millions of bats poured out into the late afternoon sky. Since the bats are coming out as early as six o’clock P.M., there is plenty of light to see every detail. Later in the evening, skunk, raccoon, snakes and hawks sent the eyes dancing in every direction.Ears were attentive to the shrill cries as the Swainson Hawks called to their mates, little raccoons softly called to their mothers, the bats wings played a soothing melody as they flapped earnestly in the front of the cave, and the crunch as one of the hawks hit the limbs of a tree while in pursuit of a tiny bat.Mouths were moving on the way back to the parking area as visitors recalled all of the fantastic sights that they had just witnessed. Other mouths were also heard. The far off cry of the deer, zebra, and coyote were enough to impress any who listened. What memories....grandfathers sitting on the front row seat with their grandchildren. One pointing out the creatures that were feasting on the bats only then having to calm a sobbing child who was saddened by the unfolding events. Grandpa quickly explained how Miss Hiss was hungry too. The tears stopped flowing when dear little Geraldine (a young female skunk) showed up within just a few feet of the viewing area. This young man not only stopped crying, but was cheering Geraldine on (in a quiet little voice) and pointing to the bats that were grounded by the gusts of wind so that she could find them easier.“And now, this is the sweetest and most glorious day that ever my eyes did see.”Donald Cargill Certainly, this is what is voiced by every visitor that happens to witness the emergence of the bats at this wonderful preserve. Don’t wait, call the bat hotline @325-347-5970 and get all the information that you need to help you come out for a visit.

“Life must go on....memories have to be made....it is a Texas tradition at this wonderful eight acres that is called home to all of these creatures, small and great, at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve.”Vicki Ritter See ya at the cave!!

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