Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
2012 Texas Nature Conservancy Steward
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 • Posted September 12, 2012

Have you ever, or talked to someone, who had a baby and the next thing you know they are talking about plans for his/her upcoming wedding? Somewhere in the fog that child grew up to become a big human being. There are feelings associated with this...pride, wonderment, and sadness. Most people relate to this. What about millions of little ones growing up and leaving at the same time to be adults in this world? Heartbreaking in some ways, but totally thrilling in the next breath. I have witnessed this for over seven years as my little ones at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve are born, grow up, and leave. These babies are the Mexican free-tail bats that are born and live at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve for a few summer months. These tiny creatures are born about the size of a tiny, pink jelly bean and in four short weeks are on their own and almost the size of their mothers.

Why am I telling you all of this? It has happened......the babies are leaving to head back to Mexico to meet their dads. This event occurs every year with the first significant cold front that pushes through. We have now had that first significant cold front! This also means that there will be NO EARLY MORNING RETURN on September 15TH as planned. There are still a very few bats leaving the cave at night but the greatest majority are gone. The emergence is about 7:49 P.M. and lasts just a few minutes. It is still AWESOME but the return would only be a few minutes and would probably be before sunrise. This being said, I will still be there at The Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve on Saturday for the big cleanup day, but I won’t get there until about 7 A.M.

I will plan on working a long day if the weather cooperates. If you care to join me, we will be removing dead brush and carrying it to the parking area to be chipper shredded for the trails. I would most certainly appreciate all of the help that you care to offer. Be sure to wear long sleeves and pants to keep the brush from scratching you up. If you have any tools that you could bring for this effort, that would also be a great help. If you are unable to help out on Saturday, still plan on coming out to see the bats before they all leave for the winter. See ya at the cave!!

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