Mason County News
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Bat Cave Report
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 • Posted September 17, 2008

Last week I got to be on the visiting end at a bat cave. I was invited to Rocksprings to view the emergence of the bats at the Devil’s Sinkhole. This preserve is located a few miles outside of Rocksprings, Texas. The only way to reach the viewing site is by a most unique bus ride which begins downtown. Our tour guide, Andrew, also teaches Spanish in the small school just right off of the square. We received a most colorful overview of the town’s history on the ride out to the Sinkhole area from this well informed volunteer.

Upon arrival, I quickly realized where a lot of the Eckert James River Bats were. Apparently beginning an early exodus down to Mexico to resume life at their homes there, the Mexican free-tails were being treated like the princesses that they are at their hold- over home at the Sinkhole. I was duly impressed by the enormous exodus, the informative presentation by the guide, and the magnitude of expressions of delight and appreciation by the group.

It truly was a most dramatic evening! This tiny town of Rocksprings showed hospitality that made one feel like he or she had arrived in town in a stretch limo. As a visitor, I was expressing the same gratitude as persons who come to the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. They glow with appreciation for the hundreds of small kindnesses that come so naturally to people in Mason.

I do appreciate why people are so drawn to Mason. The sincere effort by each individual to make someone feel like they belong is a powerful magnet that is not available in most towns and cities in today’s world. I am proud that Mason is still at the top of the list in being hospitable.

Mason, The Nature Conservancy, and the creatures small and great at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve were able to share a little kind hospitality to a rather large group of evacuees during the weekend. Vehicle after vehicle pulled into the parking area at the Preserve. Persons who exited the vehicles looked worn and almost expressionless. It was men, women, and children. Their sad eyes told the story even before a voice was heard. These individuals were fleeing for their lives from the terrible storm closing in on their homes, pets, and belongings. They were at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve to try to hold on to something good. Good it was! The bats gave the audience their best as they headed out into the night skies. I couldn’t help but notice that the walk back to the parking area was a bit livelier. I even heard several persons break out into laughter as we rounded the corner at the overflow section. My heart soared!

I was proud! I was proud that I was able to work for an organization that put forth such effort to comfort and encourage ones that were experiencing such hardship and difficulty. My email was full from all of the Nature Conservancy staff all over the state offering assistance where needed. It was good! It was how it should be with persons everywhere. Even through the horror of this past weekend, tiny stars of hope pushed through the dense screen of hurt, anger, and uncertainty. These stars lit on each and every heartstring and carefully wove it into a warm memory. A memory of something most wonderful which will be the beginning of new beginnings! Thank you, Mason. Thank you, Nature Conservancy. Thank you dear creatures great and small at the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve for lighting up the dark skies!

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