"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, October 08, 2005


Yesterday I was involved in a thrilling bat rescue adventure.

I don't mind bats. In fact, I appreciate them. On summer nights they flutter in our yard, half-visible, half invisible, devouring mosquitoes which nowadays carry dangerous and deadly viruses.

The closest I'd been to live bats was in wildlife parks or zoos, when they fascinated me from safely behind thick glass.

Until I met the bat in the bathtub.

Some friends have an office in an antique farmhouse with a big attached barn. They found a bat in the unused blue bathtub while I was there. There was some reluctance in telling me, but as soon as I heard, I wanted to see the bat. Not only that, I borrowed a digicam to take photos, while one of the guys headed home for a fishing net.

Myotis lucifugus

He scooped the bat up in the net and we opened a window and tried to release the bat. It tumbled (gently) to the ground. We ran outside to make sure it was okay. It looked up at me and smiled for the camera.

Little Brown Bat

Then it looked rather dejected. Clearly it didn't like the bright light, or the heat. My friend, scooping it up into his net again, carried it into the cool, dark barn--that's probably where it makes its home. The bat perked up instantly and seemed much happier. We left it alone. A later peek inside was reassuring--the bat was still there. It shied from the light, flying away, and retreated into a dark space.

When I showed my husband these two pictures, he couldn't believe it was the same creature.

When I read about bats later in my very useful book New England Wildlife: Habitat, Natural History, and Distribution (DeGraaf and Yamasaki), I discovered that my bat buddy is Myotis lucifugus or Little Brown Myotis or Little Brown Bat.

Evidently, autumn is mating season, so I hope the sexy beast--whether male or female--gets lucky!

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