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Monday, July 30, 2012

Bat Mania

Light(s) from the imagination . . . build reality.

A while ago I posted some old notes about life inside caves. The jottings begin on the topic of bats, and evolutions of bats that have occurred due to habitation in the world's darkest and dampest places. Most bats either live in caves, or rotten trees, but also have adapted well to the hollow walls of buildings.

During the summers, as kids in the Adirondacks, we swatted them with racquets as they swarmed from the eaves of our homes barns and woodsheds.

Today I'd seriously counsel against such a method of extermination. The incidence of rabies in bats is perhaps as high as it has ever been and bat populations everywhere are in serious decline. White Nose Syndrome, a serious fungal infection, has begun to decimate bat populations here in the US.

Authorities estimate that the die-off from White Nose Syndrome will result in 2.4 million pounds of insects not being consumed by the tiny predators. Mankind will have to face a much larger problem, mosquito borne plagues.

Two summers ago I visited a cave in the Ozarks. At the stucco-ed mine-door entrance to the underworld, a single albino bat clung to the concrete, waiting for the sun to set. Perhaps it had missed the cave door being shut for the night, and was cut off from its friends inside.

A white bat, so beautiful, divorced off from his cave, from his bit of daytime darkness.

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