Ever been woken up by a bat crawling across your face? It happened to me last night at Meadowcreek. I flicked it off with a start and a yelp. When I was totally awake, I realized I needed to capture the bat or it would be back on my face before the night was out. It wasn’t flying too well and mainly fluttered along the floor. I captured it with a big pan and a lid and released it outside. After all that excitement, it was tough to fall back asleep. Bats on your face just are not dream-inducers.
Some of the not-quite-country-yet residents of Meadowcreek told me about the bat. They’d been watching it for days. One extreme newby even petted it. They’ve had it trapped in a closet off the room where I often stay in winter. It’s been so warm this year that I’ve been staying in an upper room with big windows so I can see the stars when I first wake up.
So I just opened the closet door night before last and slept upstairs as is my wont. The bat moved out of the closet and into the great room. While watching the Super Bowl stream live last night, I noticed it clinging to a curtain near the sliding glass doors to the patio. That will make it easy to release, I thought, but didn’t deal with it because I was too tired. It’s easy to put off things you know you should do when you convince yourself you are too tired or a myriad of other reasons our native laziness makes up for us when we let it.
Also because I was lazy, I moved the Super Bowl into the room where the bat has been living the past few days so I didn’t have to haul the computer upstairs. The bat decided during the night that it liked me and the old room better than the now empty great room.
That set the stage for the “Great Bat on the Face in the Middle of the Night Adventure” and the bat’s return to a habitat much nicer than the closet. It’s still warm at night and getting really warm during the days so maybe it will find a good place to hide out the oncoming winter. Or maybe not.
The not-yet-country newbies will probably sympathize for the poor bat out in the cold. Just as some of their friends and relatives are worried about them out in the wilderness with no central heating and miles of gravel roads to the closest grocery store. And just as they don’t want to poison the mice and rats that love country homes.
Sooner or later, if you become a country person (which most never do), you become inured to death. You realize death is just a part of life. Without the death of a tree, the fungus can’t grow. Without the fungus digesting the tree, the nutrients can’t be released for the next generation of trees. Everything is food in nature. All our wastes are valuable resources for other species.
Well, maybe not some of our electronic inventions with tons of heavy metals available for ingestion. But all wastes, all death, in resilient systems, is food. The complementary diversity of such systems takes care of all wastes to complete a cycle providing more and more resources. Not necessarily the metals and hydrocarbon fuels the environmentalists often means when they speak of resources being depleted.
We’ve explored how to deal with that in previous posts. So search life cycle analysis, if you like. I’m not going to repeat it here.
But the Ukrainian approoach to bats, I must mention. Though Ukraine is right next to Romania and you can visit Transylvania and Dracula’s castle a short drive from the border, Ukrainians don’t really fathom the American obsession with bats as evil incarnate.
Once, my favorite driver/translater in Ukraine, a former spy who was one of the first from Soviet Union into Vietnam after America pulled out, felt under the gun and was driving really fast to get to an appointment.
I told him he was driving like a bat out of hell. He had no idea what I was talking about. Bats are not associated with hell in Ukraine. But my comment did get him to concentrate on cultural and language differences and he slowed down.
You, too, might slow down and appreciate the bats who crawl across you face. Or like me, flick them away and wonder why the innocent city folk coddle or imprison wild animals.