Saturday Snapshot: Bats

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A couple weekends ago Best Friend and I headed out to Concan, Texas for a family vacation. We went toobing, grilled everything, and both got a doozy of a sunburn. And one evening we all headed out to see the Frio Bat Flight.

Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, bat cave!

Frio Bat Flight

If you live just about anywhere in Texas, you’ve probably heard of the Congress Bridge bats in Austin. That colony has about 1.5 million; the Frio cave, in contrast, has 10 – 12 million.

At just about sunset, the entire colony flies out of the cave en masse. It takes about three hours for all of them to make it out.

Bats flying

The thing I least expected was the lack of noise. You’d think 10 million or so bats swooping around would be noisy; but really all we could hear was the flap of soft wings and the occasional echolocation click.

It was fun to learn about the bats, and see them all take off. They’re still kinda creepy, though.

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14 Responses

  1. Jenny July 7, 2012 / 4:56 pm

    I LOVE bats! Awesome pics.

    • amypeveto July 7, 2012 / 10:05 pm

      It was a great experience, really cool to see. I’m not the biggest fan of bats themselves, though. :)

    • amypeveto July 8, 2012 / 12:04 pm

      It was really cool. And I learned a lot about the history of the cave and the bats themselves.

  2. trish July 8, 2012 / 5:42 am

    That would have been cool to witness . . . from a distance! It does kind of creep me out a little, though ;) That’s a lot of bats, holy cow.

    • amypeveto July 8, 2012 / 12:10 pm

      Distance would have been nice, yes. :) We were up on a ledge, and the bats were zooming around just a few feet above our heads. The guide warned us that sometimes the bats collide and end up in people’s hair. Eeek! Fortunately there were no problems, and we just watched them fly.

  3. kaye July 8, 2012 / 8:13 am

    Better to see this in pictures. I’m a wuss when it comes to bats, they scare me.

    • amypeveto July 8, 2012 / 12:11 pm

      It wasn’t a scary experience, but more than a little disconcerting. And these were bug/fruit bats, instead of vampires. :D

  4. Louise July 8, 2012 / 8:47 am

    Wow. What an amazing experience that must be. Astonishing that it takes 3 hours for them to come out.

    • amypeveto July 8, 2012 / 12:12 pm

      It was certainly neat to see. And it’s three hours of them continually streaming out (instead of in smaller groups). 10 million is a lot of bats.

      I’m not able to comment on your blog, so I’ll leave my thoughts on your photos here. Both times I’ve been to Europe I guess some part of my mind expected things to be wildly different. They were in some ways, but—as you discovered—the wildlife tends to be pretty much the same. I think you’d have to go to South America or Africa to see some totally new animals. Perfect excuse though, right? :)

  5. Alyce July 8, 2012 / 12:21 pm

    Too bad about the sunburn, but the bat experience looks awesome!

    • amypeveto July 8, 2012 / 3:15 pm

      Fortunately our sunburns are almost healed. We’re in that awful peeling stage, but should soon be back to normal. If you ever get the chance to see a bat flight, definitely do it — I bet your boys would like it.

  6. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea July 8, 2012 / 8:16 pm

    Had one in a previous home once….looked like a mouse until it flew across the room. Cool shots

    • amypeveto July 8, 2012 / 10:47 pm

      That sounds terrifying. You’d have heard my scream on the space station, had that been me!

      I’m not able to comment on your blog, but I love your photos! The yellow birds are beautiful, and the photo of your cats is perfect — clearly they lead very stressful lives.

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