Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Getting Ready

Hello again. I hope everyone had a great Christmas. We did---we even received rain. Yeah!
We have less than a week until the new year and the seed catalogs are starting to arrive. Yes, I know a few have come already but now comes the avalanche. With the flood of seed catalogs, projects not normally done in the spring and summer need to be started soon. Garden structures, fencing and fencing repairs, damaged tools replaced or repaired if they haven't already and of course things like bird and bat houses. We have blue bird houses on our property and sometimes we can see 3 hatchings in a house per year. What we never have been successful with are bats. We have bat houses---but no bats. Recently in Organic Gardening Magazine they did a small article on bats and recommended this web site:
The are chock full of bat knowledge and information along with some bat house plans and information on how best to place your bat house. In our case they also recommend that if you haven't had luck by 2 years---move it. So move it we will.
We lived in Texas previously and they are famous for their colony of bats in Austin. We also have a "famous" colony of bats in Tennessee about an hour a way from us. We have visited the bat caves before and if you have never gone to see a colony and watched it leave it's cave, bridge or whatever at dusk-----it is amazing and something you should check out if possible. The flood of bats can be so great that it will be dark before all of them get out of their home. The last time we waited about 40 minutes for them to all get out of their home.
When we lived in the mountains of Georgia we were very far in the woods. Our front porch light would attract large moths, which in turn would attract bats. One particular fun thing we would do was to catch the moths, wait for a bat to fly near, throw up the moth and watch the bat swoop and catch it very near us. (No, we weren't worried about rabies---these were healthy foraging bats) Very interesting way to observe bats.

Even if you aren't lucky enough to have a huge colony near you to visit, bats are probably near you some where---all U.S. states have documented bat sitings including Alaska. Don't forget bats are huge bug eaters beyond the porch light seeking moth and a boon to your organic garden-- so putting up a house or two for them is a really great project. One that even your kids and their friends can help with and they won't even know they are "learning" while doing it.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

I love bats. When we go camping in the summer we like to sit and watch them catching bugs just after the sun's gone down, occasionally swooping close to us.
We've got a bat house in the garage, but I've never found just the right place for it. Thanks for the reminder!