Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bats in my Belfry

Now I KNOW I'm leaving myself wide open for many, many jokes BUT before you start laughing hear this story - all true.

I've lived here about nine years and I'm always amazed at how few flying insects there are on the roof terrace or in the house - NO mosquitoes. How can that be with a reservoir right over the cliff from me? I reasoned it was because I have an almost constant breeze. NOW I know it is BATS - LOTS OF BATS.

I had a house guest in the guest house last week and while sitting on the upstairs balcony after dark, he saw swooping and diving at the street light at my corner and within twelve feet of the roof terrace. He was amazed and enchanted. I was horrified to find out that something was living under the platform that the tinaco is on. Can you imagine had I been up on the ladder and seen these things hanging under there? I would have looked like some semblance of The Flying Nun as I departed the ladder - and probably this Earth!

So, I gamely agreed to go up on the roof after dark to see this phenomena - very reluctantly. I was having memories of seeing the bats come out from under the bridge in downtown Austin many years ago and it "creeped me out" big time. I was ready to run if one of those things headed for me - even anywhere near me. I don't know why they creep me out, but they do.

It was an amazing sight. Actually they fly so fast that they look like supersonic jets and you just see a shape moving - not a face or wings. I found a photograph of a big bat in National Geographic. Had I seen THAT face while I was up on the roof, I wouldn't be here writing this today. Good grief what a scary face it had - needless to say, I didn't post the photograph.

I can truly say I have bats in my belfry - if the platform qualifies for that status and in my book, it does.

Yes I know they do good things. Yes I know they're good for the environment. Anything that ugly would have to have a purpose. I'm just glad they come out late at night when I don't have to look at them.

Guess I won't be having any late night dinners or rendevous on the roof terrace in the future. BUT I could have a bat watching party. Perish the thought.


Steve Cotton said...

In Melaque, I have both bats and bugs -- all in my belfry.

Jonna said...

Maybe the picture you saw was not the bats you have? The ones here are not that large, we have fruit and insect bats, and they have really cute little faces that look a lot like a little dog. Kind of like a little, brown pug dog. I think they are cute. They are probably none longer than 7" or 8" and many are smaller.

I've been pretty close to them when diving the cenotes, you surface with a foot or two of air in the cave and they are right there. Also, I have found one dead in the pool at the house.

I wish we had more of the bug eating kind and less of the fruit eating kind, the ones that eat fruit leave pretty bad stains on the walls of the house when they do those fly-by poops.

Calypso said...

I don't think the bats will mess with you and they will help reduce the bug population - however a lot of them can be more than a nuisance

Babs said...

Steve, I thought of a quick retort - but censored myself.....ha

Jonna - The idea of two kinds of bats is overwhelming. Especially after your description of fruit bats and their activities! YUK! And finding one dead in the pool is WORSE then finding a scorpion.... So cute is not on my radar - pardon the pun.

Calypso - As long as they stay up there and I'm down here - all will be well.

Michael Dickson said...

Babs, you are such a freaking wuss. Bats are great. You should rejoice at having these wonderful neighbors. We have a few sleeping in the roof tiles of our terraza, and we find little bat turds on the floor out there in some months. Like tiny stones, easy to sweep up. Yes, our guests are thoughtful with that.

And, yes, there are many types of bats of varying sizes. Some are as big as dogs, but you won´t find them in Mexico. I´m sure you´re happy to hear that.