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More Red Bat! Now, With Shmoos!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I don't know about you, but I think the world needs more red bat videos. To that end, I have three one-minute shots of delight. Movies 4 and 5 depict the second feeding session for the little juvenile red bat found helpless on her back on a sandy playground in Reno, Ohio. The feeding session in the first two videos was from the morning after she was found. She'd had a nice big feeding the evening before, and had presumably rested all night in her towel-padded Critter Keeper.

So the next morning it was wonderful to see how much more lively and capable she was. I had to cut the wasp grubs up the evening before; this time she handles an older pupa with alacrity. It did my heart so much good to see her gain strength.

We chopped the videos up into one-minute segments because Instagram will take only one-minute videos. Liam, again, is videographer.

One of the coolest things about bats, I think, is the way they seem to get that you're trying to help them. They struggle a bit, but shove a nice juicy grub in their mouth and they're all over it, thank you thank you! I will eat that! You won't get any argument from me! This is delicious! More, please!

I suspect that if I'd had to keep this bat longer; i.e. if it were mid-winter and not safe to release her for several months, she'd be the kind who'd probably sit on top of my glove, accepting food from the forceps, needing no restraint at all. I love it when they get to that point. 

But this little bat is on the fast track to release. All I wanted to do was build her up so she could fly again, and send her on her way, for it is the height of red bat migration now and she has a long way to go. I hope that wherever she ends up, it's not ruined by that pill Irma.

This next one, Red Bat Movie 6, is my favorite feeding video. It was taken the next evening, the evening of her release. As you can see I had quite a time restraining her--she was fast and strong and she wanted out! And you may need to watch it a couple of times. In trying to catch her I scared her, of course, and she HIDES HER EYES twice. Once she ducks her head into my glove and the second time she covers her eyes with her sweet little wings. Ohhhh. I can hardly stand it. 

If you can watch this last video, and still say you "hate bats," well, I'm afraid I'm giving up on you. 
Leave a comment that starts with "EEEEEW" on my Facebook page and poof! I will make it disappear. It's one of my few magic tricks. 

Because under that incredibly soft plush red fur, frosted silver, is an old soul with hopes and dreams and terror, too, in her wee breastie. All she wants is to fly up to the moon again, sometime soon. And in my next post, she will get her wish.

LOVE HER. Love her fiercely, tenderly, as I do. If you're here and watching, that's the way to go--toward the light. If you want to pass it on, show that last video to somebody who "hates bats." 

P.S. Dark, rainy morning here, September 14. Birches turning gold, heading into fall fast. Talking on the phone, looking out the studio window. At 7:58 AM, the female bobcat who's taken James' place zoops out from behind the spruce, picks up a chipmunk like you'd pick up a dropped wallet--casually, easily--and melts back into the woods with her breakfast without even putting the birds up off the feeder. It. Was. Awesome. We've gone from nine omnipresent and gluttonous gray squirrels to None. 
No. Squirrels. That's a natural balance I can get behind. And waay better than James ever achieved. :D 

Come to think of it, I haven't seen Notch the naughty bunny--a regular each morning at the feeders-- for a week. Damn. That's what I get for falling in love with a Shmoo.**

RIP Notch. In heaven, Julie's lettuce, geraniums and lobelias are planted right in the ground. You won't even have to climb up into the planters.

**Shmoos were the creation of Al Capp, the brilliant cartoonist/creator of Li'l Abner. My DOD, who loved sly social satire, used to read Li'l Abner aloud to us at the breakfast table. This Wiki link will tell you more than you need to know about Shmoos. 


Sweet. I love those little ears.

Love all three videos. And the commentary too.

A side note on the bobcat...could you send one our way. We have a lovely sunset maple that has hugely damaged limbs, and now with leaf die-off. ALL because of squirrels. I thought the tree had some disease, but--according to a tree care guy--no. Due to hungry squirrels stripping the bark during winter times when food is scarce to come by. Maples, with sweeter sap, make good eating for squirrels in winter! Who knew?
Hope the tree snaps back.
And I will await the shipment of said bobcat for squirrel control--not really, but it's a thought. However, a bobcat in suburbia would be an endangered thing.

Oh, I should have added--put me in the category of LOVES BATS.
I will send you an email with a bat story--not suitable for inclusion as a comment here.

My problem is that I love ALL the creatures (except for wasps and hornets, perhaps), and hate to see any suffer or die. RIP Notch, and the chipmunk, and Chet, and Ellen, and . . . .

(That's why the promise of a New Earth, Eden restored, is so powerful to me!)

I love bats! From the time I was little at our cottage in Canada, they would roost in the louvers of the cottage during the day and come out flying to feast on mosquitoes and flies at dusk. We would sit on our front deck and watch them. We were delighted to discover that we can catch a similar bat show in the evening in our back yard on Neil Avenue in urban Columbus. They seem to be living in the old 1904 barn next to our guest house and we can sit on the back porch and watch them fly over the lawn between our house and carriage house. One somehow got into our laundry room (perhaps through the dryer vent?) and that was an adventure. I knew he was in the laundry room somewhere and couldn't find him. Finally had the notion to lift up one of the pieces of artwork hanging on the wall and there he was - hanging upside down on the picture wire! He looked up at me as if to say, "Yeah, I'm here? What are you gonna do about it?" I put a trash can over the back of the picture to secure him and carried him out to the back yard and let him fly. Have always loved these fascinating little creatures.

I remember Shmoos....wish we had a bobcat. Squirrels are overrunning our barns now that the cows are gone. I don't suppose they are going to intersect with the Great Horned Owls much either.

Impossible to watch these without supplying the yum-yum-yum soundtrack. I'm amazed at your ability to calibrate grip strength, using huge gloves on a tiny squirming creature. Safe travels, Batty.

And the bat-on-picture-wire story above is just fabulous.

Sitting at the Busy Bee, having my breakfast as I watch this sweet little one devour her goodies. Noticed people curiously looking at my iPad screen from the other table, as enthralled as I. That's a really good thing! Aren't we lucky to live with the critters? And, my dad was a Lil Abner fan, too, along with Beetle Bailey.


Really looking forward to a happy ending. And I'm just going to believe that Notch is just away on vacation!

Everything about this post makes my heart sing...okay, except for Notch's likely fate (what a great bunny photo!). Though, everyone needs to eat, as this post truly shows, from parasites to the precious cinnamon bun, to bunny to bobcat. Love your Shila connection and how it extends beyond the usual. Kim in PA

And oh, I remember Lil Abner! Was introduced by my dad -- that and Pogo. Appreciated that he shared those unique tidbits with me along the way. Kim in PA

I love our bats! We have a full box for the first time and I love watching for them at night.

All I can say is squeeeeee. She's lovely and it's so much fun to watch her gobble up your offerings. Thank you and Liam for the videos.

I was a Shmoo once/ dance class 1947? Mom had to configure covered wire( for hoop skirts) into Shmoo shape & cover with sheeting. We were the hit if the night. 5 yr olds bobbing across stage!!Memories!!

I have just snorted and guffawed my way through these videos! I have no experience with bats up close but this is so amazing and adorable. What a transformation! From tired little Yoda, to mini yak baby, to frantic grub eating wiggler. I love it. Thanks so much.

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