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Garden Allies: Bats

Articles: Garden Allies: Bats

One day, when I was seven years old, my researcher father returned from doing fieldwork in a bat colony and I discovered a tiny, terrified bat trapped in the car door. I anxiously watched as my dad gently rescued it. Ever since, I have had an affinity for this often-maligned creature and bat stories punctuate my life. There was the time, perched high on a ladder, when I was tearing old sheetrock off a wall and startled a colony of bats as I uncovered their home, or a hot summer night, windows wide open, when a bat careened about our living room catching insects before leaving as suddenly as it entered. I remember an evening drive down a long dirt road watching dozens of bats swoop through our headlights catching their dinner; an auto supply store where a colony of bats improbably emerged at dusk from a sliver of a gap between the wall and a sign; or reading Stella Luna to a small boy, who has grown up to be a man who appreciates bats.

Little brown bat (Myotis lucifugous) Illustration: Craig Latker

It is always a pleasure to watch bats swoop through the air as they scoop up their insect dinner—a single lit...


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