That Nature Show: Going Batty for Bats

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This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks! Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you. 

If it’s bats to like bats, I don’t want to be right.

I mean, c’mon, these are little flying mammals! Adorbs!  Tiny mouselike paws, fur, wings…and echolocation? Meaning they can “see” at night by sending out sound waves? Totally sci-fi! Am I right?

If I told you there were mole-ish or mouse-ish creatures in my world (in fact, the German word for bat is fledermaus) that could fly at night because they could see through sound waves, you would look at me and you’d make the “screw is loose” hand gesture. But there you have it. They exist. The world has magic in it.

Here’s the science of sound as vibration. If you’re into it, follow that link to learn more about physics, vibration, acoustics, the specialized shape of bats ears. Me? Pshaw. I am no scientist. I’m just a suburban housewife of a certain age. I just think the little stinkers are cute.

We have ten species of bat in Maryland; my mother-in-law does not count or we’d have eleven.  Their common names are charming. Take for instance, the Eastern Small-footed Bat. (It must be dainty. It probably can scoop up great shoes on sale. Whereas my size, size 8, is everybody’s size and nothing any good is left at Nordy’s Half Yearly sale. There’s also the Evening Bat (like your gal pal who always wants to go out). The Big Brown Bat. And my personal favorite, the Silver Bat. It’s what I am heading toward in my dotage.



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