Last night my son ran into the room and told me that a bat was flying through the hallway. I laughed and asked him to show me where the bat was, thinking that it may be a joke or a large moth. My son told me the bat was in the Rumpus room (kids play room) so I went in there and looked around, chuckling to myself about my son’s imagination. While I looked I heard Kitty call me quietly from upstairs. I yelled out that I was looking for something, but asked if it was urgent. She said it was indeed urgent. It was then that I realised her voice had a strange tone to it, and I also realised that the “bat” was indeed real and would have logically flown upstairs. I rushed up the stairs and was greeted by Kitty and my other two children looking nervous outside our Master Bedroom. Kitty told me that she had locked a bat in our bedroom and could I get rid of it. I laughed at how funny that sounded, and at how she had locked a bat into the one room she would not want a bat locked in.
I entered the room as quickly as I could. The bat was small, with a wingspan no longer than 30cm. It was flying in circles around the centre light of the room, emitting periodic high pitches squeaks. I stood in the room and considered how I would catch the animal. I grabbed my work pants and removed a gardening glove from the pocket. I then took removed the jumper I was wearing and held it in both hands so that I might catch the bat within. As I put the sweater up to catch it the bat dove dramatically to the ground and hit the floor. It didn’t move and I was worried it had killed itself. I picked it up, carefully, with the gloved hand and it suddenly came to life, trying to bite my fingers. Seeing it’s tiny, yet sharp, teeth I was grateful that I had the foresight to wear the glove, which protected my fingers.
As I had a good grip on the mammal I called my family into the room to get a good look at it. I even stroked it’s fur, which felt like a mouse’s coat. After a few photos were taken, I took the animal outside to release it into the night. When I opened my hand to let it go it would not fly. It curled up and seemed to be quite happy to stay on my hand. I took a few more photos before it finally decided to take off into the night.
Another interesting thing happened with animals at my property a couple of days ago. I was in the garden, feeding the rabbits, when I thought I might take a moment to check on my pumpkin plants… just to admire their growth. I noticed that one of the pumpkin flowers had something dark within it’s stem. I looked closer and I could see two bumble bees stuck down in the stem, with their backs against the Stamen. It looked like the bees had climbed down simultaneously and had become stuck at the bottom. I could not stand by while these creatures died in their attempts to fertilise my plants. I like bumble bees, they are (for those of you who have never seen one before) like big fat bees. They don’t usually sting (well, no one has been stung at my house) and they seem very sociable.
I recall when Kitty and I first saw a bumblebee… we had been living at our home here for around 6 months, and when spring came we encountered our first bumble bee. Kitty freaked out when the insect flew around her head, she could not believe the size of it.
Seeing these two in trouble, I split open the petals of the pumpkin flower and removed them one at a time. I took a few photos to document this strange occurrence. They were both acting very strangely on my palm when I held them. They would not fly away and instead spend minutes stretching out their legs. I eventually placed them amongst the pumpkins so they could wait there till they recovered.