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My time with the bat


My time with the bat

My time with the bat

The day in late July would bring us more extreme heat, surrounded by an extra layer of thick, heavy humidity.  Another day in the Monsoon season, amid the dramatic landscape that is the desert southwest.

The storms were likely crashing the scenery to our southeast, leaving Tucson, with just plain, wicked heat.

Family had just arrived in town and they met me at the bridge at Campbell and River Road.  Not the usual family vacation destination.

Bat looking toward the bat flight and a beautiful sunset

We would be joined by my wildlife biologist friend, Eric Peffer.  

Underneath the bridge, a crowd was gathering, as Eric began an excellent introduction to one of the cities bat hangouts.  An estimated 10,000 Mexican Free Tailed bats reside at this location.   

The bat colony would send out a few scouts to determine the direction of the wind.  Much easier to soar into the wind than with the breeze.  

This is the time of the year that the newborn are taking their first flight.  This flight is a challenge as the little ones have to drop from the thin opening that is between the cement beams that they call home.  They have about 20 feet to learn to fly or they become part of the food chain.  Unless of course, we step in.

Sunset from under the bridge

The runt of a family did not make his/her first flight and ended up on the ground below.  We watched the little guy drag himself along the ground, knowing that he would not be able to gain flight and that he would likely not survive the night.  

I was surprised when Eric picked the bat up.  He would explain that the bat was not old enough to bite (the rabies issue).  Being nature minded and leaning toward adventurous, I would also hold the bat.

Eric would deliver the bat to a friend who transported him to a wildlife refuge.  The last we heard he is one of 3 or 4 bats that have been dropped off recently.

Bats in the bridge, before flight

Short section of the bat flight

Bat Flight at the Campbell/River Bridge



Photo of the Week - January 26 - February 1, 2015 - 'Rain in the Desert'

Photo of the Week - January 26-February 1, 2015
'Rain in the Desert'

Record rain fall pounded the Tucson area this week.  Much needed, but the search for stellar photos was horribly hampered.  Records fell as a Pacific storm unleashed 1.39 inches on Friday(January 30), and another 1.41 inches drenched the city on Saturday(as of 6pm). These 2 days would contribute about 1/4 of our yearly total. A drop in the bucket, for my previous residence in the rain forest of Sitka, Alaska.
U.S. Weather Data working overtime reveals Sitka with 87+ inches of rain a year with 33 inches of snow fall.  

Mt. Lemmon, rising above the city, would receive 5.4 inches of liquid sunshine (term borrowed from Washington).
This rare occurrence must be a sorry sight for those seeking the desert during Superbowl week, 2+ hours of pavement from Tucson.  

A unique, missed photo, of a coyote out my window, was my flash of nearly good fortune amongst dreary weather and a week of blood sugars that were not among my best, and were keeping me somewhat caged indoors.  I fired the camera 3 or 4 times as the coyote passed my point of view.  It would have been classic stuff since Canis latrans had some interesting behavior.  
Guess my camera settings had been 'nudged' as the photos were total black.   The setting might have worked had a lightening strike hit at the exact time as I had taken the photos. 

The rain began to fall on Friday and I watched it rain.  And rain.  And rain some more.  The water began to spill onto the deck and seep toward the house.  When water begins to create an H2O imprint in the desert then it is photo time.  I grabbed the camera and caught many photos including the one at the top of the page.