Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bats and Beaks

As the evenings became crisp last fall, we removed the air conditioning unit from our bedroom window in preparation for a long winter.  Looking back now, I remember finding what appeared to be extra large mouse poops on the underside of the exterior portion.  It seemed odd, but I wasn't going to rule out giant mice on our rooftop.  Two years ago, there was one mouse in particular who used to roll acorns across our bedroom ceiling and then down the gutter drain spout.  I was very pregnant at the time and not sleeping well, so the sound was deafening to tired ears and completely inexplicable.

The air conditioner usually sees a few weeks of use every year.  Last night we decided the uncomfortable warmth was enough reason to pop out the screen and hoist the heavy machine halfway through the window opening to find some relief in a cool sleep.  We stuffed some old shirts into the spaces on either side of the unit to keep the bugs out of our bedroom.  Everyone slept well and would have woken feeling rested, except....I heard some flapping at about 3am.  Now, if this had been a rhythmic noise I would not have heard it.  Random flapping, on the other hand, is reason for alarm.  About an hour later my husband woke me up to say a bat had just brushed by his sleeping face.  We both army-rolled out of bed and spent the next half-hour catching and later safely releasing a very large brown bat.  What is it about bats that is so creepy?  I've been face-to-face with bear and moose, but this little flapping bat had me ducking with closed eyes.  I wish they would go live in the bat box we built instead of roosting on the air conditioner.  There must be something attractive about its vibration, like hundreds of friends flapping their wings as if to say, "come join the party!"

After the bat episode, I was too awake to go back to bed.  So, I began contemplating our bird issue.  We have too many foul spread around in separate housing and I need to consolidate before winter.  There are old layers (3) and a rooster living in the coop who are on yard duty, the younger layers (2) and pullets (4) are occupying a goat stall that I need available for breeding season, the Guineas (12) have a shed of their own, we have a batch of meat chickens (25) in a garage brooder, and finally there are two newly hatched chicks from our incubator project.  We'll see who makes the cut.

RI Red and Copper Maran cross

   These two are adorable already.  I've never watched an egg hatch and shared my daughter's amazement in the process.  There's nothing quite like reality to stave off kids' boredom. 

No comments:

Post a Comment