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"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is."
Maxim Gorky

Monday, August 13, 2012

2 visitors...1 lucky, 1 not so lucky

Yesterday morning I went out onto the deck and found a little brown bat who was dead.
My curiosity always gets the better of me in such manners
and so after making sure it was truly dead, I grabbed
a pair of good gloves and my camera (of course).
"The unexamined life is not worth living"
So says Socrates.
I couldn't agree more. To be able to have a close look at one of the
worlds most fascinating and stealth little creatures is a gift.
Look at it's little nose...almost looks like a dog nose...
We have them around here all summer but it's only for a fleeting moment that we see them
take off from their house and then in the twilight, they're gone.
See the tiny hook-like claw they have for climbing and crawling?
Like a little finger...
The German word for bat is 'fledermaus' flying mouse.
Something I never knew before is that they actually have another claw where a tail would be.
I imagine this is for hanging upside down purposes...
...look at those tiny wee feet!...
I gently spread her out on a blanket, knowing how powerful, yet delicate
their wings are...even in death, those little hooks clung to the blanket...
 how amazing is the fact that something so paper thin can fly for hours upon hours every night...
Don't forget that bats are one of the most valuable controllers
of mosquito's and eat something like 3,000 of them in a single night!
So as odd and as bad a reputation as they have remember
So #1 unlucky visitor but then in the late afternoon, while I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready
I saw something scurry across the floor.
It was one of our native lizards.
We used to see them all the time around here but I hadn't seen one in a few years.
So I called Tom to come and catch it so I could take photos (of course!).
You have to be careful when trying to catch these guys because they
are extremely fast and in defence their tale will break off so
they can escape. The remaining broken off piece will continue to twitch,
distracting the predator
while the lizard escapes and eventually regrows a new piece of tail.
Isn't nature extraordinary?!
Tom was quick and gentle and we put him/her down on the ground
to let it go.
Technically they are called Northern Alligator Lizards and are found only in South Western B.C.
Harmless little things...
It took one last look before scurrying off.
#2 visitor...lucky.
Still unclear of how it happened to be in the house but lucky I found it before the cat did!


Suz said...

Oh I share your wonder of these creatures...what could possibly have killed it? We have bats in Galena...they fly right over our heads....silently....I really appreciated seeing it up close
and that lizard...oh I love him...when I was a kid I wanted to be a herpitologist.(.sp?)
you are a good egg Farmlass

Mary said...

Oh i adore bats.. I wish they were huggable. Alas... i'm glad you got those photos, and i also agree with Socrates. :) He was right on! And yes, Rueben would have loved that little Alligator Lizard, and not in the huggable sense. lol.

Stone Angel said...

Such a wonderful little creature. Most of us do not get to esamine one so closely. Thanks for those wonderful photos.

the wild magnolia said...

A good close up of the little dead bat.

Yikes to the little bat and the lizard.

Happy new week.

Valerie Brown said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who takes the opportunity to examine and photograph the occasional poor little dead visitor from my garden! I love bats and herps - nice photos!

farmlady said...

Yes, isn't nature extraordinary? All of this living here with us, keeping the balance true.
What a wonderful(with some sadness) opportunity to see a bat up close. These are wonderful photos.
Lizards are my favorite creatures of the garden. Endless hours of entertainment for my dogs, who never seem to catch one... but love the chase.
Cats, on the other hand, usually do catch them... Bad Kittys!!
Hard to believe that a cat is quicker that this little reptile. I'm glad you saved this one.
All great photos.

Anonymous said...

no way! look at what you bring us!