|new bat house|
Photo by J. Harrington
On Summer evenings, we often see bats flying and feeding over the wet spot in our back yard. For years we had a bat house in an oak tree next to our deck. Eventually, the branch holding the bat house died, fell down, and took the bat house with it. The Son-In-Law person built a new bat house (the old one had been "store boughten") and we installed it where it should be more visible to our furry, flying friends. One of these days I'll stroll up the hill and see if there are any signs under the house that bats have moved in, now that it's been up for a couple or three years.
|"new" bat house after weathering|
Photo by J. Harrington
This past Summer, a new (to Minnesota) species of bat was discovered in Arden Hills. That will make eight species but I don't know how many times the new species will have to be seen before it counts as a Minnesotan. Shortly after we moved into our house, we discovered a bat. It was flying around the bedroom ceiling and the downstairs family room. I decided that a firearm might do more harm than good and retrieved a large fishing net from the garage while the Better Half monitored the invader's location. After a few missed swipes, the bat was entangled in the net, transported outside and released. At least that's how I recall my brave response to the situation. I suspect the bat was considerably more scared than the humans.
How to Love Bats
Begin in a cave.Listen to the floor boil with rodents, insects.Weep for the pups that have fallen. Later,you’ll fly the narrow passages of those bones,but for now —
open your mouth, out will fly nameslike Pipistrelle, Desmodus, Tadarida. Then,listen for a frequencylower than the seep of water, higherthan an ice planet hibernatingbeyond a glacier of Time.
Visit op shops. Hide in their closets.Breathe in the scales and dustof clothes left hanging. To the underwearand to the crumbled black silks — well,give them your imaginationand plenty of line, also a night of gentle wind.
By now your fingers should havetouched petals open. You should have been dreamingeach night of anthers and of givingto their furred beautyyour nectar-loving tongue. But also,your tongue should have been practising the coldof a slippery, frog-filled pond.
Go down on your elbows and knees.You’ll need a spieliologist’s desire for rebirthand a miner’s paranoia of gases —but try to find within yourselfthe scent of a bat-loving flower.
Read books on pogroms. Never trust an owl.Its face is the biography of propaganda.Never trust a hawk. See its solutionsin the fur and bones of regurgitated pellets.
And have you considered the smokeyet from a moving train? You can starthalf an hour before sunset,but make sure the journey is long, uninterruptedand that you never discoverthe faces of those Trans-Siberian exiles.
Spend time in the folds of curtains.Seek out boarding-school cloakrooms.Practise the gymnastics of web umbrellas.
Are youfloating yet, thought-light,without a keel on your breastbone?Then, meditate on your bones as piccolos,on mastering the thermalsbeyond the tremolo; reverberationsbeyond the lexical.
Become adeptat describing the spectacles of the echo —but don’t watch dark cloudspassing across the moon. This may lead youto fetishes and cults that worship false godsby lapping up bowls of blood from a tomb.
Practise echo-locating aerodromes,stamens. Send out rippling octavesinto the fossils of dank caves —then edit these soundtrackswith a metronome of dripping rocks, heartbeatsand with a continuous, high-scaled wonderingabout the evolution of your own mind.
But look, I must tell you — these instructionsare no manual. Months of practicemay still only win you appreciationof the acoustical moth,hatred of the hawk and owl. You may need
to observe further the floating black hostthrough the hills.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.