So far this bat season, I've been traveling the perfect amount to feel like I'm out and about in the world, without losing all touch with home. Last week, I was working in Tennessee again, and accidentally captured this Indigo bunting in my bat net. We try not to have our nets up during the day-light hours, so we don't capture many birds, but this little guy must have been out late and managed to get caught. Untangling birds from mist nets takes patience, especially when they are struggling and fighting like this one was. Once he was free, he was kind enough to pose for a picture before flying away at top speed.
We captured a pregnant tricolor bat around midnight. She was so pregnant that she looked like she swallowed a couple of marbles. She weighed in at nine grams, which is heavy for a bat like her, but nine grams is about the weight of a quarter and dime. As tiny as she is, she will probably give birth to two pups, and nurse them for about a month before they are old enough to fly and forage on their own.
While working in this small town, we dined at a restaurant associated with a giant metal sculpture. We were standing in the parking lot, gazing at the art work and reading the various words that are incorporated into the piece, when a laughing local lady getting in her car commented that we were working awful hard at it. This art was obviously years in the making, and had recognizable objects and symbols throughout. I asked the lady "What does it mean?" and she said, with confidence, "It don't mean nothing." Ha!
Vibrant blue birds, pregnant flying mammals, massive sculpture hidden in small towns, and brilliant pink sunsets reflected in farm ponds - sometimes it's good to get out and about.