Thursday, July 23, 2009


Where are all the bats?

Dallin Is Still Looking For Bugs Before The Movie

We had a big family movie night because Bree and Chip are visiting from Arkansas.

I love our projection machine.
The screen is bigger than just about any TV.

I Have An Arrow Showing Where
"The Bat Cave" Is Hiding.
There's a Fence Post On the
Far Left and a The Gate Is Down
I Can Stand Right There
And See The Cave's Entrance.

I started noticing that there were hardly any bats when the sun started setting last year. Where did they go?

We had an outdoor party with a movie and we all looked for for the hairy, brown bats and the bats were all Swifts (birds) everyone of them! We have plenty of food for them, flying bugs galore. I wish the bats would have eaten the Bark Beetle that came in my bathroom window and into my shower cap. I hate rodents, but these little varmits are so necessary to keep the flying mosquitoes and night fliers to a minimum. Visit....

I'm still afraid of bats not because of the folklore of them biting people or having rabies, but because they really look like mice or rats with wings.

It doesn't seem like summer without them flying around. The house was moved next to a couple big oak trees and we know that some bats probably lived in the trees and for sure in our old big barn. We hear the owls. Do the owls eat bats? I was always afraid the owls would take our baby kittens outside. Does the radar help the bats fly away from predators? I sound like Dallin--Mr. Nature Guide.

As long as I can remember, summertime has been full of playing with bats. I've never been afraid of rabies, but our folks watched us while we took tennis balls in a long stocking. Actually.. it was hosiery--now we have to cut a leg off because "panty" hose changed that. My children have played the-throw-the-ball-up for bats. It was the main reason I saved my runned pantyhose all winter to play with the bats in the summer.

Bats were everywhere and we'd stand out in the open, especially if the arena lights were on. We would throw the ball up in the air and try and catch a bat or trick it?? It's a bit weird to think about now, because we were trying to catch bats? I would have died if I actually caught one and run away screaming. It was still soooo fun to see them jump toward the ball and stocking.

We had a sick bat at the foot of our stairs at the end of the porch. Steve took his heavy-duty fire gloves that were on their way to the trash, to pick the bat up and put it in a canning jar. We took it to the Agriculture Department a few miles away. Santa Paula really is the center of the county's best agriculture. The bat was clean and really not sick. It must had bumped it's face and soooo the Aggie guys released it. We do have strict rules about bats and to never touch one that's on the ground.

My son was on the Federal Fire some years ago and their firehouse was old and on the base. Yes, it was infested with bats. I think a bat came back positive for rabies and Dustin had to have the shots. He said they were no big deal at all. We all hear that the shots are terrible, but he said it was just like any other and Dustin was glad the Navy took the precaution to treat the firemen. Actually, Dustin has a high tolerance for pain, so if he says the shots don't hurt. I'm not might hurt me!

The Cave Story

I did some mighty stupid things growing up here. "Double-dog -dare-you" was really the thing that got me to do the most mischief that I was always running toward.

The seven evils the Lord “hates” all seem to be associated with the failure to control our thoughts and words. These are “a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (
Prov. 6:17–19

I should have no business doing stuff like adventures with a dare. Ha hahaha, I heard that saying in the movie "Sand Lot" or "A Christmas Story" kid movie and thought,"Yeah, that's my childhood."

Okay, I pointed-out on my picture where the cave is on the bluff near the river or "crik" like it's just barely running a trickle of water now. Sooooo, the picture is from really far away, but the cave is still there. All I have to do is line it up. I even did a "three-point-fix" that my dad taught me. The river area was our playground with swimming pool in the deep shale and catching turtles and Helgramites were great. We got money for the Helgramites. That is THE BESTEST BAIT for trout and bass, ever! (Helgramites are the larva of Dobson Flies and you'll have to Google that one. They are about as ugly as the larve--they look like big termites)


Anyway, back to the cave wasn't quite summer, just a foggy, warm, fall Saturday morning and two of my friends and I decided to go to the "River" exploring. Getting wet was always okay, but we hopped the crik and went exploring on the other side. It's a large area of almost pristine wilderness against the overgrown bluff. This bluff is near the "Abrupt and Useless Bluffs" that really are one of the most scenic spots of Santa Paula.

We knew about this legend of the Spanish Gold tucked in the mountain that bordered the Santa Paula Creek. The Spanish were exploring here before the battle of 1812 and wanted to find a route to Ojai and then to Santa Barbara w/o going up the coast. I guess, like a short-cut. Yeah, it it is short-cut, but you have to be able to drive a car.

Okay, I'm a Spaniard and looking for a place to hide the heavy gold. The going is rough and they would come back for it. I actually have big proof that this happened, but my husband would die if he had to give up his cannon. Anyway, we were exploring the sides of the mountain and came across a hidden cave. It was hidden because the water had eroded it away toward the side. A person has to be at the right angle to see it. The cave was a super-large hole and narrow, but really tall and really high on the bluff. I would have to mountain climb in my Keds.

"I wanna' go up there." "But I'm not." Then... the "double-dog-dare-you" came from my friend. I think it was Paula Roina. (not sure) I was scared I would slide down, fall down, or meet-up with a bunch of rattlesnakes like my dad warned me about. I mentioned that and somehow was told by one of my friends, "When was there a rattlesnake in your yard?" Hahaha Do you think my dad told me every time he killed a rattlesnake. I wouldn't have gone outside.

Dollar bills came flashing through my mind and I scampered up the bluff, tennies full of sand and dirt and just pulling on roots and rocks to get me to the cave.

The mouth of the cave was huge! Like the "Cave of Wonders" and I could even smell inside. It seemed musty like our basement, but stinkier. I didn't have a flashlight, I didn't even have a stick, but I thought, "Whoa! This is really it!" and I pulled myself into the mouth of the cave.

Are you in suspense yet? Do you wonder what was there? It was black inside but moving and rustling. I thought maybe a bear was in there but it was a really steep climb. I just had put my body inside and I mean a huge monster of thousands of bats all together came flying out. It was so thick it look like one big animal. I may have fainted. I do remember scooting like a slide all the way to the bottom of the mountain-side. It was an avalanche of dirt that came with me and I sat at the bottom all by myself filled-up with dirt.

I looked across the river and saw our back, metal gate and then did a "Three point fix" my dad wouldn't believe me. I never did that again, but it's still there. Yes, my parents told me I was really dumb. I actually got grounded from a bunch of parties and football games.

We did have a bat in our house a couple years ago. I saw a brown leaf stuck to our center light in the living room. I kept thinking how does that leaf stay there? Then, it moved slightly and I screamed for my husband. I ran out-side. My mother walked up and said you are such a baby. Yes, I can take it now! I am a baby. She went inside and I could hear the scuffle. My mom screaming like a little girl and she ran out. Steve caught it and let it loose outside.

I'm going to try and get some bat houses set-up around the arena lights. Maybe the bats will come back and be fun for my grandchildren. Just watching them dance in the sky is beautiful. The fact that they are eating the West Nile Virus mosquitoes and flies are an extra plus. I need a bat plan!

Holy Bat-plan! Robin! Nah, how about Twilight Boxes? You think I could catch an Edward?

1 comment:

jenkinsfamliypost said...

that was a fun night i am thankful for all the time the kiely put into that to make it all happen.