For several years I wrote a gardening article for my Neighborhood Assoc. monthly newsletter. Here's one that I thought of when I saw this message about the bats. I wrote this in 2003 but I wanted to share this great experience we had with bats in our backyard.
Some people don't realize how much wildlife you can find in your own yard and in the neighborhood. We've been lucky to not have to endure massive construction in Vickery Place, which is a major cause in destroying that fragile balance between human and nature's co-existence. I'd like to share some of my family's experiences and others that I've heard in the last few days.
About 2 weeks ago (mid-June) a storm blew in with gusts of wind up to 60mph. It blew out the electricity in my part of the neighborhood for several hours. While in the backyard around 5pm or so, my son yelled that he had found a bat! Sure enough, a beautiful Red Bat and her 3 babies had been blown out of our magnolia tree and landed hard enough to knock out the mom, but all seemed to be alive. We carefully lifted them with a shovel (mom may bite to protect her young) to a protected, open-ended container so the dog wouldn't trample them. That night, the mom eventually came to and left but returned that night and subsequent nights to get her babies, one by one. Apparently, the babies were newborn (only about 2-3 inches long) and were clinging to mom because of the storm. They are insect eaters and live only in trees and not actual structures like an attic or garageâ€¦and they are in your neighborhood. (http://www.batcon.org/discover/species/lboreal.html
) to learn more.
I've also heard stories about red foxes that have seen for quite awhile in the neighborhood not to mention the abundance of birds, frogs, mammals and amphibians of all kinds. The fox to the left was spotted in late June on Kenwood St. in Lakewood
I encourage everyone to do a few simple things that will surely add a level of awe and peace to your hectic life:
Ã˜ Take a chair to your backyard just before dusk. Sit, listen and watch.
Ã˜ Remember, you don't have to know the species of bird you're hearing to enjoy its song.
Ã˜ Go to a used or new bookstore and pick up field guides about caterpillars, butterflies, bird, mammal, amphibians even bugs! It's a lot of fun to be able to identify the things that are around you and can become a family event. Field guides are great because they are small in size, very detailed information with great photos or illustrations for easy identification. I picked up all of mine at used bookstores for a few dollars each.
Ã˜ Encourage wildlife on your property. Plant trees and shrubs that provide food and protection for birds. Put up birdhouses maybe even bat houses! Eliminate the chemicals that you use on your lawn and planting areas to encourage healthier soil and its complex system of microorganisms.
Ã˜ Go organic! No better way to encourage the return of wildlife that are now repelled by the chemicals.
Thanks for letting me share this with you and I hope you all find the time to site quietly and watch the fireflies light up the night. Don't forget to water the trees on the parkway! Sometimes they are missed by the sprinklers, so pull a hose to them and turn the water on to a slow trickle and leave it there until it has been saturated. Summers are critical for trees that are 2-3 years old and younger.