We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Remember when Calvin insisted to his teacher that "Bats are birds"? (Correction - thanks, reader. I guess it was "Bats are bugs...". I was wrong again! That makes wrong twice in one week.)
New England is the home to around 7 species of bats, all nocturnal insectivores and most with some migratory habits.
Our most common bat is the Little Brown Bat (photo above) often found sleeping behind shutters or in crevices in sheds and attics during the summer and early fall. We had one who got into the house a few years ago. We managed to scoot him out a window. Wonderful - no, miraculous little critters, but worth keeping away from because they can carry rabies.
I noticed seeing very few bats around at twilight this year. I miss them dodging, diving, and ducking around in their bug-catching aerial antics. I checked it out. It turns out that there is a contagious bat disease in the Northeast. Whether this fungal infestation is the cause, or an effect of something else, is still not certain. It's a damn shame.
I hope their populations bounce back in my lifetime because these silent fluttering critters are one of the delights of the evening sky around here.
We used to have mucho guano in the garages and the barn loft. It was a pain to sweep up. Zero this year. We did find one dead bat covered with a white fungus. I'm worried they won't survive as a species in NNE and that would be a tragedy because that black guano was largely digested mosquitoes; probably millions. The birds have left early this year and the dragonflies, bless their eyes, are doing their best to keep the bugs down. I blame the cold wet spring for thje "climate change" we've experienced this year.
No such pestilence threatens the two most numerous species in New England, however. The Ding and Moon varieties are thriving.
When I worked a summer in the Pejebscot Paper Company cutting mill (An old, frame factory near Topsham, ME) many moons ago, we used to hunt them with nets on 2nd shift. I never "bagged" one, but fellow batmen occasionally would capture one and set it free outside.
Roy ... What a good idea! Thanks for the tip. We haven't had a bat in the house for all of my adult life, but we did more than once when I was a child, necessitating a great kerfuffle, with "the women" sequestered in a bedroom, with their heads wrapped in towels, my Dad, armed with a tennis racquet, braving the hazards of being flown at by the little creature as he herded him out of the open window.