Monday, October 21, 2013

My Devious Bat Plans

Posted by risma wanti at 3:10 PM
Planning. Planning is critical.

With my boyfriend's guidance regarding the proper use of power tools, this weekend I built the most basic of woodworking projects: A birdhouse. I also sent away for and received a kit for a bat house. I thought that I had read all the requirements for setting up a bat house, but apparently I had not. When I looked up what side of my house the the bat house should be located on, I discovered a problem:

Bat houses are supposed to be at least ten feet up in the air, and in full sun, but not in a tree or near a streetlight. That just isn't possible on my property. I'm going to do the best I can, but... well. I don't even have any proof that there are bats in the neighborhood. I suspect that there are, based on how much other wildlife I've seen.

On Sunday morning, I opened up the blinds in my office and startled a big buck whitetail deer. He bounded eight feet forward in his first shock of movement, then stopped to look at me. Then he hopped over my neighbor's fence without any visible effort and vanished through their yard. I know he was real; I found his tracks when I went outside.

I think he was moving through the easement that runs along the back of my property. A power line runs above it, and so the power company insists on keeping a six-foot swath of ground clear of fences and buildings. It's overgrown with honeysuckle and mulberry and escaped landscaping shrubs. I wonder if similar green spaces could be maintained for the sake of wildlife -- there are species who would not be able to use such a space, but others would, and it would be better than nothing.

I'm going to put up my bat box and my bird house. Maybe they won't help, but I can't stand to do nothing.

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