The Knights of the Night

BabyBat

“The greatest threat to our planet is
the belief that someone else will save it.”
Robert Swann

“Mother Earth” By Karliene:

 

“The future of humanity and indeed
all life on Earth depends on us.”
David Attenborough

“Elements” by Lindsey Stirling:

 

“Carnival of the Animals: VII” by Saint-Saëns (courtesy of Anna Vidyaykina)

 

Halloween being just around the corner, my thoughts have turned to bonfires and to the atmospheric darkness of autumn nights, and then to bats.  If you should venture out after dark and hear some spooky sounds, you may find this will put your mind at ease (courtesy of AV Productions):

 

“Berceuse” by Gabriel Fauré (courtesy of Adagio Trio):

 

One October a few years ago, extreme climate changes which occurred in many places on Earth resulted in the catastrophic deaths of thousands of bats in Queensland, Australia. Not able to withstand temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius high, the bats plummeted to the ground. The volunteers from an animal rescue centre rushed to save as many babies as possible. Trish Wimberley, the wonderful woman who set up the Wildlife Trauma Centre, brought up bat babies, thus not only saving the next generation of these important mammals but also providing a unique study into their intelligence, self-awareness and their ability to connect with their carer.

The fact that they are so very cute also helps to raise our determination to insist that governments worldwide start taking our concerns seriously, and stop industrialisation everywhere and anywhere (Amazon forest fires) and building on the green belt here (UK), among many other places in other countries. When we destroy Earth, it will be too late to then realise that we can’t eat money or cement.

BabyBats

YawningBat

“The Truth About Bats” (courtesy of Wandering Path Productions):

 

The folklore of many countries includes bats. Sometimes their flesh was used as a cure for various ailments, sometimes as part of witchcraft ceremonies, as in Shakespeare’s Macbeth (here courtesy of Monstrous TV):

 

Then there is the malicious association with Count Dracula, and a more accurate one as a weather prediction –  bats flying early in the evening mean a good next day ahead. The name originated from Scandinavia but was also associated with a ‘flying mouse’ as in German – Fledermaus. Now we know that appearance is misleading since bats are genetically closer to humans than to mice.

Some batty beliefs! (courtesy of Wild Witch’s Cottage):

 

Lewis Carroll wrote in Alice in Wonderland, one of my favourite childhood books:

“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a teatray in the sky.”

Courtesy of Jiipygmi;

 

Apart from birds, bats are the only warm-blooded creatures that manage to take to the air. There are two groups of bats: those who feed on fruit and flowers and those who eat insects. The bats in the former group use smell to locate food, but insect-eating bats use echolocation. They fold their wings like vellum umbrellas, and they can see in the dark, despite having quite poor vision, because they can navigate safely by emitting high-pitched sound-squeaks that ‘bounce’ off anything in their way. There are many types of bats, and all of them are fascinating. Their flying ability allows them the freedom of travel. In Australia, the only creature that came from the outside was a bat, and the forensic examination of the fossil of one bat proved that it arrived millions of years ago from France.

How bats hunt (courtesy of BBC Earth):

 

To some people, bats seem ugly because of their hairy faces, leathery wings with elongated fingers and bodies that closely resemble those of mice. To me, they are not only beautiful but extraordinarily well-designed. The skin membrane between the fingers allows them to fly, and the folded wings provide safety when they sleep upside-down, hanging by their claws. On the ground, they are clumsy because their knees bend backwards which makes walking difficult. All bats have a good set of teeth and large ears, useful for echolocation. There are 950 species of bats in the world but in Britain, there are just: Pipistrelle, Horseshoe Bat, Brown Long-eared Bat, Natterer’s Bat and Noctule Bat and a few others. The female nurses her baby while flying, an amazing achievement as the baby is a quarter of her weight. Females only start breeding after they are several years old and they have an unusual system of delayed fertilisation. If they are not in tip-top condition in the spring, they can prevent fertilisation by keeping sperm separated from the eggs after mating.  Bats live a surprisingly long life, about 30 years or more.

All about bats! (courtesy of WildlifeWatchUK):

 

Bat Sense (courtesy of Nature Video):

 

The 11th-century market town where I live nestles alongside the Grand Canal. In summer, just after dusk, you can see groups of low-flying bats busy hunting for insects that are plentiful above the waterways. A small bat can devour 3000 insects in one night. It is necessary for the bats to gain as much fat as possible to be safe during the harsh winter months. After feasting as much as possible in autumn, when cold weather arrives and insects become scarce, bats hibernate. They like cool places like caves, abandoned mine shafts, barns or even attics of old houses and churches, as long as the places are quiet with a stable temperature and no draughts.

The woman who lives with 500 bats (courtesy of Beastly):

 

To me, these enchanting nocturnal creatures symbolise the countryside, longevity, continuity and peace. They even feature on the family crests of two heraldic families: the Wakefields and the Heyworths. At Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, there is even a beautiful carving of a flying bat on the staircase. Bats in Britain are now fully protected, Just as well because the continuing loss of their habitat and the changing climate poses a threat to the future of these fascinating creatures. Long may they prosper.

“Hedwig’s Theme” by John Williams (courtesy of Taylor Davis):

 

Ghost Choir (courtesy of Louie Zong):

 

Here is my picture of some of my friends, bat included.

“Scarborough Fair” by Celtic Borders (courtesy of Brian Horton):

 

As we are close to Hallowe’en, which itself originates from the Celtic festival Samhain which marked the end of harvest and the start of wintertime, it is fitting to reflect on new beginnings and renewal, and to remember and honour those loved ones who have passed on (courtesy of Alpenrose):

 

“Saturn” by Sleeping At Last:

 

Curiously enough, COP26, the UN global climate summit in Glasgow will begin on All Hallows Eve (31st October) this year. It is seen as being crucial in determining whether climate change can be brought under control. “If we don’t act now, it’ll be too late.” That’s the warning from Sir David Attenborough ahead of this conference.

Courtesy of BBC News:

 

“Les Semences de L’Espoir” (Seeds of Hope) by Stephen Sicard (courtesy of Andreea Petcu):

 

46 thoughts on “The Knights of the Night

  1. Unusual and warming. This has to be seen to believe. Will come again for this.

    Narayan x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Narayan, I will wait until you do before thanking you properly.

    Joanna

    Like

  3. Well Joanna, for creators sometimes, it is good to feel. Not think, as images invoke intuition. Proper is subjective. Thanks.

    Narayan x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Narayan, for your generous comment. I did a lot of thinking, so the people who are taking part in the Global Warming Summit.

    Joanna

    Like

  5. These wildlife creatures catch my attention.!!! Thanks for sharing
    Anita

    Like

  6. Thank you, Anita, for your kind comment, If we don’t follow the warnings of so many experts, there wont be any wildlife to admire.

    Joanna

    Like

  7. Thank you again, Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  8. Wow, aren’t they wonderful creatures! As always, you’ve presented an organised, fascinating post that makes one appreciate biodiversity and see past its exteriors. It was wonderful reading about different types of bats and how they thrive amidst rough conditions. Loved all thr quotes, musical pieces and photographs. Sir David Attenborough is a big inspiration 🙏 He is my favourite environmentalist.
    Indeed as you said, long May the bats live!
    Enjoyed this fabulous presentation greatly. 👌 I’ve never taken the time to appreciate bats before but your post has opened my eyes. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Dear SamSahana, may I say that I love you! I almost lost hope that any of my Indian readers would like my post with bats, but also with
    Sir David Attenborough, who was ignored, although is is going to head the Global Warming Summit starting this Sunday.
    Thank you for your wonderful comments! You made my day!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you again, Dear SamSahana. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  11. It’s a pleasure to read your intriguing posts. I’m genuinely excited to know what comes of the G20 summit this year. Just saw a video of our PM landing in Rome. It’s such an important meeting, particularly one that would intrigue us, the younger folks.

    Oh, I don’t think bats have a particularly negative connotation in India. I don’t see why you thought we wouldn’t appreciate it. It’s just that bats spread diseases and we are wary of it- Ebola, now covid, etc..
    Really enjoyed this post 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you, SamShana, for your spirited defence, but the only comment so far was obvious that the reader was not interested even in Sir David
    Attenborough’s views. By the way bats have nothing to do with the covid or Ebola!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  14. One more gem from you, Joanna. The way you have dealt with this issue is truly fascinating. It may also act as an eyeopener. Bat is a creature, the importance of which is not yet known to many. In fact, there are certain myths too. One is that if a bat brings bad omen, when it enters house or flies around, as it brings death in the family. But such myths, like others, hold no water now.

    Bats are unique, they fly like a birds and hibernate like amphibians, while their characteristics are similar to mammals. I came to know from you that they can prevent fertilisation. I understand that most bats have only one pup a year, and that may be one of the reasons for extinction of some species of bats. Their importance for climate preservation can’t be underestimated. You have given a very appropriate title, “Knights of the Night.”

    I loved every letter of the quote, “if we don’t act now, it’ll be too late.” I do hope that something concrete will come out of Glasgow conference. Your videos are unique and quite interesting, as always. Thank you, Joanna for one more marvellous post.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dear Kaushal, I am almost crying with happiness that you liked this post! As I love all animals I was that not aware that not
    everyone likes bats. I do hope or rather expect that the Summit will bring some fundamental changes. On the BBC News it was reported that the less wealthy countries will be offered 150 millions each to change from using coal to more advance technology,
    to build less, and to plant much more trees. Everyone eminent in in agreement that we must act now. But as always there are bad signs – the cavalcade of big cars that were brought by air by Americans, is just one.
    By nature I am optimistic and think, that we still have a chance to save Mother Earth, and us from disaster.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you again, Dear Kaushal, I appreciate your comments greatly.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I always enjoy reading about the world/nature/animals through your posts! Thanks for sharing this. It was a pleasure to read ❤️🙏🤗🌹

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you, Diana, for your wonderful comments!! It is indeed my pleasure to write for readers like you!

    Joanna

    Like

  19. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated, Diana!

    Joanna

    Like

  20. You begin this post with the cutest picture! They are wonderful creatures just as all earth’s creatures are, and of course, this weekend is the start of COP26, so an appropriate time to publish this post!
    I once met a lady at a wildlife discussion who excused herself because she had to “feed her bat”!!! That left the rest of us bemused but after the break, she demonstrated and explained the rather unusual necklace she was wearing! Tucked down inside her blouse on the end of the necklace was a little pouch and inside was a tiny bat which she was keeping at body temperature. The lady was a bat nurse, a volunteer with the local bat society. We were all amazed to meet this little fragile creature for a very short time. I think we all changed our ideas about bats on that day. I didn’t meet that lady again so I don’t know if it survived. I hope it did.
    Thank you, Joanna, for another amazing post! Enjoy what’s left of the weekend and don’t forget to put the clocks back! 💐💖🎋💝🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Than you, Ashley, for your wonderful comments!! You are a born writer, and I love your essay on the end of Autumn!
    What a lovely story about having a wildlife discussion, and the baby bat that had changed your perception about them.
    I am very much interested in COP26, as I watched today documentary on BBC News about people living in countries like India with temperatures reaching almost 50 degrees. In New Delhi and other places, and it is very debilitating.
    I do hope that the people there will continue, as some started now, to plant the trees, but it will take 20 or 30 years to have the results.
    In the meantime blocks of ice are being sold to people and shops to cool people down.
    Yes, I will remember to reset all the clocks in my house!

    Joanna

    Joa

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  23. They are adorable little creatures! Agreed, the summit is indeed pivotal to our continued existence. We can only hope that the majority of representatives are more concerned with the survival of future generations than money and power. Blessings to you, Joanna. 🌞

    Like

  24. You’re welcome, Joanna. I think your apprehension was not misplaced, as a lot of misgivings are still there about bats, particularly after the outbreak of covid. I’m hopeful that things will change for the better, and the outcome of the summit will be crucial for all of us.

    Like

  25. It’s my pleasure, Joanna!

    Like

  26. Thank you, Lisa, for your wise and generous comments!! I do hope that it will be the case as the world is watching.
    Perhaps even China will agree. All the best to you too, Lisa.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you again, I greatly appreciate.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you, Kaushal, we will watch the Summit. The bells in the whole of the UK are going to ring to underline
    the importance of this Summit. St. Paul’s cathedral’s were the first.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I think that I should mention Wuhan, the lab and the hellish market with animals, including bats, waiting to be killed. The later investigation was suppressed. And Professor Gupta of the Cambridge University agreed that we might never know the truth. In the meantime 5 million people have died and keep on dying.

    Joanna

    Like

  30. A beautiful and inspiring post, Joanna! I enjoyed learning more about bats. The bat rescue segment had gorgeous and endearing photos. I enjoyed the video with the story about the potato farmer who came to appreciate the bats on his property. Education really is the key to preserving life on earth and the balance of nature.

    Iguanas, one of Florida’s many alien species could not tolerate the unusual cold spell we had one year, and many of them died. The school where I was teaching had a large population of iguanas; one eight-foot-long iguana could often be seen sunning itself by the front door of the middle school building. “Coach,” found one unconscious iguana and put it in his car, where the warmth of the sun returned it to normal and allowed it to survive.

    I have high hopes for the climate summit. One of the greatest embarrassments for the US was when we withdrew from the summit the last time around. A person with no vision, no compassion, and no spirit of global cooperation has no business leading any country. After inspiring an insurrection, he is still playing the evil pied piper to his deluded followers. May he fade away, the sooner, the better! I am hoping that the climate summit can make a much-needed transformation in the way we treat the planet, and I am proud that the US is once again a part of the effort.

    JoAnna, you have published another post infused with history, culture, the beauty of nature, and hope for the future. Thank you. ❤

    Like

  31. Thank you, Dear Cheryl, for your most wonderful comments. I love to learn something new, and to read your view on the hapless
    Trump with I share. I am following the Summit with a great hope, and to think even that bats or iguanas could not be here or our future generations could not survive is heartbreaking.

    Joanna

    Like

  32. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated,

    Joanna

    Like

  33. They can live upto 30 years wow, and eat insects. Perfect. News. Only after reading this post i felt that apart from owls i would like to have them as pets later in life.

    To me Joanna, this is an astonishing period in the history of mankind as not only common people, but the people in power are trying to find a way for the world ahead. And because of this coming together, we also know who are not together. They should be singled out and must be put to scrutiny. Even though evils are stronger temporary forces and are the ones who cause change.

    This compilation on everything on bats is more than fascinating. I have had quiet a few personal encounters with them, amongst really heart wrenching one. And i am certain, after reading this account by Joanna, we readers have grown and gone closer towards them, in knowing them, rather embracing them in which ever way they come from now onwards. The unknown, uncalled for fear is gone. In Central Delhi, they fly in hundreds of numbers by dusk. Their sound, their sight is welcoming, more so that i have never heard even a single account of them attacking anyone, any other specie or human.

    I thank you for providing us with this useful for life information on these beautiful birds. I did not know even that they were warm blooded. This makes me happy. Thank you.

    I hope David Attenborough, in coming years do a little more, his words are as important as any others on this planet. And if he can create a way to bind people in a manner it hasn’t been done to safeguard our resources of nature. Our planet needs a leader and his voice is already leading us all.

    Thank you for being you, as always. Very precious essay.

    Narayan

    Like

  34. Thank you, Narayan, for your wonderful comments! It seems that many readers discovered how interesting bats are.
    The Summit is of the greatest importance to everyone who lives on our planet. You are right that some countries are not joining the rest of the world, China and Russia. I hope they will.

    Joanna

    Like

  35. Thank you again, Narayan. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Like

  36. They will not.

    Thank you.

    Like

  37. I think the economical sanctions might persuade them. We should stop buying goods from China.
    Also there is a new technology to change into green one from fuels used now.

    Joanna

    Like

  38. Fascinating and informative post Joanna and I can see why you find bats so extraordinarily!

    Like

  39. Thank you, Henrietta, for your kind comments. They are amazing!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  41. what a beautiful compilation of your heartfelt love of these adorable creatures and education with your videos and history shared. They are vital to our ecosystem and keep the mosquitos at bay. Those pictures at the rescue were soooo darn cute.
    With that said we had soooo many bats living under our shake roof at our lake house that is was crazy and the guano is quite toxic. I have a long story about my husband getting bit by one in our bedroom which was terrifying because we couldn’t trap the bat to test it. He got all of the shots to be sure they didn’t have rabies. Percentages are low but if you are the one that gets them and you don’t get shots.. you can die. We do call him Batman now.

    Like

  42. Thank you, Cindy, for your interesting comments, but I never came across anyone who had to be given jabs against rabies
    because of bats. As a child I was given the shots after a dog bit me. It didn’t make me to fear dogs.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  44. it’s a pleasure Joanna!❣️

    Like

  45. You’re so welcome and it’s rare but it does happen and it’s something I wouldn’t want to take a chance with so getting the shots is smart to do. It’s great you don’t have fears now. That’s awesome. 💖

    Like

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