“The greatest threat to our planet is
the belief that someone else will save it.”
“Mother Earth” By Karliene:
“The future of humanity and indeed
all life on Earth depends on us.”
“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.
“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):