SOON IT GOT DUSK, A GRAPY DUSK, A PURPLE DUSK OVER TANGERINE GROVES AND LONG MELON FIELDS; THE SUN THE COLOR OF PRESSED GRAPES, SLASHED WITH BURGUNDY RED, THE FIELDS THE COLOR OF LOVE AND SPANISH MYSTERIES ~ JACK KEROUAC, ‘ON THE ROAD’
BATS ARE THE SECOND LARGEST ORDER OF MAMMALS (AFTER THE RODENTS), REPRESENTING ABOUT 20% OF ALL CLASSIFIED MAMMAL SPECIES WORLDWIDE ~ WIKIPEDIA
We are lucky to have a flying fox colony in the mangroves crowding a winding waterway on the far end of our street, apparently consisting of varying proportions of black and grey-headed foxes. They’re awesome, if a little on the rowdy side, and are an olfactory experience that’s hard to describe in words.
Still, you haven’t fully experienced this part of the world till you’ve watched the evening migration as they head out in great swooping streams around sunset in search of nourishment. Flying foxes are important pollinators of several native trees, and they will travel a long way for their evening meal.
Most of the bats shown here, however, are visitors: little reds, the most nomadic of Australia’s species, prone to travelling vast distances in their quest for suitable eucalyptus pollen and nectar, moving in on local bats while they’re in town, forming writhing clumps of furry, leathery bat during the day while hanging from their appropriated trees, and taking to the sky for 10-15 minutes of swirling, screeching, weaving mayhem above their roosts before restoring some kind of order and heading out on their nightly mission.
The little reds have moved on now, but something tells me they’ll be back.
Back in Black…