I have decided my yard needs a bat house.
I haven’t written anything here for a week because the weather was hospitable and I finally felt like I had my foot on the neck of my yard. I know that’s a difficult visual, but humor me. Since June I’ve been wrestling invasive plants, overgrowth, and simple crud (my gardener’s neurotic hoard of chicken wire, for example) that has been taking over my lot for the last three years while I waited out the Hip Strain from Hell. (The gardener, a slow case who mows my lawn, share-crops organic vegetables on my back forty and leaves me tracts, is worth a whole other post. He works so glacially that I long ago discarded any thought of paying him to do anything about the mess.)
Six loads of brush (I keep expecting the county pickup service to cut me off), countless revolting slick black Hefty sacks that looked like body bags at my curb, and a full truckload of mulch later, it looks like someone lives here. I sat down last evening on the new bench at the bottom of the azalea patch, gazed up at the dimming sky, and saw little flittermice. They fly fast. They actually sort of ballet. I wanted one to come perch on my wrist. Saving that, I decided to get them a little house, so they would hang at my place and eat my mosquitoes. Today I learned that:
*You can spend anything from $25 to $150 on a bat house, depending on how absurdly precious your sensibilities are. I think I will pass on the “Victorian Bat Mansion.”
*Bats have exotic subspecies names, like “Pallas’ Mastiff.”
*They would rather have their house on a post, like St. Simeon Stylites, than in a tree. Who knew?
*Several species of bats are endangered, and you can even sponsor a bat in distress. I only have the budget to spring for the bat house, but this captures my imagination. I probably listened to too much Strauss when I was younger.
Everyone in this hood already seems to think I am the witch who lives at the edge of the village, so I might as well get a bat colony going.
Or get some cricket going on the lawn and have the next best thing – batsmen.
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