Hi, my name is Rosie, and I am a Little Brown Bat, also referred to as Myotis Lucifugus. We as the most common Bat species populate all of North America from Canada all the way down to New Mexico. Each year I raise one pup, and we all stay in Colorado all year hibernating in our roost together. Lots of people have the wrong idea about bats, something to do with a virus or something, but really, we do so much good for humans they don’t realize, we are the perfect insecticide you can have. We have fewer places to roost because people remove old trees, tear down older buildings, and build new construction everywhere, that provide few nooks and crannies for us to inhabit. Perhaps with the changes in insecticides humans will learn how to be kinder to us and not poison our food supply. They say our excrement is even a great fertilizer for gardens and flowers, making us the best at recycling nature! We just want to do our jobs and provide help to society.
I live in a small colony of fellow bats that share the same roost, but it’s just me and my baby each year that really count in my eyes. I’ve been here just three short years, but I’ve heard of other bats that have actually been around for 15 or more years, so I’m hoping to enjoy a long life in this location! It was really scary my first year because there were so many people that were screaming and freaking out when they saw me! I don’t know why but they looked very afraid, I’m not afraid of them, but I can fortunately see them with my radar sensing of high sonar like screams that bounce off them and let me know where they’re at so I can avoid them. I wish. they would just take a chill pill, so my baby isn’t injured when they are learning to fly in October.
Fortunately, my mother picked this great hunting ground near a house that has a wonderful variety of insects to eat! And each week there is a new crop of insects that are in season. Things like Mayflies, Mosquitoes, midges, Flying ants, spiders, water bugs, Miller moths, gnats, house flies, horse flies, wasps, basically anything that flies and fits in my mouth works! You see, I have to actually eat twice my body weight which is 3 ounces every day, or something like 1,200 mosquitoes in order to build up enough fat reserves for the winter hibernation and nourishment for the baby I have every year! You think I have it tough, my baby has only three short months (August, September, and October) to be fully weaned, learn how to fly and hunt, so as to grow up big enough to hibernate over the winter months on their own. When the babies are really small sometimes, they just catch a ride with me while I fly and hang onto the bottom of my undercarriage. It’s not as easy to hunt, but it keeps them warm in the early part of the season in late June or July, and like spider monkeys they quickly learn how to hang on for dear life. It also strengthens their hand grips which helps them later when they need to figure out how to rest for months at a time upside down while hibernating.
An interesting thing happens at least once a year, in late August, when the nights are short and the bugs are many, I am out flying and catching and eating until I can’t fly anymore, because I am so full! This is just before my babies going to be weaned and will need to build up their energy and fortunately the flying ants right next to the house are in season and I gorge on them until I can’t get to the roost, so I have to take shelter in the roll up solar shade in the West side of the house. Taking refuge in the shade this time it was rolled up! So, I guess I will have to wait until the next evening to fly back to the roost. However, trouble occurred early this morning! The owner of the house came out early like 5 AM just before dawn, and I was resting on top of the roll up shade, and she unrolled the shade with me still on it, causing me to come tumbling down to the driveway, where I did my typical folding umbrella routine and just plopped down, so full I did a soft belly flop. My body has the shape of a small fat mouse, and my hair is a short thick shiny chestnut red color that is warm and aerodynamic and sheds water. The owner picked me up, being careful not to injure my fragile skin wings or fingers and placed me in the west side front lawn next to her tree, and then went back into the house, to change I guess because I noticed she was just in her slippers. So, I knew this was my chance to escape before she came back, because I it’s not a good time to fly during the daylight, as there are too many predators (hawks, owls, crows that all would love to eat me) but I needed to get back to my roost where my baby is.
It was a very HOT day, getting to over 100 degrees, but we can take the heat, and cold too. You see when we hibernate, our heartbeat slows down to once every 30 minutes! And as a result, we can tolerate a 120-degree change in temperature, which is GREAT for Colorado, because sometimes it can be 65 degrees during the day and 10 degrees below zero at night in the same 24-hour day, like it was last April, when we got like 4 feet of snow! Fortunately, we don’t wake up for much, and that’s good because it uses a lot of energy to go in and out of hibernation. It’s especially hard for the first years who haven’t built up their full body weight yet. Advice to those out there, try not to go looking for us in the Fall or Winter and let us sleep. We have fewer places to roost because people remove old trees, tear down older buildings, and build new construction everywhere, which provides fewer nooks and crannies for us to inhabit. Perhaps with the changes in insecticides humans will learn how to be kinder to us and not poison our food supply. We just want to do our jobs and provide help to society. You know they say our excrement is even a great fertilizer for gardens and flowers, making us the best at recycling nature!
This being my fourth year living here in Loveland, Colorado I, Rosie the Little Brown Bat and Rupert my son made it! Rupert is going to have a fun time hanging out with all his friends this winter in the roost. I’m hoping that the virus thing is over, and people will realize that we had nothing to do with it. We bring so much to the neighborhood, as the perfect full lifecycle insecticide! I noticed that the owner of the house just put up a Cedar Bat Box for us as our new pit stop should we get too full next year during the flying ant season. That was nice, and I’m so happy she wasn’t the least bit afraid of me, as my hair color was almost the same as hers. I hope more people put up bat boxes for us, so we can continue to do our jobs as full life cycle insecticides and help society here in Loveland, Colorado!
Biography: I took a continuing education class in Creative Writing at Aims and was given a fresh chance to write something different than technical reports, manuals; dry stuff guaranteed to cure insomnia in a matter of minutes. I found it quite challenging to get into the habit of journaling, every day. To encourage me, I created a short motto, “Looking for the good and the true in all that I do.” This line started each journal entry and so I started writing, stream of consciousness, daily events that happened, ideas and memories, all different types of things we were assigned to write about. It was important to have a one liner to encourage a story to form but then our lovely teacher threw us a curve ball and asked us to write something different. How about a play For this one, I had to come up with something that was close to home, that I lived through in my technical job where I was the manager forced to come up with a test to prove our computer was the fastest in the world with a brand-new team I carefully selected and one short month to get up to speed there was no time to waste. The events in this play are accurate, names have been changed, but you might remember Hewlett-Packard and Cray computer (which HPE now owns by the way), and their contest for who got the fastest supercomputer in the world? Grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy the play and try and keep up.