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Aussie Bats

SEPTEMBER 10, 2007
Hitchcock must have seen this place...
Cathie's Catskill Bats post reminded me of one of the freakiest sights I think I have ever seen. We were in Australia in August (will post photos, sketches, and paintings). Driving from the beach into this deep orange / green / blue twilight, I saw what looked like birds flying - first one or two - then a larger cluster - and in the distance a dark cloud of many, many more. Just as we were crossing a bridge a short distance further - we were enveloped in this massive cloud of thousands of Flying-foxes - big fruit bats - the bodies are squirrel-sized - wingspans can be over 3'. The fluttering, flickering, and swooping of these black shapes against the orange sky was as wierd as it was spectacular. A few came down within a few feet of our car - close enough to catch that classic bat-wing shape... (It reminded me of the mesmerizing sensation of driving into a snowstorm - the snowflakes becoming an abstract pattern of shapes - constant and repeating). I wanted to pull over and take some photos or a quick video - but there was no place to do so - plus driving on the left only confuses life even more.... I thought of lunch earlier in the day - and just what kind of mushroom soup was that, anyway?? And why did that waitress giggle 'No Worries, Mate" - then saunter away laughing?? These and other questions must be answered if we are to go on.