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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bats, Bats and More Bats

I only had two things I really wanted to do during our weekend in Austin - ok three, if you count spending relaxed time with my spouse.

First, I wanted to go to Stubb's for a gospel brunch (more on that tomorrow).

Second, I wanted to see the bats fly.

For those who don't know, Austin is home to one of - if not the singular - largest urban bat colonies in the world. The bats migrate south during the winter, but during the summer months crowds gather to see them take flight for their evening hunting.

The colony lives under the Congress Street Bridge. We were able to walk there from our cottage.

We knew we were in the right place when bat-related signs appeared.

And we could hear the sound of the bats communicating. It's the high-pitched noise you can hear in the following video.

We found a comfortable spot right next to the bridge and waited for nightfall.

Waiting is easier with a picnic supper from Whole Foods.

The crowds slowly gathered above and below the bridge.

And right around 9:15, out they flew - hundreds, thousands of bats. It was amazing to watch. The photo below doesn't do it justice (the black smudge mid-photo are hundreds of bats streaking past).

So amazing. And I'm so glad that we made time to sit for nearly three hours to have this experience, 101 list item or not.

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