Sitting in the backyard after work tonight I was enjoying a glass of wine and watching a bird fly in the sky. Then I realized it was a bat. It barely seemed like dusk so I was expecting to see a bird. It is funny how expectations can alter what we see for a bit. Bats and birds fly nothing at all alike.
When I was much younger and living in Centerport, Long Island, New York I would love nothing better than to sit on the deck of my childhood home and watch the bats. Behind our house there was a dense wooded plot of land and many bats made their homes there. I remember now tossing pebbles and sand up into the air to try to lure them closer, using their echolocation, thinking I could fool them. I'm pretty sure they can tell a pebble from a bug though.
There is something special about watching a bat fly that is so different from watching a bird. It reminds me of a bug or a flying saucer on the Sci-Fi channel. They change directions on a dime with dramatic speed. Birds don't fly quite the same. It reminds me of butterflies too. They seem to have similar direction changing capabilities.
The bats here are so little they look exactly like the ones I used to watch as a child. The only difference is they come out earlier, it is much brighter and therefore they are much easier to spot. It may seem odd to get so much enjoyment out of watching bats fly around, yet there is something very peaceful about it. The sun setting, night slowly creeping in, the day at a very relaxing end and the bats are just starting their "day" fluttering around the sky.
I love it.