To feed four, capture 24 Mexican freetailed bats. No, this is NOT a recipe. Bats are fascinating creatures. See Note, below.
At Chautauqua it is against the law to harm a bat. They eat an impressive amount of mosquitos and keep the population down to allow tourists to listen to the symphony, watch a ballet or take a leisurely sail on the lake. When I took up running (I’m terrible at it) one summer the only time I could go was at twilight, between work and … well, work. That was when the bats came out and every once in a while I’d be hit by one – kind of creepy but it was nice knowing they were around. I must have been hit because of my lightning speed and agility, ha!
Years later we went kayaking with friends and paused under the Congress Street Bridge in Austin to watch the nightly migration of 750,000 Mexican freetailed bats. We saw maybe a hundred. A few months later I booked a hotel on the lake next to the bridge, and a lake cruise to surprise Jim. Not only did our car break down en route, we almost missed the cruise and when we lingered by said bridge, a few bats emerged, but at about 5:30 the next morning, with Jim sound asleep, I heard them return, an amazing sound.
Finally, a few weeks ago Jim and I were driving towards the Waugh Street “Bat Colony” (that’s what the sign says, in quotes) in twilight and we saw several large clouds coming our way and thought it was a strange storm blowing in. Then we realized they were hundreds of thousands of bats on their nightly migration to feed on our mosquitos!
We thought we were a jinx because friends would tell us about the bats. At Congress Street people line the bridge at night from perhaps May to October and see them emerge. We were beginning to think it was a joke being played on this non-Texan.
So thank you bats, for eating the mosquitos and other annoying insects.
Happy cooking, Dee
p.s. No bats, please.
Note: Before I get angry posts from bat experts, PLEASE do not catch a live bat, or touch an injured or sick, or dead, bat you come across. Call the local bat group (there will be one, trust me) or Animal Control right away.