All About Bats (White Nose Syndrome), & Other Backyard Neighbors, from Huff Post, note by Larry Eder

This is a bit unusual for this column, but it makes sense. As a runner, walker, outdoorsperson, you are part of the world. I love to fish, and walk through the woods. I read this about bats today on twitter, and thought it might be of interest to you!

I love bats. And as a runner, and an outdoors person, you should too! They eat three times their weight in insects every night, and they save, per USDA, at least $ 3 billion in crops each year because of their huge appetites.

So, be nice to bats. If you have them living under your chimneys or near your barns or garages, consider the little A frame bat places where they can hang in peace during the day.

6.5 million bats have died this year, due to a fungus that they breathe in while in hibernation. This disease has spread to Alabama, where a large bat population hibernates. The disease is called White Nose syndrome.
To read more check out Huffington Post Green Section

When we lived in Delaware, I use to take our son Adam, in the baby jogger and show him the bats as they flew out of old barns at dusk to feed. When I lived in Cambridge, Wisconsin, I loved it when the bats would fly close when I was fishing at night for bullheads. Their radar is amazing, as they can come closer and closer and not hit you.

So, when you see bats this spring, think good thoughts. Very few have rabies, so be respectful, but know that they do good things. 

If you want to read a book on bats and the other creatures of your back yard, I would like to suggest Conversations with a Pocket Gopher & Other Outspoken Neighbors, by Jack Schaeffer. Jack Schaeffer wrote the Western, Shane. He did the pocket gopher book as a meditation on various creatures in his back yard. Thoughtful, touching, happy and sad. Good book to read to young child. One of my favorite books, have read it a dozen times.

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