When the weather soars into the nineties and the humidity zooms right along with it, we suffer. Our clothing sticks to us, our energy flags, we avoid foods that need heat of any kind to make them palatable.
We are not alone in our misery. Our little colony of bats fares worse than we do, usually. The heat can wake them during the day, since they need water to survive. If they don’t find it quickly, they collapse and will eventually die. While Bill worked on our new rain barrel, he noticed one of the bats on the porch, obviously in trouble.
The little one had enough spunk left to cling to a piece of wood. I took a quick minute to get its photo, which probably confused it further. Surely a bright flash in the eyes can be a shock to a dehydrated bat.
Bill grabbed a glass of water and sprinkled it over the little creature, who immediately began drinking. When we were sure the water rescue had worked and s/he had had enough to drink, we went back to taking a few more pictures.
Once revived, s/he happily jumped around a bit, and landed on another piece of wood, giving us this great shot. S/he is so small that the water droplets nestling in her fur look huge.
She may look a bit bedraggled, but she was certainly a happier creature after her bath.
One of the interesting possibilities when taking photos of little things is that you see something in the picture you couldn’t see, or didn’t notice, when looking at the real thing. In this case, we saw a little parasite hanging on for the ride. I don’t know what the little hobo is, or if it lives in symbiosis with the bat. (Honestly, it looks a lot like a bed bug to me; since bats usually sleep all day, you have to wonder … )
I know bats can be dangerous. Their teeth are so tiny and sharp that they can bite (or even accidentally nip) a human and we would never know it. Should the bat be rabid, of course, it would be very bad for the human. The bat’s not going to do well, either.
But every creature has some potential for creating trouble for others. Every one also contributes something useful. In the case of bats, the actual occurrences of bites are quite rare, given the number of bats around. But the reduction in annoying little critters, like mosquitoes, is huge.
Of course, if you’re the mosquito, you’d see that trouble-benefit business differently than I do.
And almost every creature would view the trouble potential of the human as extremely high. We should probably be working pretty hard to up the benefit side of the ledger.