Steve White’s Animaux

Late evening in Abilene, a fairly big bird flitting around overhead, with long pointy, articulated wings, a narrow triangular tail, and white bars beneath the wings, a Comon Nighthawk.

Sept 7, Potsdam

It was clear and blue and warm yesterday, but in the afternoon a big thundercloud appeared on the horizon, and sent a wash of high thin clouds overhead. As I marvelled at this, three big bats flew over, way high, obviously feeding. And it's just like with the chimney swifts ... they're not up there for fun—there is a horde of critters up there, invisible to us. And again, somehow in connection with the hugeness of the thundercloud.

Besides that, I don't often see that many bats together. And these were big ones—I'd guess a good 40cm wingspan or bigger. The ones I often see in the park are much smaller, around 30cm. Usually in the evening there's one flying around outside my apartment, but smaller still—less than 20cm.

Unfortunately, I don't know my bats. Trouble is, they don't really perch so's you can look at 'em — you gotta go spelunking — and even then, they're all wrapped up.