Today at school Beth had her piano lessons. She sat down at the bench, looked up, and asked the teacher what that was on the ceiling above the piano. It was a bat! I imagine it flew in one evening when the doors must have been propped open. They immediately moved the piano lessons upstairs to the sanctuary.

Va took a photo with her phone and sent it to me. I was sitting in my office when I heard something beeping loudly. No one has ever sent me a photo via cell phone before, so I had no idea what on earth that was. I figured it might have been an UPS. It sure sounded like it came from my office, but I knew my UPS was under the other desk. This one was coming from under the one I was sitting at. Of course that’s because my phone was in my pocket.

While I was still considering the mystery of the beeping, my phone rang its “Virginia” song. She asked if I had gotten the picture, and I told her I had not. Then she told me about the bat and suggested that I might like to come and take its picture. I was all over that! I grabbed my camera and headed straight for the car. I was there in ten minutes.

The bat was indeed perched right over the piano bench. I ambled up, camera in hand, and it seemed to not notice (or else it ignored) my presence. I took several pictures. None of them were truly excellent, but some came out pretty OK.

Northern Long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)

Northern Long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis)


Eventually, the flash disturbed the bat, and it began to stir. I got one more shot, and it took flight. I opened the main door to the parking lot and then began closing all the other doors that led to other parts of the church. But the bat didn’t take the hint. It flew within a foot of me on a couple of occasions as I tried to direct it to the door. Eventually, it landed on the ceiling again, this time near a closet. I decided I should try to capture it and take it outside.

I grabbed a plastic tub and made my way over to its position. Before I could do anything though, it decided that fleeing the paparazzi was probably its best course of action, and set off again. This time it landed more quickly, again on the ceiling. I cautiously made my way to where it was, and covered it with a large plastic tub. Va brought me a chair so I could better manuever. I climbed into the chair, and then slid the tub until it was only touching one ceiling tile. Then I carefully removed the ceiling tile from the grid while maintaining the tub’s rim against it. In the process, the ceiling tile dumped probably half a gallon of grit on the floor. Dunno where that stuff comes from, but I’m sure it wasn’t there when the ceiling was installed.

Then I handed the camera to my lovely bride, and she took a few pictures of me escorting the bat outdoors.

Escorting the bat outside.

Escorting the bat outside.


I put the tub down and Va positioned herself behind the glass door with the camera. What! You can’t get a decent shot through the window! But there was no way I could convince her to be on the right side of the glass when I freed the bat. At least… my notion of which side was right. She had her own notion of that, and it was opposite mine. Women!

I did want the door closed before I freed the bat though, because I obviously didn’t want it to return to its former roosting place. So I took the camera from her, got it ready, and raised the ceiling tile from the tub. The bat was apparently exhausted and terrified. It flopped about it bit and I was able to get off one shot before it flew to the line of trees between our church and the Sam’s Club next door.

On the cusp of Freedom

On the cusp of Freedom

This was so cool. I showed the pictures to Camille, Va, and all the school kids. They gave me ice cream. Then I went back to work to write more code.

I also just wanted to note that several new species of plant have bloomed yesterday and today, including the blueberries, Pinguicula vulgaris (which is carnivorous), gaywings, wild oats, goldthread, and… others, I’m sure. Early May is filled with new blossoms.

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