Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Full Day

Toby was off today. Unfortunately, he had the dirty chore of replacing a catalytic converter back on his truck. Fortunately, he was able to use the welding machine at Siddons to weld it back on. The task didn't waste too much of our day. He was out early in the morning and back by lunchtime.

After lunch we headed to Walmart to grab a few essentials like spray paint....let me tell you about the paint. They keep paint locked behind a glass case here. Obviously in the past there has been a problem with young folks buying the paint to "huff". Never doing anything any harder than drinking or smoking a little pot in my younger days, I thought it to be a strange way to get "high".

When we got back from running our errands we went to the pool to cool off. It was nice to have daddy in the pool. My intention was to sit in my lounger and read my book. The pool was not crowded at all and I was starting to sweat. I felt kinda guilty for sitting on my butt while the swimming lane was free and clear of any swimmers. I jumped in and swam a couple of laps and felt much better about myself afterwards.

Now this is the kicker for the evening. After living in Austin for almost 2 years we still haven't seen one of Austin's biggest attractions...the bat colony do their nightly flight out from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge. You can read here and get more information on the largest bat colony in North America.

We headed downtown around 6:30 so we could grab a bite to eat at T.G.I Fridays on the Lake. We ate outside on the deck that sits right at the edge of lake facing the bridge. We had a good view of the bridge and I knew we would be able to see the bats take flight from our vantage point.

By the time we finished our meal it was just before sunset. Summer was getting a little antsy just sitting there, so her and I decided to walk over to the bridge where everyone else was congregated. I felt better about being closer to the flight path....or so I thought anyway.

The bats draw a pretty good nightly crowd. Standing on the edge of the bridge waiting for the bats to take flight kinda reminded me of standing there waiting on the parade to start during Mardi Gras, not knowing when it's going to start but when it finally does that's when the fun begins.

Once they started to fly out I figured out real quick that we were at the wrong end of the bridge. We would have gotten a better view if we had been closer to the other end of the bridge. It was still an amazing show! And a show it was. The whole flight process took 20 minutes or more. There were literally millions of bats flying everywhere. In the distance the congregation of bats looked like black clouds.

I thought about how strange it was that the bats had such a large audience for something they do so naturally every evening....oblivious to anyone observing them.

Of course I have pictures but none of them will ever be the same as actually seeing the process in person. I also included a short video.... This is the best pic my amateur camera could get. You can see the bats flying out from underneath the bridge. If you look on the horizon the black stuff that looks like clouds is actually the swarms of bats...



Here is the video...

video

I was very impressed and will be back for a better vantage point.

3 comments:

  1. I find this to be very interesting. I never imagine so many bats live Austin...I visited Austin once and truly loved the city. Hope to see more pics of the city and other local tidbits from you.

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  2. Wow, that is something to see I bet, the energy of being there watching such glorious little beings beginning their day(night!)

    The world of the blogger is assisting so many of us to see and read things that we would sometimes never ever hear about if was not for people like you (and me) sharing their world :-)

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  3. That was way cool! Who knew?!? I noticed that people were in boats watching, that would be a cool place to be.

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