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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Full House

If you are following my Instagram feed, you probably did wonder what on earth we were up to last night.

A post shared by Sara Dunham (@thecrazysheeplady) on

A post shared by Sara Dunham (@thecrazysheeplady) on

Remember the barn quilt bats?  They set up camp behind the barn quilt again this spring, but about a month ago I stopped seeing bat droppings on the ground and I was afraid we'd lost them all.  There never were very many and bats are really struggling these days :-/.

I was very happy and relieved to still see a couple bats leaving the barn in the days to follow.  I tried to poke around to see if I could figure out where they'd moved, but had no luck.  I didn't worry too much about it though.  I was just happy they were still here, alive and well.

When the weather turned so hot and humid that I was locking the sheep out of the barn in the late afternoon to force them into the shade (the sun beats down on the outer shed) and give the barn a chance to dry out, I'd sit behind the barn with them for awhile at night before I let them back in.

Right as it got dark, whoosh whoosh whoosh...  So that's where the bats were living!  I again poked around the back part of the barn, but couldn't find them.  Were they in the rafters?  Under the eaves? I still couldn't find them, the sneaky little bats, but I was on to them ;-).

Last week I happened upon some tell tale signs of bats, guano.  I'd come around the back corner of the barn and noticed it on the gate for the last stall on the horse side of the barn.  Huh.  Right under the bat house.  How about that.

My brother gave us that bat house (five or six?) years ago.  No one had ever used it.  We didn't have any other suitable locations to try moving it to, so we'd just left it.  After all these years, it was now occupied.  And not by just a couple bats!

I took this video last night.  Tim noticed one bat flying from the front of the barn over to the bat house and then everyone started leaving the house.  We are wondering if that was an adult waking all the kids up?

How many can you count?  Leave your number in the comments and we'll have a drawing for one of the new drawstring bags.  The bats aren't named, but we can be thankful that they are keeping so many bugs away from all the named sheep :-).

Here is a shorter, closer up video from the night before.  Isn't this cool?

After everyone cleared out and was safely off to work, Saint Tim got to work installing a second bat house.  He put it next to the original house, about 12" away.  I'm a bit worried that it is too close, but he had to work around a tobacco vent.  

I've emailed a bat conservation group to check.  Hopefully he won't have to go back up and move it although he did say he was less scared of heights when it was too dark to see how far he might fall :-o.  Reason #1694 for why we call him Saint Tim :-).

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