Pixie Stix Fueled Myotis

For those of you on the wild side of Intrigued, you might be thinking Bri’s been slacking off this month. That is understandable as that little post calendar in the left navbar is pretty bare – the one day that is highlighted was technically from the last day in February. Truth is. I’ve been pounding the keys like crazy up on the mothership. What started out as a quick break from birds to clear out my overflowing “fail” folder spiraled into a flurry of activity that I now refer to as “The Haunting of March”. My first post this month was a long comedic (eh, at least an attempted humorous) post on “Things that make me go Hmmmmm” as our blogger friend Cedar Journal (link here) has coined. Basically things that catch my attention and either make me cringe or burst out in laughter (view latest fails here). While compiling the images for that lengthy post, noticed there was a a few props from last year’s Haunted Trail of Tears still in the queue. That had to be remedied. While at it, went ahead and added a walkthrough for a recently completed decoration. That’s when the sledgehammer came down. Went to reference the 2021 trail event and it was missing – my signature event for the year, the spectacle that consumes me year-round, the very essence of my being (so says Linda) was completely null and void. As much as I enjoy all things haunt, that gap immediately brought a wave of dread – those posts are massive and require days in the digital darkroom to compile/fix/filter all the shots taken leading up, during and after the event. I put everything aside and pushed through (didn’t help last week I had an hour plundered from me!!). So, for those who enjoy all things Halloween, feel free to check out all the releases on the mothership – warning, the trail posts will definitely burn a hole in your browser’s cache!

’21 Haunted Trail of Tears Prep and Teardown (link here)
’21 Haunted Trail of Tears Day Walker (link here)
’21 Haunted Trail of Tears Night Terror (link here)
’21 Prop: Gargoyle Sentry (link here)
’21 Prop: Mini-Me Fire Breather (link here)
’21 Prop: Injection Freddy (link here)
’22 Prop: Toxic Spidey (link here)

Although a bit exhausted and still waaaayy behind on reading the great posts of fellow bloggers, I didn’t want to leave you hanging any longer (at least right-side up). Continuing the “comic” theme that started March and then tying into the Halloween topics that followed, I bring you this…

Bat found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

Hit the jump to read the background on this spastic Bat.

I was going through the pictures taken while on our trip to Lake Tahoe back in May 2019 – our nephew was getting married there giving me a valid excuse to slightly bend my “Hell No” rule regarding the state of California. It was for a good cause and Tahoe is like a sum total of 15 steps across the Nevada border. Saw these Bat shots and noted the perfect theme fit. Since I was there, went crazy and processed all the good shots I could find from that trip – even added another +1 that I didn’t even know I had (making +5 for that minimal incursion into CA). Heads up, several Tahoe/Reno posts heading your way.

Bat found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

I happen to personally like Bats. We often have a number of them patrolling the gap between our house and the woods during the summer/fall months. They come out at dusk and slurp up Mosquitoes and other pesky creatures as they perform their bombing runs. Linda and I will sit on our porch enjoying the aerial show while keeping an eye out for visiting Owls.

Bat found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

You probably noticed these shots were not taken at night and that is exactly what grabbed my attention. This tiny creature was out in late afternoon patrolling the area near our rustic hotel. As the wedding was later that night, I couldn’t dismiss the vision on account of the wedding’s whiskey bar (nice touch by the way). Nope, this was definitely a real Bat and I just happened to be standing there holding The Beast.

Bat found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

I discretely looked around trying to see if I could spot anyone I knew while hoping those few people I did see were not from the other side of the wedding party. Recall me mentioning the “comic” them tie in? This was going to be funny as hell for people watching, but it had to be done – it was a BAT in the daylight, how many chances am I going to get a similar opportunity. One last glance and then committed …. possibly being committed to a psych ward in the process ha. Brought The Beast up to my eye and comedy commenced.

Bat found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

For the next hour plus I waged an epic battle trying to keep The Beast focused on one of the most spastic mammals in the animal kingdom (yes, for the unfamiliar, they are indeed mammals). Up, down, left, right, hell, diagonal and maybe even upside down, this damn Bat was making a mockery of the local Flycatchers. Thank god for all the time in the gym – The Beast got its name in reference to the size and weight of that F4 end to end glass. There I was for at least an hour, cussing like a drunken sailor, nonstop laughing out loud while jerking my camera around like I was being electrocuted. Likely no one at any distance could have seen the Bat – just me miming pants full of fire ants.
Observer: “Hello, is this 911 – can you please send an ambulance to my phones location… might consider bringing a straightjacket!”
Dispatcher: “Ah crap, did that mime get loose again?!?.. be right there. ”

Bat found at Lake Tahoe in May 2019

You are looking at the only shots that came out of what must have been 500 attempts. All soft for sure, but I’ll take it. Arms were reduced to noodles and without question camera videos destined for someone else’s “fail” blog. I got back to the room and immediately told Linda she might want to distance herself from me during the wedding – no sense in people questing her sanity just for being around me ha! To her credit she shirked it off apparently conditioned to it by now.

Curious, I did some digging. Apparently this is called a Little Brown Bat (or Myotis) – the Bat naming consortium doesn’t embrace the level obscurity cherished by the bird naming body. Found a very good webpage at the Tahoe Daily Tribune with a lot of info on our winged mammal (link here). Learned that Bats are protected in California and Nevada. It is illegal to kill, poison or even “exclude” them from dwellings during breeding months (May-Aug). Now thinking someone could have thought I was trying to bazooka this Bat and called the cops on me being we were there at the start of the breeding period. They usually sleep up to 19 hours a day – this one was bucking the norm. Now for the kicker – they are only 3.5 to 4″s long with an 11″ wingspan. I would like to add to their bio that they can be easily located by the Pixie Stix wrappers they rudely toss to the ground after sucking them down for inflight fuel. Then there was the topic of Histoplasma Capsulatum. I think the world is now all too familiar with Bat related infections and will leave that out.

Hope you enjoyed a change of pace from our usual winged subjects and a quick laugh at my expense. Check out the other fails referenced earlier for additional comedic fodder.

Take care everyone, time for me to get some rest!

23 thoughts on “Pixie Stix Fueled Myotis”

  1. Those are fantastic bat photos. Although Laurie thinks it’s Mothra disguised as a bat. Lucky you a crazy, probably rabid bat was out flying around in daylight. Whenever they are out, they are so hard to track with their quick erratic flying. If you want to see some excellent bat photography check out Scott Altenbach’s bats: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=scott+altenbach+bats&atb=v305-1&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images. Scott was my biology teacher at the university. He built high speed flash with trip sensors and used 6X7 and 4X5 film cameras to capture the bats in flight when they tripped the flashes. Linda would have loved his class. The first day of class, he came in with a large bin and dumped a huge Diamondback Rattlesnake on his desk. I ended up with a couple of girls in my lap freaking out over the snake. I held them and comforted them. I thanked the rattler later. Those girls ended up being fun study and lab partners. However, when we were doing some experiment that required urine, they made me pee in the cup. I asked “why me? Either one of you can pee in the cup as well!” They would have none of it, and that started the long journey of learning men have little say in so many things in life.

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    1. First off, Scott’s work is amazing! I’ve read about some trip wire rigs, but never tried it myself – would be very helpful for the Owls and definitely the Timberdoodles as Linda and I just spent the last hour or so standing in a dark field trying to get shots of them with her high-iso tolerant camera. Not as erratic as the bat, but a definite pain in the ass in near darkness. Yep, Linda would have loved that dude’s class – the minute that thing hit the desk should have screamed and ran the hell out of there …although I am liking the jump into the arms of a comforting fearless male angle ha! I must say in all my classes I never had a lab that required pee..were you in marine biology class and learning what to do when a jellyfish nails ya’ hehehe.
      There are no truer words than your parting sentence. Thanks for dropping in Timothy and for the link!

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      1. I don’t remember what we were testing for, but we did various tests with saliva, blood and urine. I think I was the one who had to bleed as well. If I remember correctly, I started hacking up a giant glob of phlegm for the saliva test, but one of the girls volunteered some sexy saliva before got it out.

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    1. Thank you Luisella – definitely pretty soft, but one of those times where the subject doesn’t believe in cooperating ha. Appreciate you coming by and joining the conversation!

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  2. Nice change of pace (and frequently direction) to furry flying things. Must have driven you bat$#!t crazy (thanks Nickelback) trying to photograph them in flight.
    You may have to try what Tim was suggesting: get a bunch of D300’s and set them to take photos when (on the off chance) something flies through their field of view in focus. I’ve always wanted to try that with hummies around here.

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    1. Wow, Brad brings the Nickelback reference (first one in the history of my blogs) – the most hated band in rock ‘n roll hehehe, although quite the fitting pun. As I mentioned to Tim above, I’ve read up on the trigger setups, but never set one up. Wonder if I could rig up an array of my Halloween sensors to initiate the array of cameras hmmmm “Honey, can I borrow your 810?”….”ummmm, Brad wants me to try something” That would be a great idea for the Hummers. Thanks for dropping in Brad. We are a little under under 2 weeks now before we head out on another birding excursion.

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      1. Not sure Nickelback fully qualifies as Rock-n-Roll, more of a grunge leaning IMHO. Their early stuff was their “best”, the later music was all Pop stuff their producers sold to push albums. Either way a few good lines can be had from their repertoire, if you can call it that.
        Not something you want running through your head when you are trying to be calm to control the heartbeat between photographs, kinda like a bird picture sniper.

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        1. I would never put Nickelback in the grunge movement. I ate grunge breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snacks every day of late high school and college days and then concert after concert at the Madison – still remember the very first time I heard Smell’s Like Teen Spirit. Got me thinking, might be a fun post to consider what music is best for birding (headphones of course – my bird call ears suck, so no impact there ha) ..or maybe top 5 bird related songs hmmmm

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  3. Pretty cool photos, a lot of snapping going on with this guy. 🙂 I do love bats as well, but not one photo of one. That would be so hard to get. I will let you have the honor of capturing bats and just enjoy your photos. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Sandra – my shutter finger was probably hurting as much as my biceps at the end of that shootfest. I think if I saw one again, I’d grab Linda’s 810 which has the 70-200mm on it. Muuuuuuuuch lighter and with the 2.8 glass I can up the shutter speed in hopes of getting them a little sharper. Not the hard part.. getting one to pop out in the daytime again ha! Appreciate you dropping in Sandra – apparently you got yourself some internet access.

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      1. Yes, I take my little bridge camera when I am not sure what I might be photographing. So much easier to carry. Yes we are in the mountains of El Paso, Tx. I was not sure if we would have internet here. We are dry camping, lots of wind but still no rain in Texas. Flowers are just starting to bloom.

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    1. Thank you CJ – went for a bit of a change with this one and tied nicely into all the Halloween posts up on the mothership. Human have yet to make a flying machines as efficient as these bats are at controlling the Mosquito population. Until that happens, I think Mother Nature wins on the flying front ha! Thanks for dropping in CJ – note, I’m not seeing much relief for you over there on the war front, fingers crossed we get some movement towards peace.

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  4. You were so lucky to photograph this bat! They fly so erratically that it’s almost impossible to capture them in flight. I like a lot how you were able to do it. Great photos!!!

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    1. Absolutely agree on the luck part. Just noticed it is St. Patrick’s day so I can officially claim the luck of Irish (my heritage is predominantly German, but there is a healthy percentage of Irish in there as well). Now when I am in the weight room I can get motivated on those late sets knowing how helpful the extra muscle is when out in the field … especially with such a spastic creature. Appreciate you coming by Kaya and have a great weekend.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the post – definitely a different type of winged creature to test my focusing skills (obviously room for improvement ha). Hopefully will have some new topics to post on soon – currently focused on getting prepped for our trip down south to catch the migration and haven’t had a lot of free time to devote on getting content out. Appreciate you coming by Lisa

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  5. Great digression for these fascinating creatures. I must say, after looking at the photos at Timothy’s link, I’m thinking your little daylight critter looks a lot friendlier. You really put out the effort to try and capture these erratic guys – thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Sam, these creatures will give you all the frustration you need in an afternoon ha. Definitely agree on my specimen being the “kinder, gentler” version of those downright scary Bats Timothy’s former teacher captured – those things would give me nightmares. Never even would have attempted this in the days of film – that would have been some serious money thrown down the drain with all the deleted images in this set. Good news, we will soon be headed down to Dauphin Island to catch them migration again. Appreciate you dropping in!

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