Friday, August 28, 2009

Bats

On Wednesday there were buckets of rain and wads of mist so after a quick stock up of torches and batteries for our final night’s treat we set off to see if the Quantocks were more in tune with a gentle ramble. As you can see from the photos it wasn’t any better. Fortunately we were in the vicinity of one of my favourites – the Carew Arms and it was just about lunchtime. I told my son the two front rooms seem to be the local’s choice and we usually went in the one facing the garden so as not to incommode them. So we went in the right front room. What son takes note of his Mum?


We decided to have a reasonable meal as MTL was preparing a cold collation for us to have later - before our evening expedition. Tom and I both chose a pasta dish – large for him and small for me but then I blotted my copy book by ordering a chocolate mousse with biscuits. The mousse was an enormous helping and I nearly drowned in it - in spite of foisting spoonfuls on the three nearest mouths. The biscuits were brownies so not surprisingly a few hours later I passed on the cold collation.


We were to be in the Horner car park for 7pm. Horner Water valley has ancient woods, a packhorse bridge, a delightful tea garden and has been much enjoyed over twenty odd years by all ages of the family. Horner Wood has ancient oak trees some of which could well be 1000 years old. It follows the river valley down to the village and the wood is unenclosed allowing sheep and wild Red deer to roam freely. Wildlife abounds but bats were our quarry and the preponderance of midges was bait enough.


Nigel – a National Trust warden gave us a lengthy chat about all kinds of bats and then we set off with some quite small children included in the party. This comforted me - as surely the walk would not be so long through the muddy rocky terrain liberally scattered with horse manure, with little legs to consider. But it was a tricky walk in the gloaming before we crossed a bridge into a delightful grassy dell. Did I mention we were bat detectives and the big boys had detectors which made an exciting ratatattat when bats were around?


It was mesmerising gazing up at the tall trees through a canopy of black lace and eventually we saw brief glimpses of fluttery black scraps. Later we moved down to where the waters met and with a lamp shining on the water we saw what resembled flying stoats darting over the water like quicksilver. I was dreading the walk back in the dark with pitfalls all over the pace but my son firmly grasped my arm and grandson shone the torch and eventually we were safely back in the car park with no damage apart from wet boots. The funny thing was the car park set all the detectors off and Nigel said we could have stayed there but I doubt I would have had the same feeling of elation if we had.

19 comments:

Kim Ayres said...

I wonder if those bat detectors could be adapted to detect pots of strong coffee...

rosneath said...

Gosh, I'm first!! Or so it seems if moderation is on

I think my last couple have got lost PI so hope this one gets through.

I have to say, I am not convinced about bats and going looking for them ... but well done you for making the expedition!

belleek

john.g. said...

Sounds 'ratatatat' lovely!

rashbre said...

some cars use ultrasonics for the intrusion alarms.

St Jude said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Lovely pictures of the mist. I have bats living in my front porch and it's lovely when dusk decends to watch them leaving for the evening.

R. Sherman said...

Good for you getting out in that weather as opposed to staying in. Thanks for the photos, as always.

Cheers.

(P.S. It's not that we late forties-ish sons don't listen to our mothers; it's just that we nod politely and do something else.)

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

"the two front rooms seem to be the local’s choice and we usually went in the one facing the garden so as not to incommode them" Ha! Your boy saw right through you missus. Nice one Tom! Do you really say "collation" in your house? I think everyone else calls it "tea".

Eryl Shields said...

Flying stoats, gosh! I love the misty shots, but that type of weather plays havoc with my hair.

Perhaps your son just liked the idea of communing with the locals.

PI said...

Kim: I think if it were really strong it would cause a few ratatats.

Belleek: who know what Blogger is up to. Glad you got through;)

John: a bit like a giant wood pecker.

Rashbre: I would have thought that would be too friendly a sound?

St Jude: I'm not sure I would like them in such close proximity.

Randall: I'm very familiar with the nod and doing something different:)

PI said...

Daphne: I like to use the correct word when writing - even if it sounds a touch archaic. It perfectly described what MTL prepared.
I haven't used tea for evening meal since I left Rossendale aged 16 and have no intention of ever doing again unless it creeps unbidden in my dotage.

Eryl: having visited my son's local that is exactly it but there he is one of the locals. It was the last day of the visit so I was content to let my hair go to pot. And it did:)

Charlie said...

As usual, I love your photos, especially of the misty woods. So tranquil.

I must say that you are quite a risk-taker, standing directly beneath a treeful of bats looking up.

Leigh Russell said...

The mist looks beautiful, but I'm not sure I'd like to walk through it with bats flying around . . . eeeugh! (sorry, bats)

Kevin Musgrove said...

Pat, pay no attention: it's still a cold collation up there!

Nea said...

I like bats, but not too close. I had to remove one from the girls bedroom a few years ago and I'm not sure who was the most terrified, me, the girls or the bat.

PI said...

Charlie: not such a risk taker: the mist was in the morning over the Quantocks. In the evening it was quite clear - however I kept feeling drops and assumed they were rain drops.

Leigh: it was quite brave of me but I had to keep my end up with the young;)

Kevin; it sounds so nice when you say it.

Nea: I would have had to get the milk man to do that for me.

rashbre said...

The ultrasonics are used to detect a breakin by the change in reflected signal. Quite a lot of cars have them. Presumably bats ignore the sound.

PI said...

Rashbre: thanks for the link.

Kanani said...

Bats! Have never really wanted to live near or with them, though I do find them fascinating.

I love the photos. I need those now, as it's terribly hot and smokey here!

PI said...

Kanani: I agree - distance makes the heart beat fonder.

We're getting cooler by the day and have just put on a cardie.