Cathie's Catskill Bats post reminded me of one of the freakiest sights I think I have ever seen. We were in Australia in August (will post photos, sketches, and paintings). Driving from the beach into this deep orange / green / blue twilight, I saw what looked like birds flying - first one or two - then a larger cluster - and in the distance a dark cloud of many, many more.
Just as we were crossing a bridge a short distance further - we were enveloped in this massive cloud of thousands of Flying-foxes - big fruit bats - the bodies are squirrel-sized - wingspans can be over 3'. The fluttering, flickering, and swooping of these black shapes against the orange sky was as wierd as it was spectacular. A few came down within a few feet of our car - close enough to catch that classic bat-wing shape... (It reminded me of the mesmerizing sensation of driving into a snowstorm - the snowflakes becoming an abstract pattern of shapes - constant and repeating). I wanted to pull over and take some photos or a quick video - but there was no place to do so - plus driving on the left only confuses life even more....
I thought of lunch earlier in the day - and just what kind of mushroom soup was that, anyway?? And why did that waitress giggle 'No Worries, Mate" - then saunter away laughing?? These and other questions must be answered if we are to go on.
Zina SaundersSeptember 11, 2007
I really dig this photo. It's such an unusual color for a twilight sky, and all the bat shapes look fantastic.
About 50 years ago my mom found a bat sleeping in the arm of a winter coat being stored in the basement of our house on the upper west side of Manhattan. She and Dad took the coat out to the backyard at twilight and shook the little guy out to watch him spiral off into the night sky. I've always liked bats.
Nancy StahlSeptember 11, 2007
This is your art, not a photo, isn't it? Beautiful color and movement.
3-ft wingspan... my gosh..! If Aussies deal with events like this on a daily basis, no wonder they say "no worries" over guano in the soup. No, no... those were mushrooms, I'm sure.
John DykesSeptember 11, 2007
Thanks Zina and Nancy - and yes - just a quick rendering to try to recapture... and share - at absolutely NO cost or obligation to our viewers - the bat sensation. But it really was an unusual twilight color - which added to the whole thing...
Jim PaillotSeptember 11, 2007
Hey, it does look like a photo at first glance. It seems to catch the color and weirdness of the situation.
Zina SaundersSeptember 12, 2007
My mistake! It's a beautiful piece and I'm sorry I mistook it for a photo, John. Really lovely and different.
Mike MoranSeptember 12, 2007
A few years ago I was in Austin TX. I had good beer, good BBQ and heard some great music. The one thing I missed and regret not seeing is the bat's at Congress Ave. Bridge fly around like that.