The Week in My World 8-31-11

A harrowing, adrenaline-charged midnight rescue of a starving chained dog in my neighborhood…another neighbor with an old camper in his yard reports harassment by drug cartel members…so hot you can’t breathe…oh who the hell cares? Put the razor blade down and look at some recent six word stories and pictures from my world.

Autodidact’s delusions at least self-taught.

Noxious aura radiates from negligent psychic.

Dignity gone. Queasy dawn. Agreement withdrawn.

People’s revolution. Virtuous intentions. New oppressors.

Antisocial butterflies invited to somber soiree.

Forked road. Left, elimination, right, bereavement.

Don’t worry be happy. Lobotomy included?

Please amputate right leg this time.

Exfoliated angst shards predicted. Better duck.

Polluted hydrologist burst into brackish tears.

Beautiful, meticulous, handcrafted artwork. Price reduced.

Amo, amas. In extremis. Ante bellum.

Suicide hotline, on hold. Elevator music.

Every year during monsoon the nectarivorous Mexican long-nosed bats (Leptonycteris curasoae yerbabuenae), come at dark to drain the hummingbird feeder. Bats are major pollinators and/or insect eaters and there is no reason to fear them. Plus, they’re really cool!

Long-nosed bat drinking sugar-water at the hummingbird feeder.

A big flock of them come every night and drain the feeder within half an hour. It’s definitely worth buying extra sugar to support them!

Beautiful, mysterious long-nosed bats love nectar and sugar water. Both their roosting sites and their main source of food, the agave, are being destroyed by people and fires.



The second brood of barn swallows (Hirundo rustica) have been born, raised, and fledged. There will be no more this year. This series of pictures starts with newborns.

3 days old. It takes about two weeks for the swallow babies to reach maturity. Like most birds, both parents are extremely attentive.

For the first week after the babies fledge, the parents continue to watch, feed, and guide them. The babies still return to the porch light nest every night for several more weeks.

Hey, you on the end! Listen up! I have important stuff to tell you!

During monsoon blasts of rain pour down in one part of town but not another.

We are at 5,000 ft., so we are actually IN the clouds. Picture taken from my street.

The Monument fire destroyed my favorite refuge, Coronado National Park, and the road in is closed due to destruction by flooding as there are no trees left to stop it. But the San Pedro River is lush and full, and the animals don’t care that the water is muddy.

Raccoon prints along the San Pedro, which is teeming with wildlife seeking water.

31 responses to “The Week in My World 8-31-11

  1. Pingback: The Week in My World 8-31-11 (via Find an Outlet) | blogsense-by-barb

  2. It’s good to find such beauty and interesting things in our world-wherever we are. Never would have thought that bats would feed at hummingbird stations…and you got such good photos of them. 🙂

  3. It’s pretty bad being put on hold to the Suicide hot line. Love the photos of bats. I love bats. I love poems about bats. I love films that feature bats even cursorily like ‘The Big Chill.’

    • JL, bats are so cool. You probably know there are insectivorous and nectarivorous bats, both vital to the environment. I read once that bats can eat 600 bugs an hour—and right now we’re having an unusually buggy monsoon so bring on the bats! Do you have them in your part of the world?

  4. The movies, particularly Dracula, have given bats a bad rap. They are nocturnal mammals that nurse their young and we need them or we would all be dead from insect-borne disease. Unfortunately at least here in Jersey they are the major carrier of rabies, so you dont want them getting in your home. Enjoy and respect them from a distance.

  5. Hey Darlin –

    Nice photography. I think I remember reading that vampire bats do well in the southern part of the country. I think there are 3 different types of vampire bats. They are also using the saliva of vampire bats in a medicine to help increase blood flow in stroke patients. No doubt, bats are unique. See there, you found some niceties in a bunch of BS.
    Always remember; “When in doubt, let your horse do the thinking”

    • Yikes, I never heard of them around here, I thought they were more of a Central America species. I feel bad for the animals they prey on though, but all animals have their use in the life cycle.

      That’s a good philosophy Cowboy, I guess it can be interpreted a couple of ways…but I’ll think of it as letting go of the stress…thanks.

  6. Exactly Darlin – That’s what I meant to convey………. I could see the stress in your post.
    Take care –

  7. Why does it bother me?

    I love bats!!!! They are so cute!

    • WDIBM, “cute” is not a word most people use to describe bats, but I’m with you—they’re adorable! Look at their little feet hanging down in some of the pics—so cute.

      We desperately need pollinators now also because of the three devastating fires here this summer. The pollinators will help restore growth—that is, until they burn the forests down again. And they will.

    • Another vote for Cute! So cute. Cute little feet, little ears, little tongues. They are like little kittens. Delicate and fuzzy and I just want to squeeze them! I don’t know how everyone can’t see it!
      And you are an awesome vigilante. Thumbs way up.

      • Thanks Kay, I love their little bodies and the mystery that goes with them! I wonder what came first—fear of bats because they’re strange nocturnal creatures or because of their association with vampires? I have been inching closer and closer to them while they’re feeding on my porch. I can now stand a few feet from them! Fear of bats is called chiroptophobia—it’s not in the dictionary though so it’s probably one of those psycho-babble phobia words—you can make them out of anything people are scared of.

  8. I had no idea any species of bat would drink from hummingbird feeders. Now I’m going to have to check out our variet(ies). The drought has made it a bad, bad year for bats, swallows and swifts, nighthawks – any birds that eat mosquitos or other insects. It’s just terrible, and there’s so little we can do. Watching tropical storm Lee head east was gut-wrenching.

    But – if feeders could help our bats, I’ll start finding ways to get the word out. It’s bad enough that the annual hummingbird migration is starting, and we have nothing for them. Fishermen on Galveston Bay are reporting seeing hummingbirds diving on orange bobbers, trying to drink.

    • Hi Shoreacres, good to hear from you. I’m not sure you have the Mexican long-nosed bats in Galveston. I believe they are found much further west in Texas. The main food source for this species is the agave, which is being over-harvested in Mexico for liquor and other products—and thousands and thousands of agaves here in southern AZ have been destroyed first by the week-long freeze we had last winter, then the devastating fires this summer. Destruction of roosting sites has also added to their decline, and they are now considered endangered.

      In CT we put up bat houses, maybe when you find out what species are in your area you could provide suitable roosts, but they still need food so I have no answers. I’m sure both insectivorous and nectarivorous have been affected. I didn’t know the hummingbird migration in your area was in peril as well, but of course it would be, along with thousands of other species affected by drought and fire. This is just horrible. I hope the word is out and folks are putting up hummingbird feeders everywhere. Tell everyone you know you don’t have to buy anything fancy, we use a quarter cup of granulated sugar per cup of tap water, stir well, fill feeder and they will come. We were just given a new glass feeder that holds four cups, and as I write this the bats are enjoying their feast. Our old one only held a cup, replenished every morning so the hummers get their share during the day. Both these creatures are a joy to watch and so important to the environment! Good luck and thanks for writing.

  9. Between barn swallows and bats, I think bats win the “Good Housekeeping” award. Have had swallows set up housekeeping on my porch and they make a mess…..those little mud nests get like concrete.

    • Hi Harry, yup those swallows do make a mess—not only from the nest itself but the droppings onto the porch. But they are so worth it! Many people and businesses here knock down the nests when the swallows start building in the spring, but I could never do that! Just watching them build these sturdy, snug nests—actually making the mud themselves because it’s totally dry here until monsoon—is amazing.

  10. I like “Antisocial butterflies invited to somber soiree” and have to tell you I would have loved to have been there.

    Wonderful bat art, and your bird photographs are utterly magnificent.

    I love and admire your look at the world from top to bottom. Thank you for letting me in.

    • Hi Bill, that’s my kind of party, except there would be giggling! Thanks for the compliment on the photos—it’s pretty easy when it’s all happening right in your yard, and I’m always so honored when creatures allow me a glimpse into their world!

  11. When are you putting up a new blog, Debra?

  12. Good news you’ve got paid work, Debra; okay, I’ll update my gripe blog and put it up maybe tomorrow

  13. I love your six word stories! No wonder you are getting hired. You DO have a way with words.
    Bats aren’t my favorite (and for no reason at all, actually), but I love the fact that your kind heart gives them food they need due to the horrible destruction by the wildfires.
    All your pics are great, but I had to stare a bit at the ‘swallow mother with young3. There is always one in the crowd, isn’t there. Lol.

    • Thank you Char!
      I know a lot of people aren’t crazy about bats, but they do so much good. We need pollinators more than ever now.

      Isn’t that baby swallow picture a riot? He’s totally not paying attention when he’s got a tough flight ahead!

  14. I think they are adorable, but I don’t want to hold one. In the summer we have thousands of bats swarming around our yard light, talk about aerial ballet.

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