A couple weeks ago, Sophie and I took a trip to the Montrose Point Bird Watching Sanctuary. This sweet enclave of brambles and bushes and trees has gotten the nickname “The Magic Hedge” because over 300 species of birds can be found there, according to the Illinois Audubon Society. The Magic Hedge is one of Sophie and her partner Luke’s favorite places to go because Sophie and Luke are legit bird-watchers. In fact, the first time I ever met Luke, he and Sophie had just come from bird-watching. I swear the crazy kids were wearing matching shirts with birds on them. I might be making that up but it’s definitely something they would do.
The love those two have for birds has had an effect on me; I am more in awe of birds because of their interest and joy in seeing them. But the coolest thing Sophie and I saw at the Bird Sanctuary wasn’t a bird.
It was a bat! Yeah, a bat!
We were going along a hedgerow, picking our way along the path, when an elderly fellow coming the other way stopped us, pointed to a branch mid-way up a tree, and whispered, “There’s a red bat just up ahead. Look there!” There it was! A wee, sleekit bat was hanging upside down, sleeping the day away! Why, he looked like a little pussy willow up there, only with a reddish hue to his fur. Sophie and I couldn’t believe it! A bat! We looked at him for awhile. He didn’t do much but he was great. Then, when a lady came along the path, heading in the direction of Sir Bat, I stopped her and told her about the bat, just as the nice man had done for us.
The bat was probably my favorite thing at the Bird Sanctuary that day. My second favorite thing was witnessing Bird Sanctuary etiquette. I love when people get excited by simple things and help other people get excited about them.
Anywhoo, the very next day I was in the newspaper office looking at a website that lists the National Days. You know, National Donut Day, National PaperGirl Day, stuff like that. Well, what do you suppose I saw? I saw that not only is there a National Bat Appreciation Day, but it was coming up in a matter of days! Amazing.
So I wrote up a short, fun little item about this for F Newsmagazine and I thought I’d send you over there to check it out. I really stand by the reading selections I give you in this article. I know many of you are big readers and I promise: You cannot go wrong with the recommendations offered, even if you aren’t so sure about the subject matter.
Also, “Read All A-Bat-It!” is maybe the best headline I’ve ever written, so there’s that, too. Enjoy!